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The Vintage Dressmaker (1)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fabric and Notions for Early 1920's Underbust Corset

The article in "La Mode Illustree" uses the term "coutil" for the choice of material. The term litteraly translates to "ticking" in the English language. "The fashion Dictionary" by Mary Brooks Picken defines "coutil" as "firm, sturdy type of drilling made of hard twisted yarns, usually cotton, in twill or figured weave. Used for corsets, girdles, etc. French word for drill or ticking."

"Drilling" or "Ticking" reffers to a medium weight fabric wth a twill weave. A twill weave produces diagonal lines or ribs in the fabric. "Drill" includes fabrics like jean and khaki. "Ticking" often uses two colors to produce a stripe, such as pillow or mattress ticking, used for such purposes because its tight weave prevented feathers from poking through. A "figured weave" could include a brocade, damask or jaquard of suitable weight.

When chosing your fabric for a project you must first concider it’s purpose. In the case of constructing a corset you would need a sturdy, medium weight fabric that breathes well against the body and has little to no stretch to it in order for the corset to accomplish it’s purpose of restrianing the figure. Try not to get caught up in what some corset supply websites lable "corset coutil". Where it is an excellent fabric for corset making , because of its lable can be VERY expensive and isn’t, and shouldn’t be considered the only authentic or suitable choice.

This is a white cotton blend brocade with a floral and peacock feather motif that I chose to construct my corset from:

I have gathered all my notions including a metal busk, 1" wide elastic for the garters, 4" wide elastic for the bust gussets, 6 garter clips, spiral steel boning, eyelets and laces. All of which I obtained from various eBay vendors.

I am so excited to get this corset cut out and start putting it together!

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