Tuesday, June 9, 2009

French Hips

Mr. Warden, late from London, (as all good staymakers are!) would prefer cash payment and is of course providing stays in the newest fashion. He goes on to describe the available choices in stays which could be turned, plain, back-thread or French Hips.

Speculation: "Back-thread" stays (pack thread) are stays with rows of cording for stiffening in place of whalebone. "Plain" stays (linen and buckram) are without a fashion fabric cover making "turned" stays those with a fashion fabric. Fashion fabric as the outer layer of stays could be free of the boning channels, keeping the exterior smooth and without showing the stitching of the channels or the boning channels could be sewn through all layers including the fashion fabric layer. Stays with "French Hips"? I will venture an opinion that the "French Hips" are referring in some way to the construction of the stay tabs which overlay the hip area and done in such a way as to differ from the English method.

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