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Corded Corset - Front View

Corded Corset - c. 1880 - 1900

Accession Number: KL.195.329 CDF
King's Lynn Museum, Norfolk

This museum has only a small costume collection but holds some very interesting pieces such as this late Victorian corset.

Apart from steels at centre back and a busk and rigid steel at centre front, this corset relies solely upon rows of cotton cords for support.

Corded Corset - Front Closeup View Over one hundred metres of 1 gauge piping cord were used in the construction of this corset. Each cord being individually sewn between the top fabric and the lining.

This copy was made to reduce the wearer's waist by 5cm/2" and after being 'worn in' supports the figure with hardly a wrinkle at the waistline. Originally servants or middle class women would have worn this type of corset when working, since it gives plenty of support without the rigidity of whalebone.

Corded Corset - Back View I originally copied this corset for use in lectures to demonstrate how the fashionable ideal was adapted for those needing more flexibility to work. Cording was intriguing since I could not imagine how it could support the figure without creasing and being uncomfortable. In wear however, my model prefers this corset since it allows movement and supports evenly without the pressure of individual bones.

Notable features of Victorian corsets include the centre front 'busk' fastening, the centre back lacing for easy adjustment and the pronounced curve under the bust.

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