About 1900s Summer Corsets

edwardian lace princess petticoat summer silk ribbon corset

In the Edwardian era, cooler corsets were worn in the summer, such as mesh corsets and broderie anglaise lace corsets.

‘Four-Hook Short Summer Corset. A very form-fitting corset; made of fine strong netting, sateen girdle […] reinforced clasps and corded bust, finished with fine quality lace top’. There were also corsets made with ‘extra heavy quality of net to prevent it from breaking out at the waist line’: ‘Five-Hook Medium Form Summer Corset. […] an exclusive pattern of fine netting that is decidedly strong. Six side strips and three belts in the zone, which retains the shape of the garment.’ (Sears catalogue, fall 1900) Here’s a late 19th mesh corset, and another 1890s cotton mesh summer corset.

However, the broderie anglaise corset is superior to the mesh corset: ‘Broderie anglaise, “punched” all over and embroidered, and the open-work mesh corset are recommended for the tropics. The broderie anglaise looks pretty, and is amply ventilated by the punching, whereas the mesh stay is apt to drag out of shape quickly; therefore the former vogue is the preferable one.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2) Even the popular broderie anglaise finds its way into the making of corsets. This model, of course, is designed for summer wear. It is of openwork batiste, trimmed with the embroidery, and is the smartest little summer corset that has appeared. Yet another novelty which is a boon to women of slender figures is a very light corset short on the hips and shorter still at the back. The great point, however, is the arrangement of the batiste embroidery at the top, which does away with the necessity of a bust bodice to wear under the blouse and rounds the figure in a becoming and comfortable manner.’ (Evening Star, 1906)

Here’s an 1914 cotton eyelet corset with red ribbon behind the eyelet embroidery, and the prettiest 1900s broderie anglaise lace corset. The last one is the only Edwardian broderie anglaise corset which I’ve found. Have you seen other broderie anglaise corsets? I’d love to see them. 🙂 Please leave a comment below.

I’m wondering if this corset is made with one or two layers of linen broderie anglaise fabric, especially manufactured for the corset. I think it wouldn’t be easy to reproduce such a broderie anglaise corset: modern cotton eyelet is probably not sturdy enough. What do you think? Or have you already sewn an eyelet corset?

Related: How To Make Broderie Anglaise Lace By Hand

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