June 11, 2010

Period Corsets: What is a Toile?

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"Toile is the name of a fabric that entered the English language around the 16th century[1] from a French word meaning "linen cloth" or "canvas" — particularly cloth or canvas for painting on. The word toile in modern English has multiple meanings. 
Middle English toile, from French toile ("cloth"), from Old French teile, from Latin tela, ("web"), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)teg ("to cover") (see List of Proto-Indo-European roots in Wiktionary).
 Uses:  Test garment
A toile is a version of a garment made by a fashion designer or dressmaker to test a pattern. They are usually made in cheap material, as multiple toiles may be made in the process of perfecting a design. Toiles may be called "muslins" in the United States."
Sited :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toile

Making a Toile at Period Corsets®: pictured left is a prototype Kristina c. 1660 corset and  below, a custom corset for a client.

The toile is the start of the three-dimensional garment. The exciting first look of the pattern in fabric, the designer's dreams manifest themselves in cloth reality. It is essential in the costuming process.  For Period Corsets® we make toiles to ensures a custom garment fits the performer perfectly, and the designer reviews and adjusts the style lines as needed.  Once we've made our toile, we fit it, and then perfect the pattern.

We make multiple mockups (or toiles) of each corset we develop for our line--it’s part of our extensive research process. We distill the shape of the period to fit the modern body and encapsulate the style and silhouette of an era.

Keep an eye out on this blog for the toiles Period Corsets® will be working on in the summer months.


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