Corset Secrets: Understanding Corset Boning

Corset Secrets: Understanding Corset Boning

Have you ever wondered what gives corsets their iconic, sculpted shape? Within all that luxurious material and lacing, you’ll find the skeleton of a corset, also called the corset boning.

An interesting fact: corset boning got its name because the boning in some of the earliest corsets was made from whalebone. Nowadays, corset boning is made from much more accessible and animal-friendly materials, but it maintains the same purpose – to give corsets structure and support.

While corsets may have once been rigid and restricting garments, the modern world of corsetry focuses on comfort, style, and body positivity. Whether you’re considering buying your first corset or just curious about how they achieve that stunning shape, read on to learn more about what corset boning is and why it’s such an essential aspect of corsetry.

What are corsets?

Corsets are timeless undergarments worn by women, and sometimes men, for centuries. Throughout history, the style and role of the corset have changed with the fashion of the times.

Flashback to Elizabethan times, corsets were designed to flatten the bust and create a regal, straight silhouette. Picture those paintings of Elizabethan queens and noblewomen with impeccable postures – no doubt thanks to their trusty corsets! During the Victorian era, it was an hourglass figure that women lusted after, so rather than flattening the bust, corsets were used to cinch in the waist and enhance curves.

Today, corsets are less about transforming your body into something it’s not and more about celebrating what you’ve got. Plus, they’re designed to be seen! Modern-day lingerie boutiques offer glamorous corsets in various styles and sizes, helping women everywhere feel confident, supported, and downright sexy!

How do corsets work?

To understand corset boning, it’s important first to understand how corsets work. The main body of a corset can be made from a wide range of materials, including cotton, satin, or leather. But what transforms the corset from a piece of material into a figure-enhancing tool is its boning. The boning is like the corset’s backbone; it gives it structure and keeps it rigid.

Another important part of the corset is the lacing at the back. The lacing can be adjusted to get the fit just right. Some people adjust the corset tighter to enhance its sculpting ability and provide more support, whilst others choose a snug and comfortable fit. How tightly you pull the lace is entirely up to you, what you want to achieve from wearing a corset, and what feels comfortable. Most corsets also feature front busk closures, making them easy to slip in and out of.

What is corset boning?

In corsetry, boning acts as the corset’s skeleton, giving it shape and support. It also helps to keep the fabric taught and wrinkle-free. Boning can be made from various materials, each offering different levels of flexibility and strength.

Early boning was crafted from whalebone; however, modern corsets use more ethical and practical materials like steel and plastic.

Different types of corset boning

The material that a corset’s boning is made from influences the garment’s overall comfort, functionality, and longevity, making it an important factor to consider when shopping for a corset. Today, corset boning is made from either steel or plastic.

Plastic boning: Plastic boning is cheaper and lighter than steel boning, making it a popular choice for fashion corsets and costumes. However, it is generally seen as less durable and supportive. Once bent, it may not spring back into shape and could even snap over time.

Steel boning: Steel boning is the material of choice in high-quality, traditional corsetry. Known for its strength and flexibility, steel boning is more environmentally friendly and sustainable than plastic.

There are two main types of steel boning, these are:

Flat steel boning: This type of boning is known for being thin and flexible, but it can only bend in one direction.

Spiral steel boning: Spiral steel boning is thicker than flat steel boning and can bend in either direction. Providing both flexibility and support, spiral boning allows for greater movement whilst still maintaining the corset’s shape.

Spiral boning used in Scarlett Gasque corsets

The role of boning in corsetry

Many of the benefits of wearing a corset come from its boning. Let’s learn more about the role of boning in corsetry and how it contributes to the wearer’s overall comfort, posture, and appearance.

Improves posture – The rigid structure and support provided by corset boning can encourage wearers to sit and stand straighter. Improving your posture doesn’t just help you present better; it’s also linked to numerous health benefits, including reduced back pain and improved respiratory function.

Back support – Some people find that a well-fitted corset with steel boning can help to support the back and relieve back pain.

Confidence boost – Wearing a corset can enhance your natural figure, make your clothes fit better, and improve your posture. When you slip into a corset, you can’t help but feel sexy and confident.

Reduces waist size – Boning distributes pressure evenly around the torso, sculpting the waist and creating a more defined shape.

Bust support – In over-bust corsets, the boning extends to cover and support the bust area. This helps lift and shape the bust and provides support and comfort, especially for those with a fuller bust.

Whether you wear corsets for their aesthetic allure or for back support, the boning is key to both its function and charm.

Modern-day corsetry and boning

Today’s corsetry is about far more than waist reduction; it’s about personal expression, body positivity, style, and embracing your natural shape.

Modern corsets are a far cry from their rigid and cumbersome ancestors. They prioritise comfort, practicality, style, and inclusivity. Spiral boning is popularly used in high-quality corsets of all shapes and styles, from elegant undergarments that help create a smooth silhouette to statement pieces worn as an outfit centrepiece.

At Scarlett Gasque, we combine traditional techniques and expert craftsmanship to meticulously craft our range of playfully seductive corsets in various colours and sizes. Our opulent pieces, such as the Pearl Basque Corset and Gasque Lace Corset, use durable and flexible spiral steel boning and artfully weave together sumptuous silks and adornments to create the perfect fit.

Shop traditional corsets with a modern twist at Scarlett Gasque.

Purchase options
Select a purchase option to pre order this product
Countdown header
Countdown message