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Spiral Steel Boning vs. Flat Steel Boning: What's the Difference?

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Steel Boned Corsets

A question that we address frequently here at Atomic Jane, we thought it would be super beneficial for us to tackle this topic head-on and clear everything up once and for all!

"What's the difference between spiral steel boning and flat steel boning?"

There's been a common misconception that the quality of spiral steel boning is "inferior" or "flimsy" in comparison to flat steel boning, but we're here to tell you that this is just simply not the case!

Let's take a little journey through some history of steel boning as well as the pros and cons of each of these types, and put this confusion to rest!

 

A Brief History of Steel Boning

steel boned corsets

Although corsetry dates all the way back to the 16th century, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that steel boning was introduced, replacing the previously used materials including wood, ivory, and bone.

The type of steel boning that was introduced during this time was what we know as "flat steel boning". The best word to describe this type of boning is rigid, as it only bends in one direction. This type of boning didn't allow for much movement or flexibility, with the emphasis solely placed on the support and reshaping of the waist.

Flashing forward into the early 1900's, the purpose and function of the corset evolved to actually consider the comfort of the wearer, and during this time, spiral steel boning was born! Flexibility increased, movement became possible, and a new era of corsetry was ushered in.

 

Spiral Steel Boning vs. Flat Steel Boning: The Pros & Cons

spiral and flat steel boning

Image Credit: Kinky Miss Lingerie

Now that you have a better understanding of the evolution of steel boning, let's take a deeper dive into the differences between these two main types!

Spiral Steel Boning Pros

As pictured on the left in the photo above, spiral steel boning is in the form of a flattened coil, a design that allows for more fluid movement, able to move generously in any direction.

This design was revolutionary, allowing women to really move, and opening up greater opportunities for function and wear.

Herein lies the biggest pro of spiral steel boning: flexibility. Less constriction, more movement, and better fit are just some of the benefits arising from this flexibility, allowing the user to truly function while still being supported. 

Spiral Steel Boning Cons

The biggest pro of spiral steel boning is also it's biggest con (depending on your intended usage). If your focus is solely on rigid structure and reshaping, and less on comfort, the flexibility of the spiral steel boning may not be the choice for you.

Flat Steel Boning Pros

Flat steel boning, as pictured above on the right, takes the form of strong steel sheets, cut and rounded at the edges. These strips are durable but don't allow for much movement, bending only slightly in one direction.

The biggest pro of flat steel boning is its ability to really hold a strong support and form. The inflexibility is pretty unwavering, so it really has the strength to prop up and reshape the waist.

 Flat Steel Boning Cons 

Flat steel boning is not optimized for comfort and fit. The rigidness of the flat steel bones doesn't allow for any contouring of the body, a feature especially uncomfortable for anyone with curves.

The flat steel bones really hold their form, making most movements difficult and emulating the feeling of being caged.

Another flat steel boning con is the cost. Flat steel boning is heavier compared to its spiral steel boning counterpart, and therefore more pricey.

 

What Kind Of Corset Should I Buy?

With all of that being said, although it is the common perception that most corsets are filled with something that looks along the lines of flat steel boning, this is actually a misconception.

There are little to no entirely flat steel boned corsets on the market these days - most of them opting for either an entirely spiral steel boned structure or a combination of the two!

The entirely spiral steel boned corsets are the most comfortable option, perfect for anyone seeking durability with comfort for fashion as well as dancing, and performance.

The combination corset combines both worlds, holding the structure that the flat steel boning provides, but also incorporating the flexibility of the spiral steel bones.

These corsets will either have just the 4 flat bones in back, or they will have 4 flat steel bones in the back and in the front, giving the maximum amount of support, with the remainder being spiral steel bones.

In order to give you a little visual of how these may look, we've handpicked a couple of beautiful Atomic Jane corsets from our collection in order for you to get a better idea of each of these types of corset construction.

 

Spiral Steel Boned Corset

ATOMIC WHITE FLORAL EMBROIDERY STEEL BONED UNDERBUST CORSET

Pictured is our simple and beautiful Atomic White Floral Embroidery Steel Boned Underbust Corset! This corset is comprised entirely of spiral steel boning, offering solid support as well as maximum flexibility.

This corset's hook and eye front closure in the front ensures the perfect fit and it's comfortable lining and seamless design will have you never wanting to take it off!

This spiral steel boned corset sells for $59 in sizes XS-3XL. Click on the image for a closer look. 

Combination: Spiral and Flat Steel Boned Corset 

TOP DRAWER PREMIUM BLACK FAUX LEATHER STEEL BONED CORSET W/CLASPS

Take a look at our beautiful Top Drawer Premium Black Faux Leather Steel Boned Corset with Clasps! This beautiful piece is made of premium faux leather and is constructed of 8 spiral steel bones with 4 flat back bones and 4 flat front bones, allowing for sturdy structure as well as movement.

This combination corset sells for $165 in sizes S-6XL.  For a more detailed description, click on the image above to be taken to our product page! 

 

What's Next?

To sum things up, there is no difference in quality between spiral steel boning and flat steel boning. Both types of steel boning are high quality and strong, the only differences being the intended use and function.

With all of this new found knowledge, we hope we've given you some insight to help you in shopping for your next corset!

Although we displayed a couple of the corsets in our Atomic Jane collection above, click here to see all of the beautiful corsets we have in all different steel boned types!

You're believe you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for from our extensive collection. 

If you have any questions or comments about what you read above, or about anything in general, please feel free to reach out to us at support@atomicjaneclothing.com!

We always love to connect with you and hear from you.

Until next time, happy shopping Atomic Fans!

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