'Oktis' Corset Shields

'Oktis' Corset Shields, c. 1910s, Great Britain. The Underpinnings Museum. Photography by Tigz Rice.

Date: c. 1910s

Origin: Great Britain

Fabric: Metal and cotton

Brand: Oktis, manufactured by William Pretty & Son


Oktis brand ‘corset shields’ were designed to be sewn to the interiors of corset waists and purported to ‘double the life’ of the garments by preventing the corset bones from breaking at stress points. The shields are created from vertical bones of ‘zairoid’, a metal that the manufacturers claimed was as flexible as steel and rust proof, encased in cotton casings with a horizontal waist tape. This product was first sold in the late 1890s, and gained popularity at the turn of the century, and was developed and patented by William Pretty & Sons corsets of Ipswich (Suffolk, England).


From the collection of Karolina Laskowska

Museum number: KL-2017-101


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