Affordable Boning for Sewing: Dressmaking Without Breaking the Bank

February 4, 2022

Are you tired of sewing a lousy-looking wedding dress? Do your sewing projects always come out as though they need some more time on the ironing board? If you are a dressmaker who has had enough of sagging in your dresses and gowns, then you might appreciate what boning can do for you and your beautiful garments.

Keep reading if you are eager to discover what boning is and what our best boning picks are!

What Is Boning?

As the term suggests, boning gives your garments (such as evening gowns and historical costuming) structure and support similar to what bones do for our own bodies. Without boning, your dresses and gowns will sag and look lousy, which makes them very unappealing and lacklustre. Boning lends these garments the much-needed structure to make them sharp and stiff.

What Are the Different Kinds of Boning?

Did you know that corsets used to have boning made of whalebone? While they were not bones per se, they truly were harvested from whales. In the present day, however, boning for garments is now made of modern materials that are cheaper, more durable, and more flexible. Thanks to modern scientists, we no longer have to brave the wide and open seas for boning.

Plastic Boning

There are many different kinds of plastic boning, but what all they have in common is flexibility. They can easily be fashioned into whatever shape you want by using some heat and bending. They also come cheap which makes them a viable option for dressmakers who wish to keep the manufacturing costs down without sacrificing the structure and quality of their dresses.

Metal Boning

First introduced in Victorian corsets, metal boning replaced the whalebone boning that predated it. Today, steel boning comes in the form of spiral steel that is extremely flexible yet provides enough structure and rigidity to garments. The advantage of spiral steel boning over other types of boning is that it can adapt to the contours of the wearer’s body.


Among the many types of plastic boning, rigilene is the most widely used by dressmakers. This is due to how easily you can use rigilene to give definite structure to your dresses. This kind of boning is made of woven nylon which makes it lightweight while remaining highly durable. Depending on the rigilene you end up with, it can either be stitched or ironed into the garment.


Another kind of plastic boning, Featherlite boning is typically available in half-inch and quarter-inch widths. It is specifically designed to prevent fabric rolling. However, it does have its own limitations. For instance, you cannot sew it in a curve, further limiting its applications. If your garments need regular machine washing, Featherlite easily holds up with no fuss.


If you create corsets, then you will love Flexicurve boning. As the name suggests, Flexicurve can wrap around the wearer’s body which can emphasize their contours. It is specially designed to be used in the torso, which makes it great for corsets and strapless garments, such as a strapless dress. You can buy Flexicurve boning in various widths and even pre-covered.

Our Recommendations

As there are many options that have flooded the boning market, you have to be on the lookout for options that are worth your hard-earned money. While it may be tempting to buy the first option you see online, we advise you to take a second and consider the following options we have listed down below. You cannot go wrong with any of these options!

Dritz 565-9 Featherlite Boning

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $8.79
  • Boning for sewing 1/4 inch
  • Comes in a pack of 2 yards (1.82 meters)
  • Provides excellent support for strapless garments and swimwear
  • Can easily be sewn into the garment by hand
  • Seamlessly compatible with sewing machines
  • Comes with a polyester-cotton cover

Strong Enough For Heavy Garments

Despite its feather-like construction, the Dritz 565-9 Featherlite Boning can hold up a heavy strapless gown. Don’t let its appearance fool you because it can definitely endure heavy garments without any problems. If you see yourself working with heavyweight projects often, then you might want to consider this option for your future projects.


If you wish to use the Dritz boning in small projects such as facemasks, you might end up with unsatisfactory results. For instance, if you place it on the nose bridge of the facemask, it won’t bend enough to be able to hold the facemask in place. This is something that you have to keep in mind when buying a pack of Dritz Featherlite boning.

Vivipa Low-Density Polyester Boning

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $9.99 (6mm width)
  • Comes in four different sizes (6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm)
  • Comes in black and white colours to suit your fabric
  • 1/4 inch boning for sewing
  • Good for prolific dressmakers as it comes as a 50-yard roll
  • Made of low-density polyester; perfect for garment support
  • Can be used with various kinds of garments

Bang for the Buck

Have you ever had a sewing project that was so large that you ran out of sewing materials? This unfortunate situation can certainly happen and become a source of frustration. Fortunately, the Vivipa Low-Density Polyester Boning comes in a roll of 50 yards so you would no longer have to be wary about running out of boning to use for your project.


The common complaint about the Vivapa polyester boning is that it becomes frayed when cut. Since it comes as a 50-yard roll, it is inevitable that you have to make cuts as you consume the rest of the roll. However, this can be avoided by using a very sharp cutter or knife. For some use-cases, this polyester boning can also be too weak or flimsy.

Sntieecr Low-Density Polyester Boning

Specs at a Glance

  • Available on Amazon for $10.99
  • Has a width of 6mm and a length of 50 yards
  • Low-density construction makes it easy to stitch
  • Can be used with a wide variety of garments and fabrics
  • 1/4 inch boning with casing for sewing
  • Masking tape prevents punctures in your fabric
  • Made of woven nylon which retains shape even after multiple washes

Breathable Material

When wearing garments with a definite structure such as evening gowns and dresses, you might feel uncomfortable due to the rigid boning materials that run across the garment. The good news is that the Sntieecr Low-Density Polyester Boning has tiny holes which make it extra breathable and more comfortable for the wearer. 


For those who are used to stitching premium-quality boning into their sewing projects, you might find the quality of the Sntieecr polyester boning a bit lacking. Its durability is comparable to other options within the same price range. If you are after quantity rather than quality, then this option might be for you.

Final Thoughts

If you want your dresses and gowns to remain in tip-top shape, then using boning for your projects is a no-brainer. Boning lends your sewing projects much-needed structure and support. We have listed down our best picks from the hundreds of boning options available in the market. Grab a roll now and get back to stitching!

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