Friday, April 9, 2010

Found Infographic: Vintage Corset Directions

Imagine needing directions with a diagram for getting dressed! Before elastic and stretch fabrics came into regular use for foundation garments, the design and proper fit of a corset took a fair amount of engineering and customization. (See previous post on the Berlei Body Type Calculator.)

I was curious about why the name of a corset manufacturer would be “Camp.” I thought that perhaps the company originally manufactured tents--you know, canvas, cord, grommets, rigging hardware. Not so. It turns out that the name of the corset maker was Samuel Higby Camp. In 1908, he patented the "fan-lacing" system of attaching straps and buckles to groups of laces so that the garment could be tightened from the front, by the corset wearer herself. Before that, women were dependent on a maid/mother/other, to pull the laces tight from the back and tie them. So, what appears to us as a garment of torture and confinement, actually provided women with a level of self-sufficiency, not previously available to them.

And remember, NEVER pull upwards or downwards, always in a straight line!

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