At Period Corsets® we love making corsets, petticoats and bustles out of silk. Not only is this fiber lovely to work with its natural properties make it easier to mold into a fine finished garment. For costuming it is a very versatile fabric; suitable for a leading lady's fine corset or a villager's rustic pair of bodies.
A bit of background about silk. Silk is produced from the cocoons of silkworms, soaked in hot water and unraveled to filaments up to a mile long. The filaments are woven or knit into fabrics including: Crepe de Chine: lightweight silk. Some fibers are twisted clockwise and others counter-clockwise, then the fabric is woven with a plain weave. The twisted fibers give crepe de chine its texture-- and both sides look the same.
Charmeuse: the back is flattened crepe. The front is a shiny satin weave. Charmeuse has more drape than other silks.
China silk: lightweight, sheer, with a plain weave. China silk is one of the most common and least expensive silks.
Douppioni: a plain weave fabric with slubbed ribs. It has a stiff hand, similar to taffeta.
Noil: made from the sort fibers remaining after the longer strands have been combed and carded. It has no sheen, resembles cotton, but is softer and drapes better.
Shantung: made from cultivated silk warp yarns with heavier douppioni filling yarns. It can be lustrous or dull, with a firm, crisp hand and was once made from tussah silk.
Tussah: often called shantung, made from the cocoons of wild tussah silk worms who eat oak and juniper leaves. Fibers are short and coarse. Tussah is difficult to dye and is often un-dyed, naturally cream/ tan.
-- sited from Kaufman-Davis Studio newsletter Winter Solstice 1998
Add to all this versatility: silks in taffetas, damasks, brocades and satins! So many beautiful corsets to make to showcase all those decadent fabrics. Here are a few examples of Period Corsets® in sumptuous silks.
|c. 1880's Alice corset in |
satin faced purple and red Shantung silk
|satin faced purple and red Shantung silk|
in orange and yellow shot dupioni silk
|Orange and yellow shot dupioni silk|
|c. 1880's Corsets and Bustles in silk brocades and striped silk taffetas |
for Santa Fe Opera, see more about making these.