Contrast Stitching Corded Corset

Contrast stitched corded corset, c. 1860s, France From The Underpinnings Museum Collection Photography by Tigz Rice

Date:  c. 1860s

Origin: France

Fabric: Cotton

Brand: Custom made


This corset relies almost entirely on thick cording for its structure and support, which is applied in diagonals throughout the front of the corset. Stitching is in a contrast red to the exterior of the garment. The original outer fabric was likely black, but has now faded to a dark green.

The corset is constructed with two layers of cotton, with a heavier coutil on the exterior. Boning is limited to four bones per side to the rear of the corset and appears to be made of wood. There is an additional 3cm wide wooden underbusk, sewn into a placket under the busk fastening for additional support.

The corset fastens with a centre front busk fastening with 4 loops and pins, apparently made of copper due to the green patina that has developed. The back of the garment fastens with lacing through 2 part eyelets. The original lacing for this garment is missing and was replaced with contemporary cotton lacing for the purpose of these photos.

The corset is simply patterned, with only 3 panels per side. It was likely not intended for heavy shaping or waist reduction. Coupled with the lack of structure, this suggests that this corset was worn by a working woman who had to maintain a certain level of manouverability and comfort.


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-013


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