Ballroom Dance > Wire Hem - What kind of wire do you use?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by dancingmomof2, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. dancingmomof2

    dancingmomof2 New Member

    Hi everyone, I am finishing my first ballroom gown (yea!!) and I wanted to do a wire hem. I have heard fishing wire works but the wire I have come across initially is not strong enough. Help!
  2. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    I have used as high as 50-lb test line for hems. Not easy to work with though. Also have used plastic lacing, which is pretty cheap and easier to sew (and won't wreck your sewing machine needle if you hit it).
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i've heard that horsehair ribbon is the way to go to create movement of the hemline...

    i have the impression that wire is old-fashioned, but i'm no expert on the subject. mebbe others with more experience can provide better feedback on that account...
  4. mad123

    mad123 Member

    Fishing wire or the soft plastic wire will give you a curly, ruffled look. You can stretch the wire some to lessen the curl but I believe it retains more of a coiled appearance. Horsehair has a bit more structure and still creates a wave effect but not as tightly curled. It can give the skirt the appearance of skimming away from the body/legs.
  5. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    I agree with Sam.

    Horse hair is definitely the way to go.

    Other Alternatives:
    -- 50-100 lb fishing line (stiff)
    -- bundle 4 lb fishing line together (about 6-10 strands ought to do it)--less stiff.
    -- dacron backing (a little more limp)
    -- If you need weight too--used it to help stay a lady's gown--not just control (may be a little expensive): weighted fly fishing line. (Adds weight to the hem)

  6. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    The higher number the fishing line e.g., 50, 60, 70, 100 lb - the more curl and such you will find as you sew it. I've had fabulous luck working with Horsehair braid at the bottom of the dress hems.
  7. dancingmomof2

    dancingmomof2 New Member

    Thanks for all the advice! Do y'all find that for the chiffon layers of your dress that wire or horsehair braid works better or do you just think it's a matter of preference? I have used the horsehair braid on lycra before but not the chiffon.
  8. mad123

    mad123 Member

    I believe for chiffon fishing wired is more commonly used...
  9. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    The dress in my pic-here, has horsehair braid in the chiffon underskirt. Gives it a nice lift in the pivots, spins and a lovely swoosh effect. Not so much "curl" when standing still, where the fishing line/wire will give you the distinct curl look even when your standing still. I've used horsehair braid in the lycra dresses I've made as a matter of preference. Curly Sue - I am not.
  10. Standarddancer

    Standarddancer Well-Known Member

    The white Marabo Ruffle dress in my avatar has soft fish-net kind of plastic wire which gives the dress a wavy, ruffly and dramatic look, very effective on the floor.

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