These corsets were known as Ersatz Austerity Corsets. Ersatz means substitue or imitation.
In its own right this corset is very beautiful. It is made of a strong paper based fabric that was developed in Germany before WWI due to scarceness of wool and cotton.,
During World War I woman were encouraged to be nationalistic minded consumers and not purchase foreign goods, particularly French goods. Indeed, corsets from Paris were described as` un-German and dangerous` they also suggested that French corsetry made German woman sick. It was unpatriotic to think of French fashion when one could be aiding the cause of war. J.Salen (2008)
West End Gazette November 1915 “...dresses and suits of paper have been sold in enormous quantities in Berlin, and they are warm and keep out the rain remarkably well.”
I bought two similar corsets. The other one had the following printed in ink on the inside. Photos available.
of parchment coloured loose weave paper twine, in two sections, the top with cotton hand made lace threaded with a narrow cotton ribbon, five steel clasps to the centre busk opening, eighteen steel eyelets to back (for lacings), four wide steel stays plus centre front and back, the other side similar but with five steel pins, the lower edge applied with cotton tape, the inside with cotton tape lace, a paper label with 10835 Taille 60. front length 16 in; 40 cm; approx bust 22 in; 56 cm
Excellent. The lacing is missing. Some of cotton ribbon has broken on both sections.
Corsets . Historical Patterns & Techniques by Jill Salem
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