Posted on 9 Comments

Comparing Different Mesh Corsets

Over the past little over a year, I reviewed a whopping nine different mesh corsets, and many of them had very different types of mesh (different fibers, weaves, stretchiness and quality), and not all mesh corsets are made equal! It can be a little different to tell them apart on video and confusing when there are so many different terms, so let’s go through the most popular types of mesh for corsets and discuss the pros and cons for each one.

Fishnet

Jolie longline corset in black mesh, by Glamorous Corset (from $74).
Jolie longline corset in black mesh, by Glamorous Corset.

Featured in my past reviews:

This is a very open type netting made with cotton or polyester – it looks a bit like string or yarn twisted or knotted together. It is very flexible, can be a bit stretchy, and usually has a hexagonal shape to it. (As we know from nature, hexagons maximize the area inside each hole while minimizing the materials used for each wall – so the fishnet can cover a large surface area while not using much fabric to do so.)

Pros: fishnet is probably the coolest and breeziest type of mesh, and it comes in many different colors – Mystic City used to sell these with red mesh, blue, orange, green, etc. Orchard Corset regularly keeps these stocked in black and tan (and sometimes white), with occasional limited colors like red, gold, and navy blue. This is the most ubiquitous type of mesh corset, so it’s easy to find.
Cons: this fabric has a lot of give and definitely stretches out over time. Because there’s technically only a few threads holding in each bit of the fishnet within the seams, it can rip over time.

(I don’t know whether you call it a pro or a con, but the net leaves temporary impressions in your skin so when you take off the corset it looks like you have lizard scales. It looks cool but can feel rather itchy.)

Madame Sher mesh ribbon-style cincher

A slightly more tight-knit version of fishnet is used in Brazil, and I noticed that their mesh corsets have smaller, square shaped holes instead of hexagonal – I feel that this might work better for corsets as it has a clear warp and weft to follow.

My Madame Sher mesh cincher is still holding up very well and I’ve worn it every summer for the past 4 years. It can still show a little damage over time, due to the nature of the fabric, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its longevity.


Corsetry mesh

Featured in my past reviews:

Galaxy Mesh hourglass standard length underbust corset. Available in my shop!

I believe that the newer stock of Mystic City corsets also use this mesh, and this is becoming probably the standard in many custom corsets.

Corsetry mesh is a synthetic fine woven net. It is fairly stiff and slightly reminiscent of the fly screens that you would see on windows and doors (except this is polyester/ nylon, and not aluminum or fiberglass which real window screens are made from).

Pros: corsetry mesh is smoother, stronger, and less likely to warp with wear. You can somewhat achieve a more conical rib with this type of fabric, but I’ve found that it still has relatively more give compared to more rigid, multi-layer cotton corsets.

Cons: this mesh is not as breathable as the holes are smaller (and it’s a synthetic fabric so it can feel plasticky). It can occasionally rip (usually if the seam allowances are not wide enough and it pulls from the stitching. Also, this type of mesh can be quite pokey. If any seam allowances do end up poking into the body, these threads can be snipped off with nail clippers and the rest pushed back under the fabric.

Tips for corset makers on reducing the “pokey” seams while using this type of mesh:

  • Some makers if they’re very particular, they might melt the seams with a small flame or a hotknife, but this can also risk warping the mesh from the heat.
  • Another simple way around this is by sewing the corset with the seam allowances on the outside of the corset (facing away from the body) and putting thick boning channels overtop so they won’t poke through.
  • Vanyanis uses a plush velvet ribbon on the inside to further protect from any pokiness, and she taught Timeless Trends this finishing technique as well when she styled their OTR mesh corsets.

Bobbinet

Featured in none of my previous corset reviews.

“Champagne” underbust made from custom dyed bobbinet, Crimson Rose Corsetry. Photo: WeNeal’s Photography

Bobbinet is almost exclusively used in custom corsets by specialist corsetieres, for very lightweight corsets and foundationwear under couture dresses. It’s been used by designers like Crikey Aphrodite, Morúa Designs, Sew Curvy Couture, Laurie Tavan, Karolina Laskowska, Crimson Rose Corsetry, Ivy Rose Designs, etc.

It’s made from cool and breathable cotton – it flows well over curves and is super lightweight. It has a lot of give, and as such it’s often used in a double layer for extra strength (and a bit more opacity if desired). Because it’s cotton, it can also be dyed – but it’s such a delicate fabric that I wouldn’t train in this. You’re not likely to see this used in OTR corsets.

Tips for corset makers: Ivy Rose Designs made a tutorial on working with bobbinet for Foundations Revealed. If you’re not an FR member and you would like to become one, please use my referral link (there’s no difference in price).


