zondag 4 maart 2012

Corset Discipline Part 1

Sound Advice to the Mothers and Governesses 

Very careful mother or governess should take her child or charge to one of the wellknown corsetières who makes a speciality of designing corsets for training the youthful figure. Any one of them will be able to advise you and to carry out the latest, most scientific ideas in designing the best type of constrictive wear for the youthful trainee.
Some mothers and governesses in an excess of zeal make the mistake of strapping up their young hopefuls into a veritable suit of armor, and lace them into a degree far beyond the fundamental requisite tightness necessary for the first corset. By forcing the girl of 12 or 13 into a training apparatus much more severe than required, she is prejudiced against the whole process of shaping and disciplining her figure and may never get over this first impression. Furthermore, if the first corset is too heavy, too rigid, too severely shaped and too tightly laced to start with, the health of the trainee may well be adversely affected.

So, generally, the careful mother or governess should abide by the advice of the trained corsetière. She will design for your charge a corset as easy and comfortable as it is possible to make and still fulfill the requisites of confining, directing and shaping the growing figure. This first corset should be long enough to restrict and control all bodily movement from the shoulders to the knees. It should be rigid enough to compel an erect, proper posture, sitting, standing, walking, or reclining.

The corset should be made with two heavy, preformed shaping steels on either side of the back lacing. These shaping steels formed and tempered into a S-curve are designed to enforce the proudly arched back line and, in conjunction with the broad, rigid, busk in front , help to enforce proper carriage of the whole body, with the hips well back, the torso inclined forward from the hips, bust and cheat held up high and shoulders, neck and head, back. The boning supplementary to the busk and shaping steels should be heavy enough to insure proper fitting of the corset when it is laced close. Normally, ten bones or steels on each side are sufficient if properly placed.

The best material for facing and lining the corset is strong, high-quality kid leather. It does not stretch and is gentle to tender young skin, preventing rubbing, gouging and other common skin irritations. It does not slip or slide readily on the skin. It imparts its own supplementary rigidity to the corset and may be quickly and easily cleaned by using a damp sponge.

According to all authorities the corset should be firmly anchored at top and bottom so that it cannot move up and down on the figure so that the corseted girl cannot move independently of her corset. At the top this may be best accomplished with the use of wide, padded leather shoulder straps sewn in at the fixed ends to the back of the corset The straps should be crossed behind the wearers back and go over the opposite shoulder, with the strap attached to the right side of the corset being drawn over the left shoulder and the one on the left side over the right shoulder. The straps are then drawn under the armpits through a leather loop and attached to each other by a regular buckle and strap-hole arrangement.

When the straps are properly adjusted and buckled they anchor the top of the corset and prevent downward movement of the garment on the wearers body. They enforce proper carriage of the shoulders, preventing slumping or rounding and at the same time force the shoulders down and back. They draw the wearers back into the back of the corset raising the rib cage, lengthening the waist and further arching the back in the process. Careful, precise adjustment of the shoulder straps is most important.

They should not be drawn up too tightly. If the corset-wearers shoulder blades are drawn back firmly together, the requisite degree of adjustment will be attained. The subject should be examined from time to time to see that chafing or irritation of the arm-pit does not occur. Careful padding of the straps at this point and the daily application of talcum powder will largely eliminate such irritations.

The best means to anchor the corset at the bottom, firmly and securely, is by means of boot straps. Six strong leather straps should be sewn and riveted to the bottom of corset two in front, two on the sides and two in back. These straps should be drawn through buckles sewn and riveted to thigh-length kid corset-boots. The buckles should be attached to the boots about six inches above the knees. The boot straps should be drawn up tightly enough to prevent upwards movement of the corset on the figure.

The corset-boots which must be most carefully fitted, should be lightly boned to prevent wrinkling. Five light flexible bones reaching from the shoe part of the boot to the boot top are sufficient for this purpose. The boots should be very long, fitted up to the line where the upper thigh joins the torso. The shoe of the boot should be designed with a short vamp, high arch, and high heel, a two-inch Louis heel is high enough for the beginner. 

The interior of the shoe should be carefully padded to prevent foot irritations and should fit the foot very closely. Such a fitting will tend to inhibit growth of the feet. When the shoe portion of the boot is properly fitted and laced, the wearer should not be able to move her toes or any part of her foot within the shoe. The boot above the shoe must be closely laced to shape and confine the ankle calf, knee and thigh. The midpoint of the thigh between knee and torso should measure one inch smaller with a tight tape over the laced boots than without them.

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