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An introduction to corsets
The word corset usually brings about visions of delicate Victorian maidens who faint with great decorum at the drop of a hat, and their tough-yet-well-meaning maids ready to tighten their laces as necessary. Lucky for you, wearing a corset doesn’t mean you need to stock up on those smelling salts.
A corset is a shaping garment, it should show off your curves, smooth out the little bumps and lumps we all have, and encourage good posture. Morúa’s philosophy is that a corset should be a supportive, enhancing garment, not an uncomfortable piece of armor.
I like to compare a corset to a mattress. It is all about personal preference. Some people like soft, feathery mattress, others prefer hard, less yielding ones. The same is true of corset wearers. Some people want gentle support, with little or no waist reduction. Others really enjoy the tight-lacing aspect of corsetry and through gradual training and strong corsets achieve very dramatic corseted waists. Most prefer something in the middle.
Why made to measure?
Fit and comfort are the most important things in a corset. You should feel tall and feminine rather than fragile and uncomfortable while wearing a corset. A corset will feel supportive and maybe restrictive compared to modern clothes but it should never be uncomfortable or painful. If it is, chances are that it is not properly fitted or that it is does not offer the correct type of support for you.
Because a corset sits so close to your body and has the the potential to shape it should match your measurements exactly. If the bust is too small or the waist too long then a close fit, rubbing and restriction will feel awkward and possibly even painful. This is why I draft a personal pattern for each individual client.
A perfectly fitted corset will mold your natural shape, cinch your waist, smooth your curves and make you feel good.
Why steel boning?
Steel boning is ideal for corsets because it is strong, durable, and flexible.
There are two types of steel boning commonly used in corsetry. The first is a stiff coated spring steel strip and the other is a coiled spiral wire that has a lot of flexibility. Each type has its applications and devotees.
Plastic boning is often used in strapless garments and corset inspired tops. It is not strong enough to hold the fabric taught, and is susceptible to bending, breaking and poking. Add to that the fact that plastic deteriorates and breaks down over time and it is just not a suitable building block for a quality garment.
What’s the best shape for my first corset?
An hourglass corset that conforms to the form of the ribs and cinches your waist mostly from the sides.
What kind of fabrics are available?
Morúa uses a strong tightly woven twill cotton called coutil as the strength layer for all corsets. A single layer of coutil makes a wonderful lightweight and thin corset that can be worn easily as an undergarment. This is how many antique corsets were made.
For the outer fashion layer I use good quality woven fabrics.
Silk or synthetic Taffeta: Silk is a fiber while taffeta is a weave of different fibers. So taffeta can be made from either silk or synthetic fibres. Taffeta is a crisp smooth but delicate fabric that comes in a wide range of rich colors. It is perfect for wedding and special occasion corsets.
Silk Dupioni: Silk dupioni is a beautiful woven fabric made from silk fibers. It has natural ridges and bumps that give it its characteristic texture. It is especially stunning with two different colors of thread. There are dozens of colors available in this fabric.
Matt Satin: This is a heavy lush fabric. Made from synthetic fibers it can be durable and easy to clean but has great lustre and feel luxurious. Made from silk it has a rich depth of color and feels heavenly.
Cotton Sateen: This is a matte but very smooth and soft cotton. Really wonderful and practical for a frequently used corset.
I can also source a wide range of prints, brocades and other interesting fabrics including PVC and ethical leather. If you would like to provide your own fabric, please let me know and I will see if what you have is suitable for a corset.
About MorúaPerfectly fitted corsets, unique gowns, elegant hats and beautiful tailoring from couture designer Gerry Quinton.