Step 2: Materials

Picture of Materials
Note: Some of this information is re-posted from my Steampunk Corset instructable. If you want
a long winded overview of the many materials options available for corset making I recommend
giving it a look over here.

PART 1: Fabric

Coutil Fabric ~ (1) Yard: This is the structural layer of your corset. If your corset
were a house this layer would be the foundation. It must be very strong and have
minimal elasticity. This is the most important component in a corset! Coutil and is
the only thing you should use for any corset you want to last more than a few hours.
If you insist on using another fabric, make sure it has the qualities I mentioned above
and a very tight (preferably herringbone) weave. Figure 2-1

Fashion Fabric ~ (1) Yard: This is the outer layer of the corset and exists for solely cosmetic
purposes. I selected a charcoal gray suiting material Figure 2-2.

Lining Fabric ~ (1) yard: The purpose of this layer is to make the corset looks nice on the inside
and to add a small degree of additional comfort. Any lining material will do so long as it is sturdy
and does not stretch. I used a sport lining that is supposed to transfer sweat to the surface
faster Figure 2-3.

PART 2: Bones (Figures 2-4 & 2-5)

I will be using combination of spring steel and spiral steel for my corset. You'll need to
measure your completed pattern to know what lengths to purchase. Bones come in pre-cut
and continuous lengths. If you buy continuous lengths you will need a bone cutting tool and a
way to tip the sharp edges.

Spring Steel (white steel): This should be used in the front and back of the corset, over the
abdomen and the spine respectively. Spring steel has only one degree of flexibility so it's
perfect for maintaining the vertical lines around the busk and lining up the grommets. Also,
since it can't flex to the sides, it will more evenly distribute pressure along its length than
other boning types. The absence of this quality would make the corset both uncomfortable
and quite possibly a health risk.

Spiral Steel: This should be used for all the bones between the spring steel ones above. Spiral
steel has two degrees of flexibility and can thus more elegantly and comfortably conform to
one's contours while maintaining the strength, elasticity and durability of spring steel.

PART 3: Closure (Figure 2-4)

I will be using a spring steel five hook busk. The busk is a steel hook and loop mechanism
placed at the front of the corset that permits the corset to be put on and taken off with relative
ease. I will be using a straight busk in this instructable (a.k.a standard busk).

PART 4: Thread (Figure 2-6)

Any thread will do so long as it is strong and feeds well through your sewing machine. For this
instructable I will be using Coats and Clark Dual Duty XP for the internal (hidden) stitches and
Gütermann Sew-All thread for the external (visible) ones.

PART 5: Grommets

I recommend size 00 (pronounced: double aught) two-piece grommets. I
required 46 black grommets for my corset.

Where do you get coutil?? I understood that the only factory making it in the US burned down some 5 years ago and now it's as rare as hen's teeth.
yelenas4 years ago
I would actually BUY one of these from you! It looks absolutely amazing!
TerriMcD4 years ago
I got coutil from www.tutu.com. Runs about $9.80 per yard. (under fabrics/lining) They also sell steel boning at good prices. A little old fashioned site, but service has been friendly.
danvilleman4 years ago
Now I want to see the "business environment appropriate" bikini.