Albert Corsets, for elegance, tight lacing and waist training.
(Click thumbnails for full-sized)
edition of Albert’s Avenue is about Annalai’s
Annalai’s Experiences: 10,000 Hours in the Leather Corset!
How did both Annalai (Lady Annalai) AND the black corset survive since 10 December 2003, the day that Annalai put it on? First about Annalai: She has worn her black leather corset for 450 days now; summer and winter, day and night. Taking into account showering-time, she has worn the corset for just over 10,000 hours! She wears the shoulder straps all the time, because they cannot be removed.
When the corset is fully closed, a waist of 45.8 cm (18 inches) can be obtained, but when lacing herself alone it is difficult for Annalai to close it completely; she cannot get her fingers in between the laces too well. So she wears the corset almost always at 46.5 cm (18.25 inches).
The unlacing must be done in two or three steps; otherwise the transition to the non-compressed body is too sudden. Usually some three quarters after unlacing, Annalai must pause two times to decrease the pressure gradually. Likewise, when lacing, she pauses before fully lacing-in.
Of course, Annalai is completely used to wearing the corset. She feels good and healthy—she has not had any problems with her stomach, such as heartburn, for example. It gives her strong support, and she prefers to be ‘in’ the corset rather than ‘out.' Without the corset she does not dare to bend over or kneel down.
Above the waist, the corset has an almost perfectly conical shape, which we find beautiful. But, as a consequence, it compresses the ribcage quite a bit. Therefore, breathing is limited, and Annalai must breathe with her upper chest (thoracically). You clearly see the chest going up and down above the corset, just like a tightly corseted lady’s from the days of old. Another adaptation: it is better to eat small amounts five times a day, rather than the usual three. Sneezing or coughing in the corset is not pleasant, but now to do so uncorseted is worse!
Annalai said that the stiffness of the corset makes her think of it as a cage of steel and leather. It is so stiff that she cannot bend at the waist in any direction at all. Also, the corset drastically restricts some specific movements. For example: it is difficult to put on stockings, socks, and shoes—shoes with laces she avoids. Also, ‘sitting on a very soft sofa is uncomfortable’. She prefers a hard surface. The main reason she definitely wants a stiff corset with a stiff front is that she does not want the corset to bend inwards into the stomach, as occurs when sitting down in a soft corset.
In several YAHOO corset groups many details are discussed about corsets and corset wearing. There, Annalai often tells of her experiences and gives advice.
And How is the Leather Corset Doing?
After 10,000 hours of doing the pleasant work of molding this lady into the desired shape, the corset is NOT yet in bad shape. The stays are perfectly snug in their pockets; the pieces holding the grommets and the grommets themselves are all fine. The laces never broke, but after a year of intensive use they have gotten thinner and longer. At some four or five places the thread has worn out at the surface of the corset, so some stitching will be renewed. Furthermore, on the inside, the lining needs some refurbishment. During that refurbishing the corset itself will be made some 1.3 cm (½ inch) smaller.
Often it has been stated that leather yields and would not be a good material for corsets. Well, this corset has hardly yielded, for three reasons: the lining covering the stays, the nylon waistband, and a careful selection of the leather on the basis of several criteria. Only the stitches have stretched slightly, causing the corset to become wider by a few millimeters (a maximum of ¼ inch).
Annalai’s New Corset
I have made a new corset for Annalai from a piece of cream-colored leather. That piece looked good and felt good, though it seemed to be a bit too stiff to use. But we liked the color in combination with red stitches, and Annalai wanted her next corset to be a bit stiffer than the black one (which is already very stiff!). Also, she wanted a new corset that would be a bit lower in the front and a bit higher in the back. So I started to see where it all would end.
The combination of this leather and the stays is extremely stiff. In front it has three stiff spring steel stays, each 15 mm (slightly more than ½ inch) wide and 1.5 mm (1/16 inch) thick. Each stay on its own can hardly be bent by hand! As in the black corset, there are four small metal plates in the front. Because the leather pieces can’t be stretched at all, they had to be cut very accurately. The lining of the corset is thin leather. Altogether, the corset is 3 mm thick wherever there are no stays. The inside waist size is some 21 mm (7/8 inches) smaller than the waist size over the corset. (Here’s the math: 2 x Pi (3.14) x 3 mm = 19 mm + a bit = 21.) We always quote the waist size OVER the corset.
Annalai has worn the new corset for some days and has also slept in it at a size of some 47 cm. She has worn it a few times for a few hours at 45.5 cm for dinner and overnight. But it was difficult to get used to. Therefore, I took a closer look at it and found that the stays could be bent to follow the curves of the corset over the body a bit more precisely, and also to give more rib space. Annalai will try the corset again soon.
Ultimately Annalai may achieve a waist size of 44.5 cm (17½ inches)—OVER the corset!—but that will take time. For the time being the corset will stay open by 1 or 2 cm.
The pictures speak for themselves. In all pictures the waist is 45 or 45.5 cm (a bit less than 18 inches) over the corset; nowhere it is more! Enjoy.
Oh, by the way, Annalai would like to model antique corset and dresses for museums, exhibitions, or photo sessions. She is 1.51 m (5 feet) tall.
On a regular basis, I receive messages as a result of this Avenue. I would like to thank all who wrote. I apologize that I only make corsets as a hobby, for friends whom I can meet, so that I can do measurements myself and can see the result of my work worn.
You may address questions to Annalai (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com).
And … I would like to thank Thomas Lierse again for hosting this Avenue and for his continuous effort for the Corset Community worldwide. Thank you Tom!
- Albert, 3 April 2005