Welcome to the detailed tour of the corset factory in Portsmouth England from back in 2015, where we’ll see how Vollers Corsets makes their corsets.
A surprising number of tools and attachments used in this video were the same ones used 50 or even nearly 100 years ago, and it’s a bit like walking back in time, seeing how their workroom is optimized to make a simple underbust in as little as a couple of hours.
Don’t let that fool you though – each machine (and the machine’s operator) is specialized for a specific task, and many of their employees and members have been working with Vollers for decades. This means that they are highly skilled at what they do, and it also means they’ve seen how the family-owned brand has grown and changed – and how some parts have stayed the same!
While the various parts of this video were filmed out of order (and several different corsets were being assembled at once, so you may see the corset style change), I’ve tried to organize it here chronologically in order of how a corset would normally be assembled.
If you’d like to skip ahead to any specific part of the assembly process, use the time points below. Enjoy!
- 0:25 Antique corset patterns
- 1:25 Cutting the corset patterns
- 1:40 Corset busks of various lengths
- 1:45 Cording panels (sent to a processing house)
- 2:30 Organizing WIP (work in progress) corsets for different orders
- 3:30 Cutting spiral steel bones to length and adding on U-tips
- 4:50 Sewing on the boning channels (twin-needle machine)
- 5:45 Inserting the steel bones
- 6:00 Installing the busk (both sides)
- 7:30 Sewing on the binding (single pass using a binding attachment)
- 8:20 Securing the binding with a bar-tack
- 8:45 Modesty placket & modesty panel (back flap)
- 9:50 Inserting eyelets
- 11:00 Lacing up the finished corset
What parts did you like about the corset assembly process? What parts would you do differently? Leave a comment below!
And click here if you’d like to see the Vollers Corsets Interview, or click here to go to the Vollers website or their Etsy store!