Like the brassiere, the corset has enjoyed a rich history and has endured much change, although over a different span of time (Carnival's wholesale corsets and bras were established in the post-war year of 1947 and has since expanded worldwide. The Carnival wholesale corsets line has always been a leader in the industry). As a foundation garment, the corset is worn to mold and shape the torso. Corsets can be overbust or underbust lingerie and may include garters for stockings.
Once constructed of torturous laces and constricting slots of supports, called busks, the corset has been radically revised over a very long time, as seen through Carnivals wholesale corsets line from the 40's till today. Originally both men and women wore corsets for aesthetic and medical purposes to compress waistlines, support weak muscles and straighten backs. Early corsets laced in the back and required another person to rigorously draw the wearer’s form into the desired constriction.
Busks in these garments were rigid strips inserted for stiffening support and used from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Busks were made of metal, whalebone, quills or wood. Depending on the historical mores, corsets could be tubular and shape obscuring or accentuating and alluring.
The 18th Century was the height of corset popularity. However, usage waned and corsets fell from fashion by the 1920’s, almost completely replaced by elastic girdles. There was a brief revival of corsets in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s in the form of a waist cincher, often called a “waspie”, worn to achieve an hour-glass figure. Coutil became the fabric of choice for comfort and durability; it is a cloth of cotton and/or rayon in herringbone weave. Today’s corsets are flexible, stylish and beautiful, thanks to ultimate choice in material and design comfort, lending nostalgic tradition to modern lingerie.
Carnival has always been a leader providing wholesale corsets to major department stores as well as mom & pop shops.