Date: c. 1940-50s
Origin: United States
Fabric: Cotton and feather quills
A pre-made cotton tape with enclosed feather quills, intended as a sewing trim to help stiffen garments. Featherbone was commonly used to structure undergarments such as corsets and petticoats. The pre-made nature of the tape made it incredibly easy to be used by home dress makers, as it could be machine stitched directly to garments.
The Warren Featherbone Company began life in 1858 as a dry goods store, founded by Edward K. Warren. As the store proprietor, he quickly became familiar with complaints about the baleen bones which were commonly used to structure corsets and bodices, which were fragile and prone to breakage. This led to the innovation of using turkey feather quills as a replacement for baleen, and after some experimentation he produced a product known as the ‘featherbone’. The ‘Warren Featherbone Company’ officially opened in 1883 to manufacture this new product.
From the collection of Karolina Laskowska