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View Full Version : Could Wire be An Alternative to HoopSteel?


SantuariosYue
10-19-2010, 06:11 PM
Hoopsteel itself is expensive, and I was wondering if a strong wire would be a good replacement? The point of the cosplay is not be historically accurate, but to just have the look of the costume. To say, the hoopsteel/wire won't be showing, we just need it to look like a hoopskirt.

Let me know if this description/question is too vague and I'll add more details.

glitter bomb
10-19-2010, 07:09 PM
In the past I've made hoop skirts using 4ft long plastic zip ties from the hardware store. When I need a circumference larger than 4ft I tape 2 together and cut to the size needed. No problems so far. The plastic is stiff so it works well with light to midweight fabrics. I don't know how well it would hold up for heavy layering, but you can find a lot of cheap alternatives in Home Depot, Lowes, etc.. :)

LadyEvanescent
10-19-2010, 07:41 PM
There are two cheap ways of doing a hoop skirt. Hoop skirt 1 (http://masquedcosplay.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-make-hoopskirt-for-under-40.html) and hoop skirt 2 (http://www.funkyhorror.com/hoopskirt.htm)

SantuariosYue
10-19-2010, 08:37 PM
Thanks so much darlings!

enayla
10-19-2010, 10:01 PM
I make all of my custom hoop skirts from thin plastic tubing. It's smaller than PVC pipe (1/4 inch or so) but holds its shape very well and is quite light. I tried the soaker hose method and it didn't work too well for me - I couldn't get it to hold a circular shape (the rest of the tutorial is great, though!).

Viveeh
10-20-2010, 09:17 AM
So, wire wouldn't work? I was interested in this myself as I'll have to make a short hoop skirt soon.

Eclipseofsorrow
10-20-2010, 02:08 PM
If you go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask in the lumber for the ties that hold the lumber together, those are perfect. :D I've made corsets even with some of them, its a thick thick sturdy plastic, almost identicle to the boning you can get at jo-annes but heavier. (Since their stuff is crap, haha) So doesn't compare to the steel, but works very well!

Oh, its also free, so score. :D

glitter bomb
10-20-2010, 03:49 PM
So, wire wouldn't work? I was interested in this myself as I'll have to make a short hoop skirt soon.
don't know, I personally haven't found any that would work that was affordable. The wire would have to be thick and sturdy, yet still bendable. The kind of stuff used in consumer electronics or home wiring, for example, wouldn't be anywhere near strong enough to hold the shape.

If you go to Home Depot or Lowes and ask in the lumber for the ties that hold the lumber together, those are perfect. I've never seen them before. It sounds like they are similar to the big zip ties, only difference being they hold lumber instead of pipes? Are they the plastic ties that are holding the wood beams together on the sales floor, or are they trash that the staff discards in the back? If you ask the lumber department for their spare lumber ties do they know what you're talking about or is there a special name?

its a thick thick sturdy plastic, almost identicle to the boning you can get at jo-annes but heavier. (Since their stuff is crap, haha)
yeah the boning at JoAnn's isn't strong enough to use for hoops, it's more like lightweight plastic boning to use for bodices. At least the JoAnns near me.

FYI, you can use the metal pieces from hanging file folders as bodice boning. Cheap/free in most cases.

alpha_helix
10-20-2010, 05:22 PM
So, wire wouldn't work? I was interested in this myself as I'll have to make a short hoop skirt soon.

You need something that's flexible, springy, and strong. To my knowledge, the only metal that will work is hoopsteel because it's a strong spring steel. The springyness is key. Something comparable to, say, a wire coat hanger wouldn't work because, while it is flexible, once it's bent into a shape it won't bounce back. Whatever material you end up using needs to withstand being sat on, transported, stored, bumped into, and abused and still be able to instantly bounce back into a nice circle.

Satine
10-20-2010, 06:30 PM
It's not just a matter of strength but memory and density :) You want a wire that will not retain a bend, and most wire that you can buy will do just that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewelry_wire_gauge
Pretty good explanation of the different gauges of wire :)

I use plumbers coil to do my hoops. It's flattened but brittle steel so is fine for the job but not great for corsetry unless supported as it will break under too much strain. This stuff is super cheap from dollar stores and about five times the cost at hardware stores and is always labeled differently ;) Plumbers coil, drain snake..

tsuoi_kaze
10-20-2010, 07:43 PM
There are two cheap ways of doing a hoop skirt. Hoop skirt 1 (http://masquedcosplay.blogspot.com/2009/09/how-to-make-hoopskirt-for-under-40.html) and hoop skirt 2 (http://www.funkyhorror.com/hoopskirt.htm)

I second MangoChutney's tutorial! (hoopskirt 2)

I've used it before to help a friend make a hoopskirt for a renaissance fair costume, and I plan to use it (once I have the extra time between everything else I'm working on) when I revamp Gwendolyn later next year.

Super quick, super easy, super cheap, and it WORKS.

Eclipseofsorrow
10-20-2010, 09:54 PM
I've never seen them before. It sounds like they are similar to the big zip ties, only difference being they hold lumber instead of pipes? Are they the plastic ties that are holding the wood beams together on the sales floor, or are they trash that the staff discards in the back? If you ask the lumber department for their spare lumber ties do they know what you're talking about or is there a special name?


Its very similar to the huge zip ties, just stronger. The best stuff i've found was at Lowes, its thick and green. Home Depot started using this flimsy clear stuff a while back thats not very good. I just found some in a garbage can on the floor, went and found an employee and asked if I could have it. :)
They didn't mind at all, its just garbage for them. :D Its also very springy, so bring something to cut it out of the garbage bin so you don't look silly fighting with it. >_>

glitter bomb
10-20-2010, 10:59 PM
Its very similar to the huge zip ties, just stronger. The best stuff i've found was at Lowes, its thick and green. Home Depot started using this flimsy clear stuff a while back thats not very good. I just found some in a garbage can on the floor, went and found an employee and asked if I could have it. :)
They didn't mind at all, its just garbage for them. :D Its also very springy, so bring something to cut it out of the garbage bin so you don't look silly fighting with it. >_>

that's awesome, thanks!

MinervaLi
12-09-2010, 08:59 PM
Wire will kink, bend and warp really terribly. Plastic tubing is what we use for re-enactment costumes and the likes. It's cheap, long lasting and you can get it all in whatever lengths you need. No need to to piece things together!

nessabutterfly
12-17-2010, 02:49 PM
FYI, you can use the metal pieces from hanging file folders as bodice boning. Cheap/free in most cases.

Amazing-- I'll have to try this!


I've used the 3/8" plastic tubing from Loews. If you look around the same section, you should be able to find little connector pieces too. For the 3/8" they're only metal, but they have plastic connectors for the bigger tubing. You just wedge the connector into each end of the tube and it holds perfectly! It keeps the round shape better than the actual hoop steel does because of the smooth connection.

This is the connector I used: http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=77341-104-LFA290&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3135221&catalogId=10051&cmRelshp=sim&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1

sweetnsassy
12-24-2010, 01:44 PM
Its very similar to the huge zip ties, just stronger. The best stuff i've found was at Lowes, its thick and green. Home Depot started using this flimsy clear stuff a while back thats not very good. I just found some in a garbage can on the floor, went and found an employee and asked if I could have it. :)
They didn't mind at all, its just garbage for them. :D Its also very springy, so bring something to cut it out of the garbage bin so you don't look silly fighting with it. >_>

Ooh, looks like I'm gonna have to tag along the next time my parents go to Lowes. Thanks for the tip!