Monday, 20 May 2013

The Difference A Steam Makes:

This is just a quick post to show the difference a good steam session has made to this corset. I have steamed this pair of stays once before - when I wanted to start on the ribbons and was trying to get the ridges between the panels to calm down - which they did a little. But this time, the effect of it was much more exciting.

It's a good argument for using natural fibres really. I know some people say you shouldn't use cane in Corsetry because although it is a fibre that was used back in the 1700's it was tended to be only used by the poorer section of the society and that it would be better to find a stronger whalebone substitute. But going into anything that can't be effected by steam and heat takes away one of the stages of stay building.
Norah Waugh in her book: Corsets and Crinolines, mentions how they'd apply a hot iron to the whalebone to shape it and steam can help set wood and cane. In one of my previous posts, the researching of the various types of panniers, one of the types used 'Oval Cane' which obviously must've been steamed or fixed into that shape somehow as cane does not handily grow in an oval shape ready for panniers!
It's all just very interesting stuff...
These photos are of the latest stage.
- The under-arm section has been sewn on.
- The inner boning and centre busk has been sewn down.
- and it has recieved a jolly good steam.
Now all that remains is the Lining.

I've asked Bath Fashion Museum for permission to use yet more photographs, so I can do a blog looking into the techniques and pattern options used in lining the various corsets I have viewed, and once I hear back I shall publish that post.

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