Corset Dictionary: Terms You Should Know

Corset Anatomy:

Corset Terminology in Plain English

Don’t you hate when you reading about how to lace your corset, or how to put on your corset, or even how to take care of your corset-and you have no idea what they are talking about?! We have put together a quick dictionary with definitions and pictures to help you better understand the parts that make up your authentic steel boned corset.

CS-511 Overbust Corset in Royal Blue

Busk (Split Busk): Refers to the front center opening of the corset. It is comprised of two long flat steel bones.

Spiral Steel Bones: Boning that moves in all directions to allow the corset wearer to move and twist. Spiral boning is found around the sides and over the bustline in most corsets.

Flat Steel Bones: Boning that moves in just two directions, usually found in the front split busk and at the back lace closure of the corset.

Shell Fabric (Exterior): This is the stunning (but strong) layer of fabric you see on the outside of the corset. Our corsets are generally crafted with high strength, high shine satin, high strength polyester or poly brocade fabric or premium lambskin leather.

Grommets: The round metal holes the laces glide through at the back of the corset. At Orchard Corset, our grommets are set between two flat steel bones.

Modesty Panel: Also called a lacing guard, this flap of material is usually 5-7 inches wide and attached to the back of corset. The modesty panel is usually fashioned from the same material as the corset and not only protects the wearer from lace burn, but creates a cleaner look as it covers the gap between the lacing bones for a seamless look. Some corsets (like most of ours) also include a small 1/4 inch modesty panel at the split front busk.

Channels (Bone Casing): An extra strip of material sewn into the corset to create a pocket, or channel, to hold the steel bones in place. This not only keeps the bones from moving around, but reinforces the fabric for a more durable and long-wearing corset.

Strength Layer (Lining): This is layer of cotton or other strong fabric to provide strength and durability to the corset. This can also be the lining of the corset (as it is with our corsets) or a middle layer between the exterior fabric and fashion liner.

Waist Tape: A layer of material to provide additional strength and support at the waist of a corset, as there is more pull and strain on this section of the corset wear the corset is cinched with the pull loops. The waist tape can be seen between the layers of the corset, or exposed on the inside.

Pins (Nobs): The steel “buttons” along the one side of the front busk that are inserted into the loops (hooks) on the other side of the split busk to fasten the corset.

Loops (Hooks): The steel attachments on one side of the front busk designed to hold the pins (nobs) on the opposing side of the split busk to fasten the corset.

Boning: In early corsets, the rigid structure was achieved  with actual boning, usually from whales. Modern corsets, like those at Orchard Corset, are constructed with spring steel bones, both spiral and flat. Be aware that lesser, flimsier fashion corsets are often made from plastic boning.

Well, there you have it! We hope this has been helpful as you embark on your corseting journey. Shop OrchardCorset.com for the highest quality, service and value you will find anywhere.

You may also like

Corset Q&A Episode 84: Can I Wear a Corset with My Belly Button Piercing?
Corset Q& A Episode 92: Is it normal to have pain while corseting?
Corset Q& A Episode 90: Why would you wear a corset upside down?
Corset Q & A Episode 91: Does Orchard Corset make corsets for men?

12 Responses

  1. Layla

    I was curious about the term hip springs. Is it just how big your hips are compared to your natural waist? Would it be affected by how much smaller you want your waist to be from corset training? And do hip springs relate to natural curve?
    I measured my waist as 31 and my upper hips as 36, I’m pretty squishy and can easily pull the tap measure to 28. I’d like to start corset training and get down to 28 or maybe even 26. I’ve been looking at the 411 and the 426, and they talk about how much natural curve you have in the descriptions and how extreme of a curve they produce. I definitely wouldn’t describe my figure as athletic but I’m not sure how curvy I would be considered in corset world haha

    1. Hi Layla! Hip spring usually refers to the corset’s hip measurement compared to the waist measurement. Something with a wide hip spring would have a very defined hip measurement and much smaller waist by comparison. Something with a narrow hip spring would be cut more for someone with an athletic or slender build. Your natural hip spring is important for sizing though; you have a moderate waist to hip ratio in my opinion. I think that the 411 or the 345 would work well for you in a size 26. I hope that helps! If you have any other questions feel free to ask 🙂

  2. Pingback : Orchard Corset Blog » Corset Q & A Episode 47: Corset Terminology

  3. Pingback : How to Break In Your New Corset | Orchard Corset Blog

  4. Anonymous

    I just ordered a corset in the wrong size and I would really like to cancel!!!! I can’t find a cancellation policy anywhere and the order hasn’t shipped yet. I’ve tried calling but it’s Sunday and the company is not in business. Please can someone tell me how to cancel my order??
    If it helps, it is Order #152557

We love to hear from you!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: