Friday, June 24, 2011

Lacing points

A quick post to ask for some collective advice on lacing points or chapes...I need some for the end of my nice fingerlooped cords I've done for my new kirltes and don't have any.  I'm not sure where to get the thin craft metal to make them myself (I live in a craft store back-water, it's tragic) and the only place the I've found that sells them online domestically is Historic Enterprises and they were out of stock the other day when I checked (plus I'm not sure those are good ones?  They don't have pre-drilled sewing holes so that's a problem).

Anyway, I'm guessing I should be able to find some at Pennsic, but in the mean time, what to do so I can lace myself up?  Any thoughts or ideas?  Here's what I have so far:

  • Heat shrink tubing - actually had a little left over in my corset supply stash and it worked ok, except that one pulled off already.  I think this is fine as long as your eyelet to point ratio is not to snug.  It also won't shrink to a very sharp point which is sort of an issue for that one inevitable smaller-than-planned eyelet.
  • Thread wrap (any maybe nail polish) - this worked with just thread on a soutach lace I have, so far it seems like the best option, though I wonder if it would be sturdy enough on a fingerlooped cord
  • Lots of glue - might not hold together well over several lacings
  • Tape - won't hold up in the wash
  • Something else?
I know these aren't period, I just need to be able to lace the gown and tuck the end of the lace into the dress so I can get to the merchants and find what I need, so it's a stop-gap.

Does anyone know of any other online resources for getting these things?  I need some pretty small ones for the blue banded gown, the eyelets are small.  I did come across some European sites with nice selections but they didn't give diameter measurements, and the prices were kind of high so I'm not sure that's the best solution.


  1. I make aiglets (and loads of other stuff). They are all drilled at the end and typically an inch in length (25mm). They are all hand rolled, so the diameter varies but I usually aim for 1/16th (around 1.5mm). I can roll them tighter, but would need to use a thinner gauge and takes longer (so may put the price up, as the cost is in the rolling not the material). The style is taken from surviving examples from the Mary Rose (1545) in Portsmouth, none of which are engraved, so mine aren't either! They also not perfect (so mine aren't either...). Drop me an email at I ship worldwide, and, lets face it, aiglets don't weigh much!

  2. Try a google search for Aglet. I turned up sites like:


    They're a little on the fancy side, but might give you better options.

  3. I finish all my fingerloop laces with beeswax. With the ending knot still in place, dip the section before the knot (where you intend to cut) into the wax. Blow on it to cool it while you pull the lacing tight. Once the wax is cool and you can touch it, trim off the knot, leaving about a half-inch of wax at the cut end. Roll it in your fingers until it takes the pointed shape and the wax is set. The wax will spread up the lace a bit while you're working it. The beeswax stays pliable (unlike paraffin wax) but will hold the lacing together. If it starts to lose its point, simply rub it back into one with your fingers. I've never had to re-wax any of my laces- even my most used ones.

  4. For brass to make them, I suggest generic modelling shops - they often stock small sheets of brass, copper, tin, steel and aluminium in various thicknesses for those who do model making, dioramas, etc.

    Until then, for lucette cord I sew the end of the yarn back into the last approx. 1cm of cord - this usually stiffens it enough to get it through eyelets. The other option is to use a needle to thread the eyelets.

    I haven't yet worked with fingerloop so I can't help you with that. All I can say is consider the summer temperature of any events you may be going to before using beeswax - it can get warm enough for it to go totally liquid and make unsightly spots all over your clothing.