Easy Guide to: Lacing and Re-lacing a Corset
Any good corset retailer will ship your chosen garment already laced, ready to wear with simple instructions on how to use and maintain it. Depending on the frequency of use and how active you are with waist training there will be occasions when you need to clean your corset or even replace the strong cord lacing. It’s easy to look at the lacing on the back of a traditional steel-boned corset and be fearful of never getting it back in place in the same manner in which it arrived. Fear not, here is your easy guide to lacing and re-lacing a traditional corset using the crisscross method of lacing. Although there are several methods, this is probably the easiest and most effective.
There are a few basics tip before you start unlacing and re-lacing your corset that you should look out for before wearing:
- Make sure their are two matching sides to your corset. Seems obvious, but we have seen corsets where there are uneven eyelets that don’t match the other side. This will create an awkward fit and the corset should be returned.
- One strong cord lace (similar to thick strong shoe laces) that has hard ends to slip easily through the eyelets. If your corset comes with inadequate laces, not a big deal, you can always buy better laces. However, just be aware that flimsy laces won’t last too long if your looking to wear your corset very tight.
- Make sure you know the top from the bottom of a corset – it would be a shame if you finally get done lacing and realize it’s on upside-down.
If you intend to tight lace with your garment, do not be tempted to use anything other than strong cord lacing. Ribbon may look pretty but it is not up to the rigors of proper cinching and will also look untidy after the first attempt. flimsy ribbon and laces will become useless to getting your corset nice and tight after awhile. It will most likely rip, stretch, or start falling apart at the seams. Strong cord laces with hard tips are durable and last very long for corset lacing.
If you are not sure which is the top and the bottom of your corset then look for the signs. If your corset has garter loops, these will be at the bottom of the corset. Sometimes tags in the lining will give you clues in regards to which way to wear the garment as well. The true test, though, is to make sure the hooks of the front busk are always on your right hand side. This will insure that your corset is on upright.
Lastly, make sure your eyelets match up to the other side of your corset. If you refer to the picture above, of the back of a traditional corset, you will see that every single eyelet throughout the back of the corset matches up with a eyelet on the other side of the corset. This makes sure you get the fit fit and tucking in all the right places. Also, ensures comfort.
Now we are ready to start lacing and re-lacing our corset.
If you are re-lacing, then remove the old lace from your corset. Rather than cutting off the laces we advise you untie them and pull them out to ensure you don’t cut your corset.
- Lay the corset out with the outer panels facing upwards on a large clear and clean surface, like a sturdy table. Make sure the top of the corset is away from you and the bottom towards you. Ensure the edges with the eyelets are in the middle and approximately 2 to 3″ apart.
- Thread the lace from behind through the 2 top eyelets. Make sure when you pull the ends through (towards yourself), you have equal lengths of lace on each side throughout the process. It is important to keep your corset ends approximately 2 to 3″ away from each other throughout the process as well to make sure your corset is even throughout.
- Take both ends and cross over and down through the 2nd eyelet down on the opposite side. The end in your right hand for example goes over and through the 2nd eyelet down on the left hand side. You have now completed your first cross.
- The laces are now on the underside and so you cross over each end to the 3rd eyelet down and through to the front etc continuing the threading process over and under. As you do mark the pair of eyelets on each side that coincide with the middle part of the corset and you stop just above these.
- At the mid-way/narrowest part of the corset you should have threaded from under and though on the eyeley that is the top one of the pair at the center of the corset BUT instead of crossing over this time, thread to the eyelet directly below on each side and pull though approximately 12 to 14″ of lace on each side so you are left with a long loop of lace on either side. These loops are how you tighten the corset once you put the garment on.
- Now continue to thread the corset with the criss-cross pattern until you have threaded through the last eyelet.
- Your two lace ends should be equal at this point. If not then adjust the laces as you would on a shoe with unequal lengths until you end up with equal lengths and equal lengths of the loops at the middle of the corset.
- Tie a tight knot using the 2 ends of the laces. You should just have enough lace to do this and it’s important it is done as close to the ends as possible. Make the knot very tight so it does not come un-done when cinching and wearing the corset.
You have now laced your corset and will notice each side is equal with equal spacing and the loops in the center of the corset are of equal length. When you come to wear the corset you will likely be able to place it on and clip up the front busk if you kept the 2 to 3″ gap between the eyelets on either side of the corset whilst lacing. You can now use the two loops to begin the cinch by pulling up the slack. You may need to reach behind to the outer crosses to pull in any slack and then again use the loops to equal the cinch but you will find it very easy to keep both sides equal and the laces will not slip. Simply tie off in a bow and if needed tuck the ends away under the bottom of the corset. Some prefer to wrap the long cords around the waist and tie off at the side but do bear in mind that in time you will mark the outer panels in this way.
There you have it – the easy method to lace and re-lace your traditional steel-boned corset. Alternatively you can always make use of the Glamour Boutique Re-Lacing Service, where for just $9.95 plus shipping, (which includes new laces or re-lacing or corset) they will re-lace your corset and have it on its way back to you within 24 hours. If you have any other problems, view our video on How to Lace a Corset.
It’s a ‘cinch’ with www.GlamourBoutique.com