Plastic or steel, Ladies?


Above shows two styles of Victorian corset, the black adapted slightly, & a costume I designed & built (the character was a time traveling Lady assassin!) for a short film in 2010, illustrating the great effects a corset can have when working with period clothing. 

I’ve just found the most useful link to questions & answers about plastic versus steel boning when making historically accurate corsets or stays.

Acacia’s comment nearer to the bottom agrees with my own techniques when tackling this problem. As I don’t often have the money in a films budget to use all steel I too mix plastic, spiral & steel where necessary however; it is interesting to read how others have been tackling this issue.

Rigilene- or fabric store bought boning- is of no use to us as it is far too light weight. I feel faint whenever I hear an assistant in my local fabric store recommending it & on more than one occasion I have tried to slip them a website for the correct boning!

There are some very good whalebone replicas out there however; if you want to make a corset 1800 or later steel should very nicely suit your needs, mixing it with plastic will make it more comfortable & slightly cheaper.

I have also remembered a couple other websites for corset supplies:

Bra-Makers Supply:

McCulloch & Wallis:

Laughing Moon Mercantile: who sell a great range of historic corset patterns.

0 thoughts on “Plastic or steel, Ladies?

  1. Well, I’m sorry Laura after midnight, but I know I simply couldn’t wear a corset. Quite apart from the sheer murderous restriction of my breathing and the digging in of the boning, there’s the even worse knowledge that it was a means of keeping women ‘delicate’ and in their place. Don’t try and tell me this is nonsense, who in their right mind would wear such a contraption day in and day out, even through the night? Of course women fainted and ‘couldn’t cope’, they were suffering from severe lack of oxygen, misplaced internal organs, broken ribs and boning digging in. The fact that they had the strength to fight for the vote is testimony to their superiority in every way. Ooooooooh!! Where did that all come from? They are however objects of beauty I will admit that. Ha haaaa, this is the first time I’ve ever responded to a blog, I must be enjoying yours!

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