Record Number


Dated: C1880-1885

Child’s stay band from the Symington collection of corsetry.  Constructed from red sateen with hessian interlining and cotton twill lining. The stay band has an adjustable wraparound strap and fastens using hooks and eyes. The front and back of the garment are corded for support as well as providing additional warmth for the infants body.

Stay bands would have been worn by both sexes from babyhood through early development. They were flat panels of cloth that wrapped around the body and fastened with straps that passed through slots at the front. They were typically made from cotton and interlined with hessian and corded or quilted at the front and back. Whilst there was no shaping or restriction to the stay band, the garment supported the body and believed  to prevent deformity of the spine.  Children wore stay bands until around the age of eight when boys were breeched and girls would begin to wear specifically designed corsets. Almost all children’s corsets had adjustable features to allow for growth of the body.


Front view shows vertical cording either side of the centre


Opened stay band shows further sections of cording around the garment in vertical strips



One comment

  1. I’ve seen and felt at least 2 of these baby binders and they certainly quite firm and stiff, as you say not bones, but well corded. You say that they were not tight on babies, but I think they were quite firm, probably a lot firmer than we would accept today. Child care books in the 19 the century advised against tight binders (although the use of binders was not questioned!), so some poor babies suffered more than others?
    I have a theory about these binders, please tell me what you think about it. Doctors in the 19 century complained that women were “addicted to their corsets” and would not give them up despite warnings of health. If a woman had worn something restricting and stiff all her life she would have accepted this restriction as normal and would have felt odd without it.
    What do you think?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s