The split busk, or two part busk, was invented by the Victorians. It was at the time a revolution for women because for the first time they were able to put their corsets on un-assisted. There are many types of split busk. The regular 'flexible' busk which is the most widely used and the one with which people are most familiar. These are about 12mm wide on either side, and coated in a white powder coating - this white powder coating, as a matter of interest, has replaced the older plastic coating, as it is more environmentally friendly. In Victorian times of course, all busks were made of uncoated steel.
The other types of busk are variously made from galvanised steel or stainless steel. There are wide busks which are an inch wide on either side, conical or tapered busks which are true to the Edwardian period and Spoon Busks which are true to the Victorian period. In modern corsetry, different types of busks can be used for different purposes depending upon design, body type, and effect
Q: I want to order a corset kit - what is the busk measurement I need? I am not sure what to measure.
A: Busk size depends on the corset pattern you are using - all of the corset kits on this website have details of the correct busk size needed, except the 'deluxe kit' which does not come with a pattern. The delux corset kit is a generic kit designed for use with any pattern so that people can work with patterns not available on this site, or their own patterns that they have made - the busk size therefore must be determined before purchase.
Commercial corset patterns will always have busk measuring instructions included because busk size is pattern specific - it depends upon whether the corset is an underbust, mid bust or overbust, and then it depends upon the sub-style - longline, plunge, closed front etc., Patterns will include instructions on how to alter the pattern if required and then whether or not the busk size should be altered. If your busk size needs to be altered, then it is likely that your bones will need to be longer or shorter too. Nevertheless, commercial patterns cater for the average body and in most sizes fit well with the busk size provided, regardless of alterations required.
If you are making your own pattern then you must measure your torso whilst sitting down, from where you want the top edge of your corset to be, to where you want the bottom edge to be, making sure that you leave enough space at the bottom to be comfortable when sitting and to ensure that the corset is not too long for you when seated otherwise it will rise up and buckle in a very unsightly way, or prod you in your nether regions, and we don't want that!
Two part busk fastner - stainless steel split busks in a wide range of sizes to fit every size of corset.
Flat busks - Sturdy wide flat metal busks in various sizes which are suitable for flat front corsets - ie: corsets which do not open at the front
Corset patterns - A range of corset making patterns which work first time with no fuss and bother. I only stock patterns which work for beginners first time and all of the patterns have the appropriate busk size listed in the description, even where this is size specific.