c.1740-1760 stays made from natural homespun linen. Stays of the 18th century were conical in shape and gave the wearer a pinched in waist and
a full, pushed up bustline. They were very stiff being heavily boned with whalebone or cane
and many women complained of bruising under the arms and at the waist
from the sheer
rigidity of the stays.
Boned with 120 pieces of baleen boning which were inserted into hand sewn one quarter inch
channels. The characteristic white leather binding held the baleen bones in place while
protecting the wearer should one poke through the linen. Leather also reinforced the 8
pair of eyelet holes from the tension of the laces. The center 6 eyelet pairs are offset,
allowing the stays to be laced up the back in a single lace, spiral fashion.
The tabs at the bottom of the stays would have adjusted to the shape of the hips and
allowed for movement while the rest of the upper body was firmly corsetted.
Measurements: Bust 33", Waist 26", Front length 12 1/2", Back length 14 3/4".
From the collection of K. Augusta