Simple Secrets:(Chuckle) ---- I have read so many websites about how to get boning to lie flat that are really complicated. My favorite involves a boiling pot of water, tongs, paper towels, and several heavy books. Really people there is an easy way to get boning to lie flat and it only takes a few minutes...
I'm not going to make you read the entire blog to find the answer: It's simple--Iron it. Yes it is that simple. Iron it... use the steam function... it will lie flat every time.
If you want further explanation see the rest of the blog.
The who's what's where's why's and how's....
Question 1: What exactly is boning?
Question 2: Where did boning come from? Who invented it?Answer: The purpose of boning has changed throughout the years. A majority of the change in purpose is connected to the shape desired during each fashion period.
Interesting Note: The corsets of Catherine de Medici were made of iron. Eeek....
The fashion style stuck and by the time we get to the Elizabethan era it is as much as a fashion staple as the bra is today.
Question 3: What is boning made of? How is it used?
Answer: As I said above, Catherine started the fashion trend with iron. Not surprisingly this didn't stick for too long. Whale bone was a popular choice by the time we get to the Elizabethan era for those who could afford it. When you couldn't afford whale bone, you used reeds. Ivory, horn, or metal could also be used. Wood and reed busks (carved thin knife shaped slats of the materials I mentioned above) were inserted into channels made in the lining. Unlike the boning of today these busks could be reused over and over with each gown. (A major advantage in my opinion.) There was an easy replacement factor as well-- another major advantage. During the 18th century the steel busk was invented and would be used until World War I when the US Government asked women to stop buying corsets to help save on metal for the war.
Question 4: Why isn't it flat in the first place?
Answer: Boning comes in a coil or a loop. When you buy it it looks like a coil of fabric covered plastic. The fabric covering the boning can be black or white. I personally remove the covering, because I detest bulk. However you can choose to simply sew the casing of the boning to your lining or I suppose your bodice or dress (though the seams would drive me crazy).
For me, I cut two of every lining and sew channels to contain the boning. I then insert the boning into the channels, cutting each to the correct size as I go. If you want your boning to be flat doing this-- iron it before hand. I don't mind the curve at this stage.
Once you have inserted the boning the corset or bodice takes on a curved shape. It doesn't lie flat and no matter how many books you put on it it will not lose it's spring. As I said above, there are various websites that explain how to straighten these out...
Without a need for anything other than your ironing board and the iron, turn on the iron to the lowest setting where steam can be used. (or higher if the fabric can take it)
Note: the boning must be encased, so either do this with the fabric casing on it, or when it is in the lining.
Put the iron on the boning and press for several seconds. You may want to pump the steam but you can do it without going that far. After a moment the boning will lie flat. No drama... just iron it.