For now, this is my last post in the Underwires series.
If you have any questions at all, or if there's anything I didn't cover, please let me know and I'll see if I can clarify or find the answer for you!
How can I tell which end is the centre front? Is it the coloured end?
I’ve seen this comment a lot online. Home sewists checking which end is the centre front. Don’t necessarily rely on the coloured tip. Looking through my stash, the majority have it at the centre front, but the odd grouping did have it on the underarm. To check, line your wire up on an X-Y axis. Find the deepest part of the wire and place on X, and one end against Y. The lower end will be your centre front. I’m still yet to see a style of wire with a lower underarm than centre front.
Gauges?! What the heck is that?
Wires, and the metals used in them, come in different strengths, and widths, which make up their gauge. A light gauge wire is suitable for smaller cups. It’ll be more flexible and adapt to a variety of breast shapes easier. When it’s used in larger cups, some women may find that the wire feels like it’s warping or twisting. In my experience, cheaper bras use a more flexible wire in larger sizes and we hypothesise that it’s due to the brand wanting to accommodate more people with a limited size range. A heavy gauge wire will be much firmer, harder to spring open, and will keep its shape better and not twist or warp as much when sprung open. This makes it ideal for large and heavy busts.
Do I want flat wires, nylon-coated oval wires, wires with a groove in them, plastic wires…so many options?!
This is going to come down to personal preference and what is available to you if you’re buying small quantities. I’ve personally been a fan of the nylon-covered Galbline wire (has a groove in it) that I discovered in luxury brand PrimaDonna years ago. They’re firm, yet flexible, and have been good to me for a long time. I’ve seen the plastic tips on the flat steel wires chip off after time and poke through. I don’t know enough to help you select which is best, so it’ll come down to personal preference. If there’s anyone out there that has a better explanation - please do enlighten us!
Alright folks. I think I’ve dumped everything I know about wires out of my brain into these four posts. If you have any questions about underwires, give me a shout and I’ll see what I can dig up for us!
If you're as obsessed as I am about all things lingerie & technical - do check out these other great posts all about underwires from Lyzzy Beswick (who studied Contour Fashion at DMU and graduated the year before I started) who also shows a good breast root trace, and from Erin (who also trained with Beverly Johnson). It's a small lingerie-making world out there folks!
Educating women on the benefits of proper fitting bras is important to Kim. Designing lingerie that complements the fuller figure, and is comfortable, on-trend and beautifully constructed is her mission.
We are in charge of our bodies, and we make the decisions that are right for us, with no judgement. Kimtimates supports those who make their own choices about their own bodies. #yourbodyyourchoice #mybodymychoice