Bones or steels are used in a support to help retain the shape of the cloth sections. The shape of the sections, together with the use of a sufficient number of bones which will not bend edgewise, determine the supporting and corrective value of the support.

The number of bones used in a support varies according to size and other conditions. In every support there are certain seams that must be covered with boning. In larger supports additional bones are used between the seams. The number of these bones depends upon the measurements. Except when it is necessary to specify " Extra Boning at Front, Back, or Entire Support," and except when special steels such as Rigid or Stiff Steels are required, special instructions for the location and number of bones in a support should not be given.

Regular Boning. Each Spencer Support is boned as lightly as is practicable, taking into consideration that it must provide proper support. In the majority of cases this " Regular " Boning is sufficient.

Extra Boning. The difference between " Regular " and " Extra " Boning may be in either the number or the flexibility of the bones used.

When the body has a deep waist curve at the back, or excess development, Extra Boning should be ordered. When Extra Boning is requested, supports may be made with a greater number of sections than usual across the back.

As explained in Chapter 7, page 91, under " Description of Supports," the designs of certain supports make Extra Boning impracticable.

Spencer Bones. These are lightweight, flexible bones generally used on all seams unless Rigid or Stiff Steels are specified.

Spencer Back Bones. These are narrow, stiff bones always used on either side of spine on large supports, unless Rigid or Stiff Steels are specified. Back bones may be used when " Extra Boning Entire Support, or At Back " is specified, depending on the size of the support.

Spencer Side Steels.   These are wide, flexible steels always used in the eyelet section of a front lace corset unless " Extra Boning at Front, at Lacer, or Entire Support " is checked. Side Steels are also supplied each side of spine on supports designed more than 6 inches high at back, when no extra boning or special steels are ordered.

Extra Boning at Lacing. When ordered, a Stiff Steel is supplied at each side of the lacing.

Extra Boning at Front.   When ordered, Extra Boning will be supplied in the front of the support. In addition, a Stiff Steel will be supplied on each side of the lacing. There is no advantage in extra boning in front except at lacing, unless extra boning is also ordered at back to help balance the support.

Extra Boning at Back.   When ordered, Extra Boning will be supplied in the back of the support.

Extra Boning Entire Support.   When ordered, the entire support will be made with Extra Boning, including a Stiff Steel at each side of the lacing.

Stiff Steels and Rigid Steels. These are described and their uses explained on pages 244 to 249.

Moulding Bones

When a support is despatched from the factory, the ends of the clasps and bones are already moulded. Complete this moulding to be sure the bones follow the lines of the support and be absolutely certain that the client understands the importance of keeping them moulded.

Bend the bottom ends of all bones in toward the body. Those over the abdomen and hips should be bent only slightly. Those at the back should be curved decidedly at the bottom so that they follow the lines of the figure at that point.

The abdominal supporting sections of belts and supporting corsets are designed with curved lines, which are more pronounced in supports for large figures and large abdomens. The bones in the abdominal supporting section must therefore be moulded very decidedly to follow the curves of the support ; otherwise the support cannot grip and support the lower abdomen as intended.

Even after you have adjusted the support on the figure, you may find that you have to remould the bones.

Figure 174 shows the mechanics of this. All bones are very springy. The bones at front and side are short, with the soft cloth part of the support below the bottom end of the bones. The bones at back are long and unless they are shaped at bottom to conform to the lines of the support, they will (because they are springy) draw the soft cloth back from the front and make the support seem loose at bottom back.

Fig. 174

Fig. 175

When the support is high above waist, and the figure is full above waist, the bones from under-arm to back should be bent outward slightly at the waistline and then curved in again slightly at the top. This gives a " pocketing " effect and helps hold the flesh inside the support instead of permitting it to push up over the top of the support. This applies especially to Spencer-Alls. Note line at right in Figure 174.

In men's supports which are not high above waist at back, the back bones should be moulded outward slightly at top front and back bones moulded inward slightly at the bottom.