Aida cloth (or Java mesh)

Featured in none of my previous corset reviews.

Summer corset made from cotton Aida cloth (The Bad Button, courtesy of Foundations Revealed)

Aida cloth is less well known, not used in OTR, but some corsetieres have experimented with this for custom corsets, like The Bad Button and Bridges on the Body.

When you look at mesh corsets in the Victorian and Edwardian periods (e.g. their activewear corsets while playing tennis, or the corsets used by British women during the colonialization of India and other places of warmer climates), the mesh they used sometimes looked similar to this. Aida cloth is intended for cross stitching and comes in various weights and counts, so not all Aida cloth is made equal.

Pros: Aida cloth is cotton, so it’s a natural, breathable and cool fiber, and it can also be custom dyed.

Cons: Aida cloth can be difficult to source, and can also fray and shred.

Tips for corset makers: The Bad Button made a tutorial on working with Aida cloth on Foundations Revealed. If you’re not an FR member and you would like to become one, please use my referral link (there’s no difference in price).


Tulle

Featured in my past review: Contessa Gothique semi-mesh sweetheart underbust

Contesssa Gothique tulle semi-mesh corset

This is a beautiful lightweight fabric (think of the stiff tulle you’d find in crinolines / underskirts), but better suited as a semi-mesh corset with plenty of reinforcement. The tulle in this corset is limited to relatively straight panels (not super curvy ones), and the tulle is flanked on all sides – bones on either side (as well as the center of the panel), and even the binding at top and bottom is coutil to prevent stretch or warping.

The waist tape also takes the tension at the waistline, so the tulle is mainly just preventing the flesh from bubbling out of the “windows” but it’s not contributing to the actual reduction of the waist in a significant way.

Pros: it’s pretty, easily sourced, and comes in almost any color imaginable.

Cons: I think if it were forced to take more of the tension, it might risk tearing. The tulle makes for a lovely and delicate look – but I wouldn’t use this for everyday intense training.


Sports mesh

Featured in my past review: JL Corsets / Sultry Confinement “Christine” underbust

JL Corsets “Kingfisher” mesh corset, using 3 colours of sport mesh

This (I’ve been told) is also the type of mesh used by Restyle for their mesh CU underbust, and I think Mystic City has experimented with this in limited styles as well.

Sports mesh is also known as athletic mesh, tricot fabric, or (especially in the US) “football fabric”. This type of fabric is what’s often used in shoes and team jerseys, and also the non-stretch mesh pockets found in luggage and schoolbags, as well as non-stretch mesh laundry bags and gear sacks. It’s made from polyester and can come in a rainbow of colors.

While it may look similar to fishnet at first glance, it behaves very differently – it has little to no give or stretch, and the holes look more circular (or sometimes square), as if they were ‘punched’ out of the fabric (this is what gives it its tricot look) – however, if the holes were really punched out, this would weaken the fabric. Where fishnet looks like the ‘yarn’ is the same width everywhere, the sports mesh will have areas that look thicker and thinner – many of them have an almost ‘checkerboard’ appearance.

It’s a bit difficult to find the right type of sports mesh online, even when trying to use the correct terms and definitions, as fabric sellers on Ebay, Etsy and Alibaba will often use long strings of vaguely related words. If I can find a reliable source for this fabric in many colors, I’ll link it here, but I recommend going to a local fabric store and testing the stretch out for yourself – the right type of mesh should have little to no stretch, whereas fishnet is designed to stretch and give.

But the sports mesh costs only maybe $2 more per yard than the fishnet (therefore costs $1 more per underbust corset, depending on the size), and it comes in as many colors, for better quality and strength – so I would encourage more OTR corset manufacturers to test this fabric.

Pros: Imagine all the pros of fishnet without the cons. Sports mesh has bigger holes more on par with fishnet, so it’s more breathable than the corsetry mesh (which is a “plasticky” feeling fabric). It also doesn’t stretch out or warp as easily as fishnet. Sports mesh can come in a huge range of colors, as JL Corsets demonstrated with the corset to the right.

Cons: while sports mesh is stronger than fishnet, it’s not invincible – where there are holes, there is the risk of it catching on something and damaging the fabric. Also, while I actually prefer sports mesh compared to the fishnet, but I suppose because of the sports connotation some people might think it’s less cute than the fishnet.


Heavy Duty outdoor mesh

Featured in my past review: Contour Corset summer mesh underbust

Contour Corsets blue summer mesh underbust
Contour Corsets blue summer mesh underbust

This is a heavy duty mesh, similar to synthetic outdoor upholstery mesh. The only thing I can compare this to is the type of fabric you’d find on deck chairs or boat seats, but to this day I have not sourced the exact same fabric that Contour Corsets used to use.

