A flexible, translucent, strong, sinewy material from the filter system of a whale’s mouth, now almost always synthetic substitute.

Frequently used in dress-making to stiffen seams so that they hold a particular shape. These thin, pliable strips are inserted into stitched pockets behind the seam, and particularly either side of a shaped panel, for corsets and the bodices of a ball gowns. A couture dress holds itself in shape by various techniques, one of which is the invisible stiffening and shaping afforded by fine whalebone or a synthetic counterpart.

Useful as supports for structured lampshade covers and pelmets.

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