Desborough lingerie firm revives old wedding tradition with miniature garment competition

Some of the Wacoal miniature garment competition entriesSome of the Wacoal miniature garment competition entries
Some of the Wacoal miniature garment competition entries
The tradition lost its popularity in the 1980s

Desborough lingerie firm Wacoal Europe has revived an old wedding tradition by creating a miniature garment competition.

The town’s corset factory in Rothwell Road had a tradition that female employees would be given a miniature corset on their wedding day, made by factory machinists, with the garment presented to the bride as she left the church as a good luck gift.

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It lost its popularity in the 1980s but Wacoal recently revived it with a competition to raise money for Cancer Research UK. All employees were encouraged to create a 3D miniature garment and donate £10, to allow machinists to show off their skillset, utilise unwanted fabric and raise money in the process.

Entries were received from employees across the world showcasing outstanding craftmanship and attention to detail. They included corsets, bra and briefs, swimwear, activewear and some entries featured entire collections complete with sketches, hangers and tags.

There were 44 UK entries and the winner was Elomi head designer Liesl Goodman. The garments were on show for Wacoal’s entry at the Desborough Christmas Tree Festival and are now on display at the Christmas tree at Wacoal’s head offices in Desborough.

From January, the latest miniatures will be displayed alongside the original creations at the Desborough Heritage Centre. There are currently several of the miniature garments already on show dating back to the 1920s.

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Wacoal Europe chief executive officer Geoff Embley said: “Thank you to all that entered. The miniature competition has really highlighted the outstanding talent and skillset of our Wacoal employees both in the UK and across the world.

"It has been important to revive a Wacoal tradition, one that I hope we can continue in the future to create an archive of miniatures.”