Vena Cava Design

Historical Costuming Supplies

Reed

Reed
Reed Reed

Flat Oval reed for making authentic historical corsets and stays.

Closely approximates the flexibility and malleability of baleen, the keratinous feeders of whales that came to be called whalebone. Terrific for boning 17th, 18th and early 19th century stays.

Sold in Bundles weighing approximately 0.5kg

6mm wide approx.

Notes on Reed..

Our good friend Jane has been using reed for a long time and gives this advice, many thanks.

"Reed is a natural product and there will be variation. Storage will make a difference to how brittle it is. If it's stored too warm/dry, it will become more brittle. Stays will benefit from being worn, the transpiration from the body will help keep the reed supple. I don't store finished stays in airtight containers, they need to breathe.

Over the years I've tried different techniques to remove the storage curve I use my steam generator and lots of steam after making up. If I want it shaped, I put the stays on a mannequin while damp from steaming. I do make sure I have at least overnight to dry the stays before I package them for posting. I don't soak it , just trim it, shape it with and emery board and slide it into the channels. Sometimes I double it up.

I've also learned through wearing stays that breaking the reed doesn't have a big impact on the corset unless several adjacent reeds are broken. They still do their job. It may seem a fragile component next to steel but for fully boned and half boned stays, reed is lighter to wear, more comfortable and flexible and less likely to dig in and cause bruising.

Over the years I've learned that the boning helps the panels of the fabric stay the shape you want them to and it's the shape of the fabric that shapes the corset. The boning doesn't shape it just supports. so long as there are enough reeds the shape is unaffected."

Traditionally it was rubbed with beeswax to help keep the fibres together and make it easier to work with.





Our Price (inc VAT): £18.50

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