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In the 18th century, women and girls wore stays or what are now called corsets. In addition to insuring that a young girl's back would be straight; corsets and stays provided support to the torso when carrying heavy things such as children, milk buckets, cast iron cooking pots, firewood, etc. They created the desired silhouette for the time period. Girls started wearing corsets when quite young. This woman's stays is covered with satin weave wool and are lined with blue and white check linen. They have stitched channels into which the boning (probably baleen) is inserted. The edges have been bound with white leather. They lace up the back in a zig zag pattern from bottom to top.


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Woman's Stays

date   1765-1775
process/materials   wool, linen
item type   Personal Items/Clothing - Underwear
accession #   #1880.015.01

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See Also...

Bangwell Putt rag doll

Child's stays

Boy's Suit

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