Each client should be carefully instructed in the proper moulding of bones and clasps in order to assure longer wear, more comfort, and greater satisfaction. We suggest the following procedure :

Place the left hand inside the support at the lower end of the bones, with finger tips directly on the bone casing. Then with the palm and fingers of the right hand, press on the bones from the

Fig. 176

outside of the support. Mould directly over the tips of the fingers of the left hand by cupping the right hand. In this way, you may obtain the correct degree of curve (see Fig. 176).

Moulding Clasp

Bend in the bottom edge of the clasp so that it fits snugly to the figure. Lay the clasp over the edge of a table or chair, if necessary, to bend it properly.

Fig. 177

Fig. 178

One of the most common complaints regarding wear is that the cloth or stitching thread wears at the bottom of the clasp and the bottom of bones, while the rest of the support is in good condition (see " A " in Fig. 177). This occurs when the clasp is not properly moulded.

Note that when the ends of the clasp and bones stand away from the figure, outer clothing rubs excessively at these points. As a result the cloth wears very quickly.

Notice how the clasp has been moulded correctly at " B " (Fig. 178) so that the ends fit snugly against the body. There is no protruding part to be rubbed by outer clothing. Any movement of the clothing is over the wide surface at " C " and does not rub the support at any one point.


All slides, hooks and metal attachments used on Spencer Supports are made of nickel plated brass. They will not rust.

The slides used on Spencer Supports have special features that permit easy, quick adjustment of straps to desired tension, then lock the straps to prevent slipping.

To protect the edges of straps from wear, the strap passes through a guide slot. This keeps the strap centred during adjustment, after it passes through the slide.

Separating Features

Various separating features are used when dersirable. These are pictured and their uses explained on following pages. Separating features permit the use of shorter straps and provide a smoother fastening. They permit the wearer to wrap the support around the body, and provide ease and convenience when the support is put on, adjusted or removed, making it unnecessary to re-thread the straps in the slides.

Fig. 179

Fig. 180


Figures 179 and 180 show the separating swivel slide and hook used when Straps and Slides Fastening is ordered for the centre-front of a Spencer Support. The hooks are attached to the support and the swivel slides are threaded on the straps. One edge of the support in Figure 179 has been turned back to show the hooks on the inside.

The eyes in the slides and the hooks are so shaped that slides will turn in the direction of pull. This permits easy adjustment and helps prevent wear on the edge of straps. Swivel slides and hooks are used regularly on :


  Spinal Support

  Posture Support for Men

  Sacroiliac Support for Men

  Lumbosacral Support for Men

They are supplied on all other supports when ordered with Slides Fastening.


Fig. 181

Two slides and two flat hooks are used at centre-front to fasten all pelvic binders (see Fig. 181).


These flat clips are double slotted and are placed on the straps on the left side of all pelvic binders.   They can be used to locate the flat hooks at centre-front.   Once the proper location is obtained, the adjusting clips prevent the straps from slipping (see Fig. 181).

Fig. 182


The pivoting slide and stud illustrated in Figure 182 is used as follows :

Side-Front adjustment of orthopædic Shoulder Straps.

Back adjustment of Perineal Straps.

Back adjustment of hernia tabs.

The stud is firmly anchored in the support.   The loop of the pivoting slide snaps around the stud and pivots with body movements.   Slide and stud are easily separated for laundering.

Fig. 183


For Perineal Straps. This feature is used to attach Perineal Straps at the front of a support. It separates and attaches easily. Wearer can adjust or remove support, or remove straps for laundering conveniently (see Fig. 183).

On Spencerflex. Loop and stud fastenings on a Spencerflex are similar to those used on Perineal Straps. The stud is placed on each tab and each adjustment strap passes through the loop. It provides a quick, easy method of putting on and removing the support.

On " O " Shoulder Straps. The loop and stud feature is used to attach " O " Shoulder Straps to the top of support at back. The straps are easily removed for laundering.

Adjustment of Straps

The strap, after passing through and leaving the slide, should be pulled parallel with the part of the strap which leads toward the

Fig. 184

Fig. 185

slide. If the straps are pulled at an angle toward the top or bottom of the slide, they will be wedged into the corner of the slide, making adjustment more difficult and causing the edges of the strap to wear.

