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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter V: Wire shape-making,   pp. 55-66 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 55

                  WIRE SHAPE-MAKING 
T HE making of wire shapes is one of the most interesting 
      and useful of all branches of millinery. Once the knack of 
manipulating the wire is acquired, it is possible for even an 
amateur worker to design graceful and becoming headgear. As 
a foundation for transparent materials such as tulle, lace, net 
and jewelled fabrics, the wire shape is always in demand, and is 
used by a great many milliners as a support for the light-weight 
fancy straws and braids. 
   In this process most careful and accurate workmanship is 
essential, and for this one must have suitable wire, a pair of 
good quality wire nippers, strong cotton Nos. 16 or 20, and 
covering net or muslin of just the best weight and texture to 
support the material of which the headgear is to be made. 
   CHOICE OF WIRE.-A medium-weight, silk-wrapped wire is 
quite the most satisfactory one for shape-building. A medium- 
sized, satin-wrapped wire is often used for the head-ring and 
occasionally for the brim-outline. Satin-wrapped wire has an 
inner padding of cotton filaments bound along its length by the 
smooth wrapping of fine silky fibres used for the outer covering. 
This padded wire is comparatively soft to the touch, and does 
away with the chief objection to the wearing of a wire shape, 
namely, the pressure of the hard wire on the forehead. 
   There are many qualities and sizes of wire used in making 
shapes, and a knowledge of them is essential. They are- 
   (1) Fine mounting or "tie "-wire which can be bought in 
most colours wound on large or small reels. 
    (2) " Filet " or lace-wire is very fine and obtainable in many
    (3) Light-weight, medium  and heavy, silk-wrapped wire,. 
manufactured in many colours. 

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