STAYS & BUSK 17th Century
Info from the V&A Museum:
Front lacing stays and busk of pink watered silk, lined with linen and fully boned. All the outside edges of the stays are bound with pink silk grosgrain ribbon. The sleeves are made separately and laced into the armholes with pink silk ribbons and points of tinned iron. There is a band of back-stitched embroidery at the neckline and armholes and a line of couched thread at the waist. The separate busk is boned vertically and horizontally, at the top, and completely bound with pink silk grosgrain ribbon.
[Stays] These front lacing pink silk stays have a high back cutting across the top of the shoulders, with a decolletage and a long pointed waist in front. Below the waist there are 11 boned tabs with silk gussets between them. The stays consist of three shaped pieces on each front, two side back pieces and two centre back pieces. The shoulder straps, each with an eyelet, extend from the back and attach with a ribbon through an eyelet on the front. The sleeves are wide and cut straight, extending to below the elbow. They attach to the corset with three ribbons each through thread eyelets. Four ribbons decorate the centre back tab. The stays are backed with linen and stitched with pink silk thread to make compartments of 4 to 5 mm width for the whalebone. Above the boning at the front, the fabric is reinforced with decorative stitching. The seams are reinforced with cross stitch and covered on the right side with pink silk grosgrain ribbon. The upper and lower edges of the stays are edged with pink silk grosgrain ribbon, as is the armhole. At the lower edge, there is a pink and green silk grosgrain ribbon underneath the pink one. The sleeves are lined with pink silk taffeta. The thread eyelets are made with buttonhole stitch. The ribbons are made of pink silk taffeta and retain their original tinned iron points.
[Busk] The pink silk busk is in the form of a curved ‘T’, edged with pink ribbon. It is made of pink watered silk backed with linen and stitched with pink silk thread into 40 compartments for the whalebone, running vertically. The centre bone is 8mm wide with two of 7mm either side, alternating with strips of 4 mm wide. The lengthwise boning ends 3.5 cm from the top edge, which area is filled with 7 horizontal compartments of whaleboning. The busk is edged with pink silk grosgrain ribbon.
Given by Miss C. E. Gallini