For easy adjustment of straps, especially when abdomen is large, and for final adjustment in all cases, use one hand to pull the inside strap toward the slide, while the other hand pulls the outside strap through the slide (see Fig. 184).

After the straps are adjusted, they should be tucked under the loops, as shown in Figure 185. Although this illustration shows a belt, the same is true for the Abdominal Supporting Corset or any support adjusting with straps and slides.

The method of releasing the straps is shown in Figures 186 and 187.

Fig. 186

Fig. 187

First, grasp the free end of the strap as shown in Figure 186, and pull it back. Continue to pull it back to the point where the slide is unlocked (see Fig. 187). By holding it loosely in this position, the strap can be pulled easily through the slide.

These instructions should be explained carefully to each new client to ensure her complete satisfaction.

Regular Shoulder Straps

Fig. 188

Fig. 189

Regular Shoulder Straps are used on men's and women's belts to help support the weight of a very heavy abdomen. They are attached to the top of the belt at back, cross at back, and extend over the shoulders, fastening to the top of the support at the hip seams by means of Spencer slides (see figures 188 and 189).

To order, write " Regular Shoulder Straps " under Additional Instructions on the order form (extra charge—see price list).

Fly Under Lacer

As most clients wear their supports next to the skin, the addition of a fly is recommended on all supports made with front lacers. While a fly is not absolutely essential, most clients will want the fly (extra charge—see price list).

The Fly Under Lacer is reinforced to keep it from wrinkling. It is sewn to the support, at left of the lacing space. As the lacing space varies with figure changes, this smooth fly, which is 4 inches in width, continues to fulfill its purpose.

To order, check " Fly Under Lacer " on order form. When ordering a fly separately, use Order Form 137, Give colour and total length of fly desired.

Fly Under Slides Fastening

Whenever Slides Fastening is supplied, a suitable fly is provided without extra charge. It is not necessary to check this on order form.

Plush Lining

Plush lining at top or bottom or at any other part of a support may be ordered at an extra charge. The extra charge depends on the amount of material and labour involved.

Elastic Gores

All corsets extending 12 inches or more below waist are designed with front elastic gores at bottom to allow for the spread of the thighs when the client is seated. The size, shape, and exact location of these gores depend on Length at Hip, Length at Front and boning lengths below waist. They must be determined by the technicians.

Most supports extending less than 12 inches below waist are designed without gores.

A triangular elastic gore (extra charge see price list) at bottom of panel front is recommended for added comfort and freedom of motion when the Spencer Corset or Spencerband is ordered with panel front. See " Panel Front Gore," page 223.

Fig. 190

Elastic Gores at Top

Upon request, a corset or Spensupport may be made with Elastic Gores at Top (see Fig. 190) located under the breasts (see price list for extra charge).

On many figures with prominent ribs, or figures, which shorten a great deal in changing from the standing to the seated position, Elastic Gores at Top under the breasts give freedom and ease at the top edge of the support. These elastic gores allow for expansion at the top and prevent any tendency of the support to dig in under prominent ribs or into soft flesh which accumulates when client is seated.

When Elastic Gores at Top are ordered, the difference between th e Height at Front and Height Under-Bust cannot be more than inch. The difference between Height Under-Bust and Height Under-Arm cannot be more than 1 inches. These limitations are necessary because the edge of the elastic cannot be curved.

Elastic Gores at Top are not practicable in supports that are very high above the waist.

To order, check " Elastic Gores at Top."

Hose Supporters

The function of hose supporters is to hold up the stockings. On Spencer Supports they are neither intended nor needed to hold the support down on the figure. Spencer Supports stay in place because they are individually designed.

Hip hose supporters are made according to the length given on the order ; those at front are made in proportion.

Phantom Adjustable Hose Supporters. This latest hose supporter developed by Spencer Technicians is adjustable in length, yet has only one thickness of elastic. The greatest possible range of adjustment is provided for in any given length. With one thickness of elastic there is less bulk, making outlines of supporters inconspicuous under clothing.

