Whether the very mention of the word ‘corset’ unspools images of Scarlett O’Hara tightly holding to her bed post and yelling her Mammy to pull the corset ‘tighter’ in “Gone with the Wind” or the restrictive corsets worn by Victorian females, know that the modern century corsetry is nothing close to what described the erstwhile breath-choking, stiff garments. Corset is one piece of clothing that can transform a plain Jane into truly sensational. Not only is it utilitarian and exciting like a sports bra, but are beautifully designed to accentuate a female figure, but not beyond the comfort level. Nothing could be more telling and a bigger turn-off than a bra under a period style dress or a beautiful off-shoulder gown. Not only does it lay the foundation for your garment, but it also accentuate your curves beyond measure. Hence, it’s important to pick your corset carefully, with a special attention to the fabric. Apart from ensuring that your corset has a tight weave and fits you to T, it’s important to ensure that the fabric used offers optimum comfort, meets your need, camouflages under clothing and is durable. This article gives you a deep insight on the perfect fabrics for corsets.
Fabrics To Use For Corsets
Linen corset is one of the longest standing undergarment that we have today, put in vogue by the Elizabethan fashionistas. Known for being extremely strong, stiff and durable, this light fabric washes really well and can be worn repeatedly without much wear and tear. Also, the fabric breathes well that counteracts the tightness of the garment. Ideal fabric for underthings, this ‘breathing’ material has a natural stiffness that is very important in making a corset.
If you plan to wear a corset under a fancy outfit, then opting for a delicate fabric like silk would do you good. However, any silk won’t do. You need to opt for a fabric that is firm and doesn’t crease easily. Taffeta is one such delicate high-end silk fabric that is crisp and smooth and holds shape better, yet quite soft on the skin. If you need a corset for a wedding gown or similar occasion, then dupioni silk is the best bet for you. Not only is it available in a multitude of colors, but also comes with the added advantages of being thicker and irregular and doesn’t usually crease.
Cotton Duck Canvas
Yes, the same fabric used to make sneakers and sandbags can make for great corsets too. This fabric is mostly used in the manufacturing of modern corsets as pure linen is quite rare and silk is very expensive. Cotton canvas is very strong and durable and even on repeated washings, it remains stiff. It is cheap, easily available and doesn’t crinkle or scrunch.
Upholstery Fabrics And Brocades
Richly decorated and boldly hued, brocade is another fashionable fabric option when it comes to corsets. These fabrics are also strong and stretchable. They are available in synthetic and natural fabrics and are quite cheap. However, there can be a lack of breathability and bleeding of dyes when washed. They are not suitable in hot weather and under heavy clothes.
When you are looking for an extravagant corset, satin is your pick. Not only is it durable, especially the baroque satin, but also feels truly luxurious against the skin. You can also opt for matt satin that not only holds shape better, but also comes in rich, vibrant hues.
Satin is smooth and strong and corsets made with this material are very beautiful to look at and comfortable to wear. To give a period type look to the satin corset, it is better to use “bridal” or “baroque” satin as these materials are heavier than matt.
Shot silk is a stiff and rusty fabric and has been used since Elizabethan times. Corsets made with this fabric are nicer to look at though it is not as strong as other fabrics. Shot silk is also relatively very cheap.
Perhaps the oldest and the most popular fabric, coutil is a form of twill cotton that has been used extensively to make corsets. Extremely well woven, coutil offers dimensional stability or resistance to stretching and makes for a lightweight corset choice.
The best velvet for corsets is the cotton velvet or velveteen. The fabric is durable and can effectively provide the period look. Unlike silk and satin, it can be washed easily. On the flipside, it can make the wearer feel extremely warm and the fabric can flatten after several wear.
Depending on whether you are going to wear a corset for fancy dress, dancing, date, wedding, or any other special occasion, you can choose from an array of textiles to fit your need and taste. No matter what you choose, make sure that the fabric is durable, doesn’t snag and feels good against the skin.