Sunday, August 21, 2011


I've found lots of people writing about their reed-boned corsets, but no one really outlined the method they used, other than "I put reeds in it."

I wanted a bit more info than that; like how to prepare the reeds, and all, but had no success. So I did what felt right to me. If that's the information you're searching for, here's what I did -- and you can look to future posts to detail how well (or not) it worked.

I used wire cutters from my garage to cut the reeds to about 18" lengths. I filled a bucket halfway with tepid water, and soaked the cut reeds in it for about ten minutes, just enough to get them evenly wetted. I swooshed them around with my hands a bit, then took them out of the water and shook them in the yard to get all the excess water off.

It was 85 degrees today, so the reeds were barely damp after a few minutes. I fluffed them up so the air could circulate through the pile while I used the beeswax on them.

My beeswax was just a 1x3" block I got at shipwreckbeads for $2.50. All-natural, of course, and it smelled wonderful! I held it in the palm of my hand and drew the reeds across it, pressing them against the block with my thumb. I wore a metal thimble on my thumb to protect from slivers. I found that I could do four reeds at a time, turning them to make sure that both sides got waxed.

In about half an hour, I had soaked and waxed enough reeds to do my entire corset. They were pliable but not wet when I slid them, five at a time, into the channels of my corset.

In theory, soaking the reeds keeps them malleable and prevents breakage while working them, and the beeswax helps hold a little moisture in the reeds to allow them to bend, but not snap, when the corset is worn. Apparently it's also a bit of a preservative.

I had no trouble at all working the reeds into the channels, and I'm very pleased with the result. Now to trim the reeds, stitch on the straps, and finish the right-hand eyelets, and it'll be done!

No comments:

Post a Comment