Black Cotton Corset With Spoon Busk, Pink Flossing Embroidery & Woven Trim

Black Cotton Corset With Spoon Busk, Pink Flossing Embroidery & Woven Trim, c. 1890-1900s, Great Britain. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: c. 1890-1900s

Origin: Great Britain

Fabric: Cotton

Brand: Unknown


This corset offers a relatively straight silhouette and achieves its structure with a mix of cording around the bust and flat steel bones encased in exterior channels. It fastens with a spoon busk closure, with a wide bottom that curves in at the abdomen. The garment is made from two layers of fabric, with a black cotton exterior and white cotton lining. The corset is embellished with a woven pink and black trim on the top and bottom edges. Profuse pink flossing embroidery is both decorative and helps to reenforce the bone channels.

The corset lining was originally stamped with what was likely a brand name and patent information, but sadly it has faded to the point of illegibility. There is an interesting alteration to this garment: additional eyelets was added to the top left and bottom right of the back closure, giving an offset appearance. It is likely that this addition was to allow for the corset to be spiral laced (as shown in these photos), rather than the more traditional chevron or cross style lacing. Spiral lacing has the benefits of using less lacing cord and allowing the corset to join exactly at the centre back. It is only suitable for more mild silhouettes (such as this example), as it allows for less adjustability.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-026


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