I recently received an e-mail with several well put questions about Hook and Eye Tape. I'm posting my response here and hope to write more in the near future and post it in the Tips N Tricks section of the www.farthingales.on.ca web site.
I’m interested in using hook and eye tape for a tight bodice and would like to know your perspective on the different kinds.
Hook & eye tape is not the best choice for corsets so we don't use it much. We sell hook and eye tape to many people and some ballet companies use the alternating tape because it won't come undone when the ballerina arches backwards.
I’ve checked the web and your blog and haven’t found an opinion on sewn vs riveted hook & eye tape.
Sewn vs. riveted is a matter of personal choice and is dependent on skill and time - it takes excellent skills to get the hooks and eyes all properly lined up so my assumption is most people who buy the tapes either don't have the skill or don't want to spend the time.
I expect that larger hooks & eyes would be better than smaller ones.
"Better" is always difficult to determine. Larger is easier to both sew on and to manage when doing a garment up but they are not always the most suitable as they are bulkier.Speaking of doing the garment up - does the person have to get into the garment without assistance? Is there any stretch fabric involved? A non-stretch garment that is tight(meaning there is no "ease") is almost impossible to get on without assistance when using anykind of hook and eye system.
The riveted ones seem stronger, but if they break, there’s no repair except replacing the tape.
The tape needs to sewn onto the garment so that there is stitching supporting the hooks and eyes - stitch along the edges of the tape and between the hook and between the eyes to allow minimal lift - this lessens the chance of the hooks or eyes pulling out. We've never had an e-mail or call bringing our attention to this happening so in 12 years of selling the tape I've never heard of the hooks or eyes pulling out - this does not mean it's never happened but I assume if it has it's been rare.
Any bending or rusting issues?
Never heard of any of them rusting and never seen it - a long time ago I soaked all the metal objects we have in water - nothing rusted.If you use the small hooks yes you will get bending out of shape if they are under unreasonable pressure - which can happen when you take off a corset or put one on - and you only have one hook done up - the pressure on the one hook is incredible - think of doing up the zipper on a dress that's too small - you can blow a tooth out of the zipper...but if the dress fits it's not a problem.
Any issues regarding the metal rivets wearing away the fashion fabric?
I can't see any reason they would. The tape is sewn to the fabric so there is no friction as there is no movement of rivets against fabric. BUT keep in mind if the garment is tight you need really strong fabric as the foundation or the fabric may rip before the hooks pull out of the tape.