Izod's patent and moulded sewn satin corset, made by Edwin Izod, England, 1887
Fashion and technological innovation changed the shape of late ninteenth-century corsets. As the bustle replaced the crinoline and bodices contoured the figure, corsets became longer to achieve the desired hourglass silhouette. They encased the abdomen and enveloped the hips, and the amount of whalebone also increased to give a smoother outline and help prevent wrinkling of the fabric. This corset from the 1880s is composed of twelve separate shaped pieces and forty whalebone strips.
To improve shape, performance and comfort, manufacturers claimed numerous inventions. One of the most successful was the steam-moulding process developed by Edwin Izod in 1868, and still used in the 1880s to create elegant corsets such as this one. The procedure involved placing a corset, wet with starch, on a steam-heated copper torso form until it dried into shape. The result was a beautifully formed corset, whereby 'the fabric and bones are adapted with marvellous accuracy to every curve and undulation of the finest type of figure' (The Ladies' Gazette of Fashion advertisement, London July 1879).
This corset was worn by the donor's mother at her wedding in 1887.
Corset made of white satin with metal slot-and-stud fastening. With hand silk flossing and a machine-woven silk braid trimming. Lined with coutil. Spoon busk and back facing.
Steam-moulded wedding corset
Edwin Izod (about 1825-87)
Brides-to-be were advised to buy at least one corset as part of their trousseau, the collection of clothes and linens they prepared for their marriage. This corset was manufactured by Edwin Izod, who used a steam-moulding technique to improve his corsets' shape, performance and comfort.
Silk satin trimmed with machine lace
Given by Miss Benjamin
V&A: T.265&A-1960