Terminology

Back Flap: An optional piece of fabric placed behind the back laces to conceal the skin, etc. These may be sewn in or removeable. Lovesick backflaps are fully boned to prevent the fabric from crumpling as the laces are tightened.

Bone Casing: Strips of fabric sewn onto a corset that the bones are inserted in.

Boning: Strips of spring steel, plastic or whalebone inserted into a corset or other garment to provide structure and support. Whalebone is obsolete and unavailable in the 21st century.

Brocade: A lustrous fabric with a pattern woven throughout.

Busk: The front closure of a corset. Studs and strong steel eyes are rivetted onto a piece of spring steel boning. Before 1830 a busk was a solid strip of wood, etc. that fit into the center front of a corset. These were often carved with intimate messages or sentimental motifs by the corset wearer’s lover.

Cording: A technique of stiffening a corset with multiple rows of stitching reinforced with lengths of fiber or cord

Coutil: A traditional corset fabric, made of cotton, in a tight herringbone weave. Firm and very strong.

Heavyweight PVC: A thicker, stronger weight of PVC than that which is used for clothing. Usually bonded to a twill fabric for extra strength.

Hipspring: The difference between the waist and hip measurement. A woman with a waist laced to 20" with 38" hips would have a hipspring of 18". The hipspring of average, uncorsetted figures varies from about 8 - 12". This term is more common in British English.

Staytape: A piece of twill tape, etc that is placed around the waistline of a corset to provide extra strength and structure.

Underbusk: A strip of fabric which is sewn under the busk to add extra support and to protect flesh from peeking through. Lovesick underbusks are boned.

Underbust: The measurement taken just below the breasts around the ribcage.