Pros: this heavy duty mesh is the strongest type of mesh in this list, and comes in a rainbow of colors (in the video above I showed my gold corset, Strait-Laced Dame has a metallic silver and purple corset, and the one to the right shows the sky blue option).

Cons: this mesh is difficult to wear against the skin, absolutely requires a liner but I pretty much always wear a liner anyway. It takes a long time to form over curves, Fran said that the break-in process for one of her corsets lasted up to 100 hours of wear.


Powermesh

Featured in my past case study: Homemade Sport Powermesh “Corset”

Morgana Femme Couture cupped overbust corset-girdle with brocade and powermesh (from $510)
Morgana Femme Couture cupped overbust corset-girdle with brocade and powermesh

One of the corsetieres who made this famous for corsets and corset girdles is Sian Hoffman. Also Morgana Femme Couture makes an overbust option (shown right) and an underbust option as well.

This is specifically designed to have stretch and give, with mild compression – it has spandex in it. You’d find this more in Merry Widows and girdles as opposed to “real” corsets. However, it has its uses (especially those who love a strong cinch combined with maximum mobility).

The rough version of a powermesh corset I made for myself featured satin coutil front and back, boning channels and diamond waist tap – but never finished the binding on it (it means I can wear it under my clothes and it creates a surprisingly smooth line – and this mesh doesn’t really fray as it’s a knit).

Pros: it makes a very flexible and comfy corset, allowing you a lot of movement.

Cons: are that although it is still a single layer corset, because it’s a finely-woven synthetic material, it can get a little warm compared to the other types of mesh. This corset will definitely not give you a conical ribcage, as it stretches around every natural curve of your body. Also, the bones a not placed relatively close together, there is a risk of parts of the corset shrinking or rolling up in places (which is why it’s most often used in girdles, where the garter straps / suspenders keep it pulled down and smooth).

 

These are the most popular types of mesh and net used in corsets, but if you’d like to see even more examples of mesh, sheer, and summer corsets, (including some made from lace, organza, and horsehair), I have a whole gallery over on this permanent page! Do you know of other types of mesh that are used for corsets that I didn’t mention here or in the gallery? Comment below and let us know.

Posted on 2 Comments

Rebel Madness Waist Trainer Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Rebel Madness Black Waist Trainer Corset Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 12 inches long, princess seam is 10 inches (5 inches from the waist up, 5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 9.5 inches and the center back is 12 inches long.
Rib spring is 8″, lower hip spring is 10.5″ (different from the measurements on the website, which states a rib spring of 7″ and hip spring of 9″). Ribs are slightly conical, and the hips are cut up to stop just at the iliac crest.
Material 3 main layers – fashion fabric is a finer black twill, interlining is also lightweight cotton, and lining is a more coarse black twill (may be bull denim).
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 1-2 converge towards the lower tummy, panels 3-4 give space for the hips, and panels 4-5-6 give some space for the upper back. Panels were assembled with the welt seam method.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape, installed “invisibly” between the layers. It’s a full-width tape stretching from center front to center back.
Binding Commercially-sourced black cotton bias tape, machine stitched on both sides (probably on a single pass, possibly by using a special sewing machine attachment).
Modesty panel 6.25 inches wide, unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton twill. Not sewn into to the corset – it’s suspended on the laces using grommets.
There’s also a 1/2-inch-wide unstiffened black modesty placket in front, extending from the knob side of the busk.
Busk 10.5” long, with 5 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk, with an additional ¼” flat steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 16 bones total in this corset, 8 on each side. On each side, 5 of them are spirals about ¼ inch wide – single boned on the seams. One of the bones by the grommets is spiral steel (so the back is a but more flexible than usual when lacing up) but the bones at the center back seam, on the outer edge of the grommets, are flat steel. The bones adjacent to the busk are also flat steel.
Grommets There are 28, two-part size #0 grommets (14 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in black. They’re very nice quality (similar quality to Prym brand) and have rolled beautifully – definitely an improvement from the smaller silver grommets used in their old stock of corsets!
Laces The laces are black, ¼” wide nylon cord / shoelace. They are a bit springy / spongey, but they hold bows and knots well and they are definitely long enough.
Price Available in black cotton (reviewed here) and black satin. Sizes 18″ up to 34″ closed waist.
As of 2017, the price is $83 USD. Find it here on Etsy.

 

Rebel Madness black cotton short trainer, $95 USD. Model unknown. Picture courtesy of Awin / Etsy.

