Women's stays, 18th century

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Date:1750 - 1799 (c.)

Description:A pair of women's stays from the second half of the 18th century. Stays were the predecesser to the corset and were worn as a supporting undergarment. This pair has a linen lining with a silk front decorated with a floral design. They were worn over a cotton chemise and under the dress or gown. Whalebone was used to stiffen the stays which were laced up both at the front and the back.
During the eighteenth century staymakers were usually men, due to the physical strength needed to stitch the whalebone in place.

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Donor ref:waistcoat.tif (37/13914)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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