As well as rigid boning, cording is an age old method for stiffening fabric to create structure in garments. It involves sandwiching a thin cord between two layers of fabric held in place inside closely stitched channels to create raised ridges in the surface of the fabric. This method was widely used in the nineteenth century for stiffening both corsets and petticoats. It also serves a double purpose by creating visual interest and was often used decoratively as well as practically especially on early Victorian corsets.
|Corded corset in the V&A Collections, 1825-1835|
I inserted the cording by stitching a single line through the outer shell and lining. I then placed the corded in position and pushed it as snugly against the stitching as I could with my thumbnail. Then, still using my nail to keep the cord in place, I sewed the other side of the channel as close the cord as as possible using the zipper foot on the machine. This worked like a dream and the corset now has beautifully corrugated sections.
|Sewing the cording into position|
|The completed back panels|