To open a coil of millinery wire and begin using it first, hold the coil firmly in one hand. Keep in mind that it is wound like a spring and you need to release the tension in the coil before you use it. With a needle-nose pliers, open and remove the small ties that keep the coil bundled together. Continue to keep hold of the wire coil with one hand while you do this so it won’t spring apart into a twisted mess. Once you have removed the restraining ties, slowly and gently ease up on your grip (but do NOT let go) and allow the wire to relax and open in a controlled manner in your hands becoming a looser circle of wire.
Always begin using the wire from the outside end of the coil, never from the inside end. When not using the wire, hang the coil on a peg. You may want to gently retie the wire in its looser coil to help it hold together and not tangle. Storing the coil of wire safely will make your task easier the next time you want to find and use it.
Wire will not stretch, so care must be taken to measure accurately. There are a couple of ways to join the ends of your wire. My favorite method is wrapping the ends with thread. Allow 2 inches overlap for this method. Using strong millinery thread, begin at one end of the overlapped wires and wrap tightly towards the other end of overlap. Add a dab of clear glue to each open end of wire at the overlaps. The most common stitches for securing wire to the edge of a brim are a buttonhole stitch for hand sewing and a wide zig-zag stitch when using a sewing machine. It is important to sew the wire to the edge, not on top or under the brim edge. The stitch width should be only the depth of the wire. If the stitch is too deep, the wire will slip away from the edge and can cause an uneven looking finish to the brim. See our FAQ section for more in depth instruction.