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Bra Findings: A Complete Guide to Bra Making for Beginners

Posted by Alison Fagan on

Bra Findings: A Complete Guide to Bra Making for Beginners

Bra making can be challenging when you’re just getting started. A lot of different things go into making a bra and you need to understand them well. However, the process is a lot of fun!

Before I get into this guide to bra making for beginners, I want to discuss bra findings. Bra findings are the elastics and other notions that are essential for a standard bra.

It’s important to note that bra findings are not the same as fabrics. Don’t worry! We will talk about bra fabrics in a separate article to make things clear. For now, let’s continue exploring bra findings.


What Type of Strap Elastic Do I Need?
Contrary to what most people may think, bra straps are not meant to provide support. Their primary function is to keep the bra in position on your body. The level of elasticity you choose for your straps will depend on how much movement you want to allow.
Elasticity allows movement so people who want to be able to make adjustments will find it more comfortable. However, some people don’t want movement, so you can reduce elasticity by changing the strap design,  using a rigid fabric or by using strap tape with regular strap elastic.
Strap elastic is usually decorative, so it’s available in a wide variety of designs, fabrics, and widths. As a general rule, the wider the elastic, the more supportive it will be. That means that it must correspond to the cup size; large cup size = wider strap elastic.
Straps can be problematic for some bra users, so I will talk more about the different types of straps and the most common issues in a different post!


Difference Between Underarm, Neckline, Band, and Knicker Elastic

There are different kinds of elastics you can use. Band elastic, for example, goes around the rib cage to support the bra band. So, if you want to make a supportive bra, you need to use a wider elastic for the bra band.

Underarm, knicker, and neckline elastics are mostly used to hold something in the right place. They are not meant to provide support, so the elastic tends to be narrower for these areas.

When it comes to bra findings in general, you need your elastics to have a plush back. Because they will be against the skin for prolonged periods, they need to be as comfortable as possible.


 What Is a Hook and Eye Bra Fasten?

Most people are familiar with the hook and eye bra fasten because they are very common. The bra fastens usually feature 2 or 3 columns spaced ½ to ¾ inch apart, which is the hook, and the eyelets, which you can use to adjust the bra at the back.

The bra fastens can be purchased in set sizes. Usually, the edges are heat sealed to avoid fraying, but you can also use continuous hook and eye tape. This will allow a little height flexibility in the fasten.

Remember, large cup sizes require a wider bra band. That means that you need to use a taller closure to provide additional support. The backing of the bra fastens should be soft as well to provide comfort since it’s worn for prolonged periods.


Bra Wires


Different Types of Bra Underwire

Bra underwires are a special kind of wire that’s placed under the bra cups to provide support. Essentially, bra underwires distribute the weight of the cups into the bra band.

When it comes to bra making, it’s very important to identify the right size of bra underwire. Doing so will provide the best lift and support for the wearer, so it’s one of the starting points of the craft.

Usually,  underwires are made from steel gauge wire. However, it’s not uncommon to use plastic wires in some shop bought bras because they are cheaper. Plastic wires are also swimwear because they don’t rust.

Personally, I don’t like using plastic bra underwires because they splay too much and they don’t provide adequate support. Bra underwires come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so the type you use will be based on bra size and style.

For instance, a balcony bra requires a smaller bra underwire than a full cup bra. Most of these wires have a semi-circle shape, which are the ones we’re most familiar with, but they are available in a few different variations.

Such as continuous wire, which looks like a lower case “w”. They are used for aesthetic purposes more than anything else because they don’t offer any practical advantages.

 Other Important Elements of Bra Making

 To close this short guide, let’s briefly discuss other important elements of bra making you must keep in mind. Including:


Separators are sturdy metal wires that are used in the front centre of plunge bras or swimsuits. They are meant to hold the front shape and they’re also known as “V wire” or “U wire.”

Bra Channelling or Wire Casing

The bra channelling, also known as bra wire casing, is a case shaped like a tube where the bra underwire is inserted to keep the underwire from rubbing against the skin. The best kind of bra channelling is thick and soft against the skin.


Bra Sliders and Rings

Sliders and Rings

Sliders and rings, also  known as zeros and eights, are available in a variety of colours and sizes. They help adjust the bra straps so they fit comfortably on the wearer.

 Gold Swan Hooks Strap Hooks

Last but not least, strap hooks, also known as g or swan hooks, are shaped like a lower-case “g”. The strap elastic is sewn into the section of closed rings and the hook part is attached to a loop. They are usually used in the making of swimsuits or suspenders, but they can be used in bra making.


 As you can see, making a good bra requires you to be familiar with the different elements because they all make a difference in comfort and support. Every detail needs to be carefully chosen to have a final product you can be proud of!


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