Final Thoughts:

Rebel Madness’ corsets tend to be more lightweight and flexible compared to many other corsets at a comparable price range – so although this corset is advertised as a waist trainer, if you are used to your OTR corsets being more on the thick or rigid side, do keep in mind that this will be more lightweight than you’re accustomed to.

The prices of Rebel Madness corsets are also extremely reasonable for an entry-level corset (I’ve noticed that corsets made in Poland tend to be lower in price in general), at $83 in their Etsy shop.

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Rebel Madness? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

Posted on Leave a comment

Rebel Madness “Ocean Lagoon” Mesh Underbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Rebel Madness “Boho” / “Ocean Lagoon” Mesh Corset Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 11 inches long, princess seam is 9.5 inches (4 inches from the waist up, 5.5 inches from the waist down), the side seam is 10 inches and the center back is 11 inches long.
Rib spring is 7″, lower hip spring is 14″. Ribs are slightly conical, but the mesh allows some flexibility in the ribs. I recommend this for someone with a high waist and full hips.
Material The mesh parts are single layer synthetic corsetry mesh. The front and back panels are 3 layers (fashion fabric is decorative lightweight cotton, another cotton interlining, and black twill lining).
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 2,3,4 and 5 all have some ease over the hip to create ample space over the hips. Panels were assembled with seam allowances facing outward (so as not to scratch the skin) and decorative lightweight cotton boning channels were laid down on the outside.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape made from grograin ribbon, stitched on the inside of the corset (obviously also visible on the outside due to the mesh). Seems to be full width (center front panel to center back).
Binding Commercially-sourced black cotton bias tape, machine stitched on both sides (probably on a single pass, possibly by using a special sewing machine attachment).
Modesty panel 6.25 inches wide, unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton twill. Not sewn into to the corset – it’s suspended on the laces using grommets.
There’s also a 1/2-inch-wide unstiffened modesty placket in front, extending from the knob side of the busk, also covered in the same fashion fabric.
Busk 10” long, with 4 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Standard flexible busk, with an additional ¼” flat steel bone adjacent to the busk on each side.
Boning 16 bones total in this corset, 8 on each side. On each side, 5 of them are spirals about ¼ inch wide – single boned on the seams. One of the bones by the grommets is spiral steel (so the back is a but more flexible than usual when lacing up) but the bones at the center back seam, on the outer edge of the grommets, are flat steel. The bones adjacent to the busk are also flat steel.
Grommets There are 20, two-part size #0 grommets (10 on each side). They have a medium flange and are spaced equidistantly, and finished in black. They’re very nice quality (similar to Prym brand) and have rolled beautifully – definitely an improvement from the smaller silver grommets used in their old stock of corsets!
Laces The laces are black, ¼” wide nylon cord / shoelace. They are a bit springy / spongey, but they hold bows and knots well and they are definitely long enough.
Price Available in the blue decorative fabric you see here, but also available in a more simple all black design. Sizes 18″ up to 28″ closed waist.
As of 2017, the price is $95 USD. Find it here on Etsy.

 

Final Thoughts:

Ocean Mesh mini underbust corset by Rebel Madness, model unknown. Image courtesy of Awin / Etsy. $95 USD.

This corset goes by several names, like “boho mesh”, “ocean mesh” or “lagoon mesh”. If you search any of those names on Etsy, you will find the listing – or you can find it here.

Because this corset is longer from the waist down than it is from the waist up, it would suit someone with a high waistline / deep pelvis, or it could conceivably be worn as an “active longline” corset (a term coined by Electra Designs, where the bottom edge of the corset covers the hips and lower abdomen, but the top leaves the ribs mostly free for expansion and movement). While I would still not recommend exercising or working out in any corset, this corset does leave my upper ribs more free for deep breathing, as I have a longer torso.

The mesh is a great quality, finely-woven synthetic corsetry mesh. Although we’ve been conditioned to think “natural fibers are superior” when it comes to corset strength fabrics (like cotton coutil) due to their breathability, the truth is that synthetic mesh fabrics tend to be stronger – and because they are a mesh, they are still lightweight and breathable. However, as always, I would recommend wearing this corset with a shirt or liner underneath to prevent chafing and to protect your corset from the sweat and oils from your body.

One concern I had was that the decorative blue fabric seemed a bit transparent (at certain angles, the edge of the spiral bones show through the channels) and I was worried that it would be too thin to keep the bones in place without eventually wearing a hole through the fabric after several months of use. Magda and Maciej (the Rebel Madness team) ensured me this would not happen, as they test all of their designs for at least 6 months before putting them on the market. So far I’ve not seen any damage or wear to this corset (but I have so many corsets that I don’t wear this one daily), so for now my worries are assuaged. However, I’m thinking about adding some decorative flossing on top and bottom of each boning channel in a delicate light blue or deep purple floss, which will add even more security against any future issues.

