At the March meeting of the Snitterfield WI, our President Judith Walker welcomed members including three visitors. After several notices and various business matters, she introduced our speaker for the evening, Rod Quilter. The title of his talk was "Remarkable Restraints - the history of corsetry."
Rod is a trustee of the Costume Society, which deals in the history of costume. He is a retired broker whose interest in fashion history grew from chance contacts with museums and as a volunteer on the Symington collection of historical fashion items. His interest is in British and European fashion from the 19th Century to the present day - especially corsetry.
He brought along about 60 items ranging in age from the late 18th Century to the present day. The earliest ones were awesome things full of whalebones and lacings. The fabric of these were mostly heavy cotton and the boning was not only whalebone but also steel and wire.They also held the suspenders for holding up stockings and these were also heavy with metal fastenings which tended to rust!. Some of the later ones of this era were enhanced with lace and satin panels. At this time ladies did not wear bras. In the twenties and thirties corsets became smaller but were still stiffened with boning. At this time a garment was produced for flattening the bosom because this was a time when skirts were shortened and hair was cut short to produce the "Flapper" look. During the fifties and sixties "rollons" took over from corsets. These were made from strong elastic and one simply stepped in to them and rolled them into position. Bras came in many different fabrics and colours. Today, apparently, ladies are still able to order the more substantial type of support or there are the more flimsy garments that the modern lady prefers. Rod travels the country and abroad adding to his fascinating collection.

The next meeting is Wednesday April 13th . The speaker Marie-Clare Hoare will talk about "The funny side of the law". Visitors are always welcome. Contact Judith 731996 or Sylvia 73127