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The Construction Of The Famous Corset

Jun 24, 2008
Corsets are loosely defined as garments that are worn to mold or shape the torso into a desired shape for aesthetic or medical purposes and first came about in the early 1800s. The construction of corsets has always been kept rather simple over the years and many designers still continue to make new and updated versions today. They are typically made of a flexible material like cloth, most notably coutil, or possibly even leather.

This material is then stiffened with boning which is a process of clinching and shaping the corset fabric. The designer inserts these, often referred to as ribs or stays, into channels in the cloth or leather to give it a desired shape. When corsets were first introduced in the 19th century, whalebone and steel were the things that were favored for the boning process. Some people opted for a cheaper substitute like featherbone that was constructed from flattened strips of goose quill and were woven together with yarn to form one long strip.

The last step of designing a corset is figuring out how you want it to be tied together. Usually, corsets are held together by lacing at the back, but this is not always the case. Tightening or loosening the lacing process produces corresponding changes in the firmness of the corset. There are many different styles of lacing that designers use; it depends on the effect that they are looking to create. They can either be laced from the top down, from the bottom up, or from the bottom up and down from the top which would involve using two laces that meet in the middle. Typically, it is almost impossible for someone to lace up their own corset because it involves reaching around to the back to make it tight enough.

In the Victorian age when corsets were extremely popular, it was very common for an upper class woman to be laced up by her maid and a man by his valet. Throughout time though, many corsets were constructed with a buttoned or hooked front opening that was known as a busk. So, once they had the lacing adjusted comfortably and the way they wanted it, they were then able to take it on and off without any additional assistance.

Corsets were a very popular item for men and women hundreds of years ago, but the female market for them has continued to grow into the present day. They are a beautiful addition to any wardrobe and really help to give a woman that shapely figure that we all desire.
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