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Lingerie Design Explained

It’s time to talk about makeup and no, this blog didn’t just totally shift gears; we’re not about to share a magical mascara wand.

We’re talking about GARMENT makeup, specifically, lingerie. ;)

So whether you’re an aspiring lingerie designer, a fashion entrepreneur launching an intimate apparel brand, or a DIY gal who's attempting to sew her own undergarments–you’ve come to the right place to learn some lingerie lingo and trim terminology.

Previously, I shared a blog and discussed the many components that go into making a bra. From wire boning to hook + eyes and several different elastics–many materials go into constructing well-made lingerie. In fact, did you know the average bra can have 15+ components?! That’s a whole lot going into skimpy little garments.

This post is for all my visual learners, I wanted to get up close and personal and show off what each trim and material looks like separate from their counterparts.

So, grab your magnifying glass, and let’s take an up close and personal look at lingerie design components. 🔍

Drawing of all the components that make up lingerie including lace, underwire, foam cups, and sliders.

So, grab your magnifying glass, and let’s take an up close and personal look at lingerie components.

Drawing of hook and eye used for lingerie

Hook + Eye: This standard type of bra closure consists of two parts: a hook tape and an eye tape, with the hardware attached to the fabric, with one side featuring 1 hook and the other piece with 3 or more rows of eyes.

Drawing of ring, slider, and j-hook hardware used for lingerie

Ring: A plastic or metal hardware piece used to secure a bra strap in place.

J-Hook: A plastic or metal type of closure with a J-shape allowing the straps to be converted into a racerback style.

Slider: A plastic or metal hardware piece that allows the wearer to adjust the length of a bra strap.

Drawing of underwire used for bras and lingerie

Underwire: Rigid u-shaped metal inserted and secured into bras through a fuzzy-faced wire channeling sewn along the bottom edge of a bra cup to provide shape and support.

Drawing of bra foam cups used for lingerie

Bra Pad: A soft foam-like material used to provide extra contour, shape, and lift in bras that come in various sizes, materials, and types.

Drawing of steel bone, plastic bone, and bone channeling used for lingerie and corsetry

Metal Boning: This is typically made of stainless steel and uses a spiralized design with metal end caps for heavy-duty boning providing support in garments such as bras and corsets.

Plastic Boning: Plastic boning is a lightweight boning option, which is usually made of clear plastic. Plastic boning can have blunt or rounded edges and is used to provide support in garments such as bras and corsets.

Boning Channeling: Fuzzy-faced fabric channeling used to cover and protect boning against rubbing against skin or other fabric layers.

Drawing of wire channeling for underwires used in lingerie

Wire Channeling: Fuzzy fabric channeling that the underwire is inserted and secured into, protecting the wire from rubbing directly against the skin.

Drawing of picot elastic, strap elastic, clear mobilon, construction elastic, and brushed facing elastic used for lingerie

Strap Elastic: A soft but strong plush back trim, usually found on bras at the shoulder position, but sometimes in other areas as well, providing stabilized support while keeping the bra in place. Strap elastic can be shiny or matte, as well as plain or decorative.

Picot Elastic: A functional decorative elastic featuring a decorative scalloped edge or loop design, commonly used as an accent in lingerie pieces like bras, panties, garter belts, etc.

Brushed Facing Elastic: A type of elastic with a soft brushed back on the side that is soft against the skin, commonly used on lingerie pieces like bras, panties, teddies, and babydolls, etc.

Woven Construction Elastic: A woven elastic that is usually hidden by fabric or encased inside the garment as it’s not extra comfortable up against the skin.

Clear Mobilon: Transparent elastic made from polyurethane. Often utilized in strap hanger loops or swimwear garments where lighter stretch is required compared to a more heavy-duty rubber.

Drawing of tricot stabilizer for lingerie

Tricot Stabilizer: A lightweight, nearly sheer fabric stabilizer used to provide structure and support when making bras, usually most prominently featured in the center front gore to eliminate stretching between the breasts.

Drawing of mesh fabric used for lingerie

Mesh: A lightweight netted structure fabric that often gives a sheer or transparent effect. It can vary from being very wide and open like a fishnet to a dense, more opaque look.

Drawing of galloon lace fabric used for lingerie

Galloon Lace: A lingerie and bridal-specific lace that has scallops on both edges, can be rigid or stretchy, and most commonly vary in width by anywhere from 2" to 20", but can be even wider.

Drawing of all over lace used for lingerie

All Over lace: A patterned material with a visible design, usually floral or geometric, made by looping or twisting the yarns. Wider cut and sew lace that is treated more like a fabric vs. a galloon with a specific edge to incorporate. Varies in width by anywhere from 40” to 90” depending on the maker. It can be completely rigid, have only mechanical stretch, or have spandex to make it much stretchier.

When it comes to selecting the right materials for lingerie design, knowledge is key. With this comprehensive guide, you can now confidently start the process of selecting the ideal fabrics and materials to bring your designs to life. Remember that there’s always more than one option for most materials, so don’t be afraid to get picky so you can end up with something you like and are proud to show off and share.

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