Updated on July 26, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
Lacing is a popular fastening technique used in clothes (especially with the recent popularity of corsets and corset tops) and uses cord or ribbon laced through holes which may be eyelets or rings on the edge of garments. It is usually used as a fastener at the back or the front of the bodice, but it can be used on the sides as well as on the sleeves or hems of pants.
The cord can be loosely laced through all of the holes before you put the garment on, and then tightened after the garment is put on. The ends of the laces are tied off in a bow, usually at one end.
The advantage of lacing as a fastener is that it makes the opening adjustable – you can tighten it as much as you want or as much as the garment ease allows and you can loosen it as much as you want or as much as the lacing allows.
In modern clothes the eyelets through which your lace passes are placed directly across one another. But in historical clothing the eyelets were not placed so – they were placed in a staggered manner with one side having one extra eyelet than the other and the lace passing through them in a zig-zag manner. The lacing was called spiral lacing.
But today’s clothing the lacing is a lot more simple and more aesthetic in my opinion. Other than as a functional fastener lacing is also used as a decorative element in clothes.
The way the lacing is done adds to the charm of this fastener and gives it a decorative appeal that is not there in any other fastener.
Simple x shaped lacing
To do this fold the cord you are using by half and then bring this to the top and then insert the cord through the top holes so that the middle part comes between the two holes.
Continue doing this.
X lacing with two coloured cords
For this, insert one lace first as in the picture below.
Lace the other cord through the rest of the holes. Tie at the top as well as the bottom. You can hide the tying at the top by bringing the knot to the back of the fabric on one side.
In this method instead of the x shape you get straight lacing which goes across horizontally from one eyelet to the other.
Start this way.
Follow the picture below. The red line indicates the cord on the back of the fabric.
This is the old way of lacing – a zig zag pattern is made by the staggered eyelet placement as well as the way the lacing is done.
In this method, the eyelets are kept overlapping and the lace is passed through the holes like a whip stitch.