So the metal samples may have reacted in unexpected ways *because* they were in the same sample bath. Different metals can cause others to corrode faster— and remove “rust” from your thoughts— all metals eventually corrode, including nickel. My mom worked with metals most of my life, and had me do a science fair project about the corrosion rates of different metals in different circumstances. This was over 20 years ago, so I don’t have the results, and while I didn’t use corsetry metals, I would expect similar testing to yield similar results.
My conditions were plain metal with no solutions applied, metals in separate baths of tap water, and metals in separate baths of salt water. The stainless sample in salt water had not begun to rust by the end of the experiment, which was somewhere between 2-4 weeks (again, it was a long time ago).
Remember that all metals corrode, but only iron-based products rust. Some metals corrode with white powdery stuff. Chrome corrodes as pock mark
Sorry... I ran out of characters! To truncate myself, different metals corrode in different ways and can cause each other to corrode at different rates. In my experience with steel boming on ice shows traveling the world, often in very humid circumstances, it should still take a pretty good while before stainless steel corrodes, if the garment is hung over a fan to dry it as quickly as possible. I’ve done less experimenting with nickel, but maybe I’ll test some grommets on their own.
Thank you so much for your comment. It's so informative.
Did the boning on the beige corset become flat during the washing process? I think that lacing a corset on to a mannequin would restrict air flow and slow the drying time significantly - I've always dried mine on a rack with several inches at least between the sides, with a fan blowing towards them to keep up the air flow all around it!
This article is great! I've had to wash several corsets over the years, and pre-shrinking is definitely key for corsets that one is planning to wash!! As coutil and dupioni silk do not shrink at at same rate:( I've never fully understood the pearl-clutching *gasp* "never wash a corset!!“ advice. Underwires on bras get exposed to water all the time. Just make sure that all of the metals are sealed, and be aware that that seal will degrade over time.
Thank you so much for your comment Andi!
The boning in the beige one was spiral steel so I was not afraid anything might happen to them- and I was right. With the other one- as I used synthetic whalebone I was afraid that once exposed to warm water they might change the shape when left on a flat surface to dry. I never thought of it taking too long to dry, probably because the day I chose to wash the corsets was extremely hot. Plus i used a self made mannequin-like pillow, so not a regular mannequin to provide support for the bones, so it was not really laced tight.
As for the washing itself-these were exactly my thoughts when it comes to washing a corset. After all it's a piece of garment. And contains steel as most bras. ?
Well, that was an experiment for me, but as this article got published I learned that many people have tried washing their corsets or do that on regular basis. ?