When you talk about the Victorian Corsets, one of the major questions you have in mind is about the seasoning. Victorian corsets were much different than the Corsets that are available today. They were easy to mold as per the body. As per many experts, corset in the Victoria Age often came seasoned from the manufacturer’s factory itself.
In connection with this particular question, many facts can interest you about the Victorian corsets.
Corsets with Single Layer:
Way back in the 1800s, the corsets that came were all of a single layer mostly. Today, most of the time, you will find corsets with multiple layers so that they can last long. But if you wish to get a single layer corset, you can get one. There are several reasons why single layer corsets were great.
- They can season with your body well and quite fast in comparison to the corsets with multiple layers.
- They were super comfortable due to the cotton fabric, and women in the 1800s used to wear these corsets for long hours and daily.
- These are also quite affordable in price, but you need to check on the fabric's quality.
Though there are many such benefits, there is one drawback too. These corsets do not last long. Maybe this is why many of the women in the Victorian Age kept a good collection of corsets in their wardrobe.
Construction of a Different Style:
Though single layer corsets may be less durable, these were strong due to a different construction style during those times. If you are over-using a single layer corset today, it may even not last for 2-3 days or so. But in the 19th century, women used to wear these corsets with a single layer for several days. One of the main reasons for this is to happen is the different manufacturing methods of corsets.
Experts have analyzed an antique corset from the 19th century in the Leicestershire County Council Museum to find several factors.
There were 26 stitches in a single inch in the antique corset. This, no doubt, makes the interlocking much stronger. The corsets of today have just 8-9 stitches in one inch.
The quality of the thread is also important so that the corset stays strong for a longer time.
Whalebones in place of Steel:
Today, steel bones are used in the corsets. But it was not the same earlier. During those times, whalebones were used for the making of corsets. The whalebones are much lighter in weight and can mold well in heat exposure. So, you wear the corset with the whalebones; they mold into your body shape. When you put off the corset, the bones will cool down but remain in the same shape as your body.
But today, whalebones are prohibited, and steel bones are quite rigid. Hence, it takes much higher time for the modern corsets to the season with your body.
Second-hand Corsets were Common:
Do you know similar to clothes, second-hand corsets were also quite common in the 19th century. Mothers gave their favorite corsets to their daughters, or mistresses offered their used and old corsets to the maids. So, when the corsets are already seasoned, it becomes much comfortable for women wearing the second-hand corsets.
After the invention of steam in 1887, many of the manufacturers started using steam for pre-seasoning the corsets. The manufacturers used to provide the right shape to the corsets before selling them to the customers.
The Habit of Wearing No-Stretch Clothes:
Today, you have stretchable clothes to wear with lycra or similar fabric added in the main fabric. But this was not the same in the case of the Victorian ladies. The girls had the habit of wearing tight-fitting clothes from a tender age. Hence, they did not mind at all wearing a restrictive corset.
Tightlacing was not Popular:
Experts have mentioned that Victorian women never preferred tight lacing in corsets. The main motto for wearing a corset then was for support. Hence, they always had a relaxed lacing while wearing corsets.
The Duration of the Corset Then:
Corsets back then boasted of lasting for at least 12 months. But experts mention that women during those days used to buy corsets multiple times in a year. It can be because some of the corsets' durability was lesser, or they just wanted to add more corsets to their collection.
Though corsets came from Victorian times, the modern-day corsets are much evolved than before. Of course, the lifestyle of the women way back then were much different than today. Hence, there are several ways how the actual corsetry method back then was much different than today’s modern-day corsets.