Annie the Pedlar said:
think the pinnicle must be deciding to stiffen a bodice with cardboard (like one of Eleanor of Toledo's) and then arguing over the kind of cardboard to use (I vote for layers of paper glued together with starch like the playing cards were but I wait with bated breath for Greg 23b to jump in an contractict me.) I'm not on this step yet as at the moment it seems plain daft ...but give me a couple of months......
I've been using reed/split cane for my effigy corsets and it is absolutely fantastic! Moulds perfectly to the body and is extremely comfortable. Any future Elizabethan (or 18th century corsets) will be made with cane.
I have also made a working class underkirtle/red petticoat with buckram in it. I had minimal boning - just down the eyelets/lacing strip and two diagonal ones but those only went in because I had to cut the buckram away at the side fronts to enable me to BEND at the waist! Again, very comfortable. I can easily have done without the boning along the lacing strip. The rose wool side laced gown on top is stiffened with merely two layers (in the front) of stiffened muslin with one layer at the back. No boning at all though I have a pocket for a wooden busk. However, I can go without it and frequently do.
I have also used the heavier weight buckram on my sister Nicky's (http://www.gemmeus.com
) side laced bodice. No boning in that whatsoever. Also, it was orginally designed to be worn over her boned underkirtle but she has dispensed with that as the buckram works perfectly for her all on its own!
Far better than the tent canvas I used to use way back in 1993 with my first gown!