Steel Boning 101: FAQs!

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Steel Boning 101


We receive a lot of questions about steel boning. So, we've decided to create a one-stop-shop where all of your questions can be easily answered!

Welcome to Steel Boning 101, where we'll cover what steel boning is, the incredible benefits of this construction, and some of our most frequently asked questions surrounding the topic! 

What Is Steel Boning?

Steel Boning 101

Image Credit: Kinky Miss Lingerie

Corsetry construction has undergone a lot of transformations over the centuries, largely influenced by the desired function of the corset during each time period.

From wood, ivory, and whalebone, to finally the introduction of steel boning in the mid-19th century, the purpose and focus of the corset function changed immensely.

Starting as a wearable, rigid cage used to reform shape, the function of corsets evolved in the early 1900s to become more of a fashion statement, supporting comfort and wearability.

The steel boning that was initially introduced on the market was known as "flat steel boning". This type of steel boning was thick, flat, and rounded at the edges, only bending slightly in one direction. 

As corsetry evolved, "spiral steel boning" was introduced. Spiral steel boning is also flat but consists of coiled steel.

This allowed for more flexibility and movement in all directions, bringing the corset closest to what we know it today.

For a deeper dive into the differences between flat steel and spiral steel boning, check out our in-depth compare and contrast here!

Now that you have a bit of background regarding how steel boning came to be, let's dive into some of the questions we get asked the most and clear them right up!

"What kind of steel boning is in Atomic Jane Corsets?"

All of our Atomic Jane steel boned corsets are made of 100% spiral steel bones. The exception to this rule is the corsets we carry in our Premium line found in our Extra Curvy collection.

These corsets are constructed of both types of steel boning, the flat steel bones for maximum support with spiral steel bones throughout the rest of the bodice. 

The construction details and number of flat steel bones used will always be outlined in the description of the corset on the product purchase page!

"What is the difference in quality between the types of steel boning?"

When strictly talking quality, there is no difference between spiral steel boning and flat steel boning! The only difference here is the intended usage and result. 

The flat steel boning is more rigid, used strictly for reshaping and support, with little emphasis on comfort, whereas spiral steel boning allows a lot of movement and flexibility. 

The more expensive corsets are constructed using a combination of the two types of steel bones.

"What is the difference in price between the types of steel boning?"

Because flat steel boning is heavier, it does cost more than the spiral steel boning which is lighter and more flexible.

"How do I care for my steel boned corset"?

On each purchase page, you'll either be instructed to "Dry Clean Only" or "Hand Wash Only," depending on the delicacy of the material. 

Dry Clean Only: Because corsets require a special kind care, be selective when picking a dry cleaner! Try to go with a place with experience in costumes, bridal wear, etc., that is sure to understand how to properly and gently care for your corset. And don't be afraid to ask them if they have dry cleaned corsets before. If not, find out how they plan to clean it based on the material and boning.

Hand Wash Only: Wonderfully detailed instructions for washing your corset can be found on StayLace, but to sum it up, the best practice is to rinse in warm water with a non-biological detergent followed by a gentle rinse in cool water, then to roll it up in a towel and blot it dry. The key word here is gentle, gentle, gentle, so as to do everything necessary to extend the lifespan of your corset!

"Will my steel boned corset rust"?

You really want to wash your corset as little as possible.  Even though all modern-day steel boned corsets are coated for rust protection, it's best to submerge it in water as little as necessary.

We hope this little round-up of steel boning basics and frequently asked questions has been of great help in expanding your knowledge in the world of corsets!

We love being able to connect you with so many beautiful corsets on a daily basis, and helping you to improve your knowledge of understanding and caring for these beautiful pieces makes us very happy!

Be sure to hop on over to our Atomic Jane Corsets and do some exploration of the different types of steel boned corsets we have to offer!

Once again, here is a link to our deeper analysis of the differences between spiral steel boning and flat steel boning to refresh your memory and get you thinking about the perfect corset for you!

As always, please feel free to contact us at with any further questions or comments you might have, regarding this topic or otherwise. We would love to hear from you and even greater expand our FAQs list with anything else you've been wondering!

Until next time, happy shopping Atomic Fans!

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