Featured Product: Purple Corset Laces
Lacing, like anything else, is a learned skill. When you first start to look at the many corset lacing styles, you might naturally feel a bit overwhelmed.
Just think about the first time you rode a bike, applied liquid eyeliner, or tried to kiss someone. Chances are that it took some practice to get it right!
With that being said, you really only have to master lacing a handful of times, since you’ll run the laces through your garment and leave them where they are, simply tightening and loosening with each wear.
You’ll really only have to go through lacing when you purchase a new corset, on the rare occasion a lace breaks, or if you have to be cut from your garment in an emergency situation.
The first order of business, though, is picking a lacing style you prefer. There are plenty to choose from, but four main styles tend to rise to the top.
Straight European or Ladder Lacing
European and ladder lacing are styles that have been used since medieval times. They’re a popular choice because the portion of the laces that faces outward runs in straight, horizontal lines from one side of the back gap to the other, creating a clean, minimalist look (as opposed to criss-cross lacing).
Ladder lacing offers a cleaner look, because the laces run horizontally across the gap, but vertically between grommets on the inside edge.
However, this style is difficult to cinch when the garment is on. You’ll probably need a helper, which is why this particular style of lacing is rarely used these days.
Straight European lacing — also referred to a straight bar or sometimes as shoe lacing — is preferred because the laces run horizontally between grommets on the outside of the garment but are crisscrossed underneath, giving you the clean look you want and making cinching, well, a cinch!
Spiral and Double Spiral
Spiral and double spirals are also styles that date back to medieval times. Spiral lacing involves making just one diagonal pass. Laces go from the first grommet on one side to the second on the opposite side, then underneath to the second grommet on the first side and across to the third on the opposite side, and so on, all of the way down the corset.
This creates a spiral pattern that’s incredibly easy to cinch and loosen. A double spiral simply repeats the process, but on the other side, resulting in a criss-cross pattern running down both the inside and outside edges of the back gap.
Standard Lacing or Bunny Ears
Standard corset lacing differs from double spiral in that you end up with a single criss-cross pattern because each lace skips a grommet on its way up (or down) the back gap. The bunny ears come in at the vertical center of the line of grommets, where a length of lacing is left hanging loose on each side.
This provides an easy place to grasp excess laces to cinch the corset tight with relative uniformity. You can then tie a neat bow to keep everything where it should be. It also makes it easy to undo, as all you have to do is pull an end to untie your bow and loosen the laces.
Inverted Bunny Ears
Nearly every part of inverted bunny ears is the same as regular bunny ears, except how you lace the loops themselves.
Instead of passing the lace from the grommet on one side to the grommet directly across from it on the opposite side, you’re going to skip to the next grommet up or down, depending on which direction you’re lacing the garment.
When you’re finished, this will leave you with Xs in the center that allow for greater control when you’re cinching.
While some lacing patterns are more complex than others, a little knowledge and experimentation can help you find the options that best suit your preferences, whether you want a sleek look, ease of dressing, or greater control when you cinch.
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My name is Rachel, I am the owner of Glamorous Corset, a small business founded by me in 2010. Back In 2005, I was in a car accident that left me with a herniated disk. Much to my surprise I learned steel boned corsets were beneficial to several medical injuries including mine. I was always intrigued with corsetry, their history and their beautiful aesthetic. I love sharing knowledge about corsets, educating my wonderful readers and breaking the negative stigma related to corsetry. In combination with my years of research and personal experience I hope my articles are useful and can help anyone who has struggled with some of the same things I have. More about me…