The prices of Rebel Madness corsets are also extremely reasonable for an entry-level corset (I’ve noticed that corsets made in Poland tend to be lower in price in general), at $95 in their Etsy shop.

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Rebel Madness? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!

Posted on 1 Comment

Rebel Madness Gothic Sweetheart Overbust Corset Review

This entry is a summary of the review video “Rebel Madness Overbust Review”. If you would like more complete information and side notes about the corset, you can watch the video on YouTube here:

 

Fit, length Center front is 17 inches long, princess seam is 18.5 inches (12 inches from the waist up to the top of the bust), the side seam is 13.5 inches and the center back is 16 inches long.
Full bust spring is 10″, hip spring is 10″ as well. Gives a lovely hourglass silhouette.
Material The fashion fabric and lining are both made from 100% black cotton twill.
Construction 6-panel pattern (12 panels total). Panels 1-2 give space for the bustline, and panels 3-4 creates the curve over the hips. Assembled using the welt-seam method.
Waist tape One-inch-wide waist tape, “invisibly” installed, sandwiched between the layers. Starts between seams 1-2, and extends to the center back.
Binding Commercially-sourced black cotton bias tape, machine stitched on both sides (probably on a single pass, possibly by using a special sewing machine attachment).
Modesty panel Unstiffened, made from 2 layers of black cotton twill, 6 inches wide. Not attached to the corset – it’s suspended on the laces using grommets.
There’s also a 1-inch-wide unstiffened modesty placket in front, extending from the knob side of the busk.
Busk 16” long, with 7 loops and pins, equidistantly spaced. Heavy duty busk (1″ wide on each side), and although it is stiffer than a standard busk, due to its length it may seem to flex relatively more.
Boning 14 bones total in this corset, 7 on each side. On each side, 5 of them are spirals about ¼ inch wide – single boned on the seams. There are also two flat steel bones, both ¼ inch wide sandwiching the grommets on each side.
Grommets There are 36, two-part size #00 grommets (18 on each side), because the corset has such a long back. They have a medium flange and are spaced equidistantly a bit less than 1” apart. Most of the grommets are finished in silver. All are holding in fine, some of the grommets have splits in the back which catch the laces (please note that this is an old stock corset; they have switched to new grommets in 2017 which are much better quality).
Laces The laces are black, ¼” wide nylon cord / shoelace. They are a bit springy / spongey, but they hold bows and knots well and they are definitely long enough, even with the very high back.
Price Available in black cotton (reviewed here) and black satin. Sizes 18″ up to 30″ closed waist.
As of 2017, their prices have raised to $90 USD. Find it here on Etsy.

 

Final Thoughts:

La Esmeralda modeling the Sweetheart overbust by Rebel Madness. $90 USD, Etsy.

I’d recommend this corset for someone with a longer torso, and a low waist. As I have both, I’m extremely happy with the fact that it covers my bust fully and I feel very secure that I’m not going to “booble” out of this, even if I were upside down. (Why would I ever be upside down?)

I like the sweeping curve of the top edge, where it comes down on the sides to allow me to lower my shoulders and arms without the corset cutting into my armpit. Many corset makers keep the line of the corset high around the side of the corset, to control “side-boob” or to try to deal with armpit squidge. But this often doesn’t allow the wearer to naturally lower their shoulders – and in my case, with my already developed trapezius muscles, I end up looking like a linebacker and my neck disappears! But in this corset, the low side allows my shoulders to drop naturally, creating a more elegant posture and reducing shoulder strain – while also accentuating the sweetheart effect in the front. The top edge of the corset sweeps back up in the back to control “muffin top” as well.

That said, if you have a shorter torso, you might be more comfortable in a shorter style corset, because it is 18.5 inches in the princess seam, and may still hit your lap when you sit down if you have a shorter waist.

The prices of Rebel Madness corsets are also extremely reasonable for an entry-level corset (I’ve noticed that corsets made in Poland tend to be lower in price in general). While this overbust was $80 a couple of years ago, as of 2017 prices have raised to $90 in their Etsy shop (but I also know that they’ve been working to improve quality as well, such as more sturdy grommets) which is still inexpensive as far as overbusts go.

If there is only one thing I had to complain about, it’s that I wish these corsets were made available in sizes larger than 30″! The length and cut of this overbust corset is so flattering, I know of a few plus size women who would love to have this available in their size.

Do you have this corset, or another corset from Rebel Madness? What do you think of it? Leave a comment down below!