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Mono Wire or Monowire? Seriously, What the Heck Are They?

monowire

Mono wires are as elusive as bra tulle. Seriously, what the heck are they? First, is it one word or two? Are they different than regular underwires? Do they serve a different function or are they just for aesthetic? Do they create a monoboob?

Rewind a little – I first saw a mono wire bra last May when I co-hosted a Bra Making with Madalynne workshop with The New Craft House in London. When I was in town, there was a lingerie exhibit at The V&A, Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. Truly amazing folks. I was on the second level and just about to leave when I spotted a black Agent Provateur bra that had a mono wire. It was <3 at first sight. I ordered mono wires shortly after my trip, but didn’t get around to making a mono wire bra until recently. Did you see Taryn? I’m still blushing over that sequin mesh. Swoon…

Here’s what I know – mono wires serve the same purpose as regular underwire – support (note that when I use the term regular underwire, I am including all the different varieties: classic, demi, strapless, etc). Mono wires anchor a bra to the chest wall and provide lift. As opposed to a regular underwire however, they do not separate the breasts. Beyond this, I don’t know much. I researched, but couldn’t find much information. The only info I did find was from this post on The Lingerie Addict. It was a guest post written by Lyzzy Beswick, a DeMonfort Contour and NTU Fashion Management Graduate. At the time of writing, she worked as a freelance technical lingerie designer for KissMeDeadly, Augustine London and several other independent brands. She referred to mono wires as domino wires (not sure if there is a reason for that name?) and that some mono wires have a flexible center.

So I’m turning to you to learn more. Does anyone have additional information about mono wires? Any good books I could/should read? When were they invented or first used? I’ve seen them mostly used in Agent Provacateur, are there any other brands that use them? Please share!

Looking for mono wires for your own bra? Check out Arte Crafts.

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9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Marie

    I’ve wondered when you’d use a monowire too. In the 90s I found a bra line that used them, and found them uncomfortable. There is some information on the bra supply webpage about monowires: https://braandcorsetsupplies.com/product/wcl-continuous-low-uni-wires-metal-uni-wire/ (I am not affiliated with bra-making supply).

    • Reply

      maddie

      I actually find them very comfortable, and they’re less likely to poke you at the center front.

  2. Reply

    braguide

    Here are some pictures of a monowire bra that I have in my collection. The wire is higher in the center than in your example. https://thebramuseum.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/goddess-624-vintage-strange-bra-40d/

    • Reply

      maddie

      Thanks for sharing! What an interesting design.

  3. Reply

    magali

    hello, I used to see this a lot on bikini top from a french brand. They are making a nice cleavage.
    https://www.paindesucre.com/fabia-haut-de-maillot-de-bain-a-armature-jaune.html

    • Reply

      maddie

      I’ve seen it more often in swimwear too. Wonder if there’s a reason why.

  4. Reply

    lia

    I think I’ve only seen monowires in AP, la fille d’O, and Eres or vintage. Not too common

  5. Reply

    Monica

    I asked around my office and the guys here said they used to be used more back in the day. They called them “wow” wires here, hehe!

  6. Reply

    Milena

    The first time I saw a monowire was on a Vintage french bra from my grandmother… But it was an overwired bra. You can see a similar one in Foundations revealed article about how to make, well, an overwired strapless bra (http://foundationsrevealed.com/index-of-articles/bra-making/bra-making-projects/336-overwired-strapless-bra)

    But technically, monowires are “just” underwires with a separator attached, so I guess their purpose now is from an aesthetic point of view : they give support and separate the breasts without having a center front bridge, which allows the designer to be more creative with the designs ?

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