This busk front corset from 1890 is made of black lasting lined with white twill. The corset features flexible cording over the hips and an intricate boning system, involving over 40 cane strips and four steel supports down the back lacing. Machine-stitched feather embroidery decorates the top and bottom of the corset.
The cane boning allowed this decorative stitching to be achieved by machine, rather than being hand-stitched. The recent invention of a sewing machine which could produce embroidery stitches meant that a skilled worker could now safely pierce the cane strips without damaging the sewing machine needle. Workers at the Symington factory were charged a penny a needle for each one they broke.
Museum ref. B2