Looped Hose Supporters. Looped hose supporters are nonadjustable and are made of narrow elastic. They may be ordered where there is not enough space between the bottom of the support and top of the stockings (to allow sufficient elastic to provide the necessary stretch). The button and loop extend about 2 inches below the bottom edge of the support ; the elastic is looped up inside support about 2 inches above bottom edge.

To order, write " Looped Hose Supporters " under Additional Instructions on the order. No Length Hip Hose Supporter measurement is required.

Detachable Hose Supporters. Hose supporters are made detachable by a loop and stud arrangement, similar to loop and stud shown in Figure 194, page 217.

These may be ordered by writing " Detachable Hose Supporters " under Additional Instructions on order form (extra charge see price list).

Detachable hose supporters are a great convenience for clients who wear a support when sleeping, who lie down frequently, or who sometimes go without hose.

Fig. 191

Straps on Abdominal Supporting Section

The measurements control the size and shape of the supporting section which, in turn, determines the number of straps and slides used. The number of straps and slides must be left to the judgment of the Spencer Technicians.

There are two abnormal conditions in which special straps may be used to advantage :

1. Regular Fulcrum (Uplift) Strap. When the client is very large and the abdomen is pendulous, it is sometimes possible to get better support around the bottom edge and greater uplift, by adding an extra uplift strap. This has an abrupt upward slant and fastens on each side to an extra slide set at a different angle from the regular slides (see Fig. 191). You may order this feature on belts by writing " Uplift Strap " under Additional Instructions.

Special Sling Fulcrum Straps

In cases of unusually large abdomen, large ventral hernia or growth, a special sling with double fulcrum (uplift) straps can be ordered. Extra charges for these special features are quoted on your price list.

2. Extra Straight Fulcrum Strap. When the client is slight with concave abdomen or has prominent hipbones and flat abdomen, an extra strap running straight across to the lowest point at centre of front sometimes helps to keep the belt down on the figure and increases the degree of abdominal uplift.

The extra straight strap will usually be supplied when a Ptosis Pad or Abdominal Spring Pad is ordered in an Abdominal Supporting Corset ; Spensupport ; Spencer Corset with Curve Out Over Groin and Slide Fastening ; De Luxe or Regular Belt. The strap helps the pad give additional uplift.

Fig. 192

On De Luxe and Regular Belts, the straps are attached to the back section and fasten to reversed slides (see page 1l3), placed low and near the centre of the supporting section (see Fig. 192). Order by writing " Extra Straight Fulcrum Strap " under Additional Instructions on the order form.

On Supporting Corsets, the slides for extra straight straps cannot be reversed. On a Supporting Corset with Concealed Slides, the design does not permit the addition of an extra straight strap.

Perineal Straps

For men who are thin, and men or women who have to wear a support day and night, Perineal Straps prevent the support from slipping up on the figure.

Perineal Straps, as pictured in Figures 193 and 194, are made of soft-woven tubular fabric. They are fastened to the lower edge of the supporting section at front with detachable fasteners, and adjusted and fastened at back with straps and pivoting slides and studs. The pivoting arrangement back and front allows the straps to adjust comfortably to the movement of the body. They are easily detached.

Fig. 193

Fig. 194

When a support (other than a Spinal Support or Spencerflex) is ordered for a man, and the Waist Measurement is 32 inches or less, Perineal Straps are always supplied. Perineal Straps on larger supports will be furnished when space for Perineal Straps is checked on Order Form. There is no charge for Perineal Straps on a man's support of any size except on the Spencerflex.

If the order is for a woman and is to be worn day and night, check " Perineal Straps " on Order Form, or write " Perineal Straps " under Additional Instructions on Order Form.

Hose supporters are always furnished on a woman's support unless the order directs otherwise. When both Perineal Straps and hose supporters are ordered there is an extra charge for the Perineal Straps. When Perineal Straps are ordered instead of hose supporters the difference in price will be charged.

Types of fastning