The Victoria & Albert Museum
“This bustle is made of stiff layered folds of horsehair and linen fabric. The fabric was known as ‘crinoline’, derived from ‘crin’, the French term for horsehair. This fabric was also used to make the stiff petticoats used to hold in shape the large skirts of the 1840s. The term crinoline was later used for the graduated spring-steel hoops used for the larger skirts of the 1850s and 1860s.
This bustle is constructed of horizontal and vertical steels, which support the gathered rows of fabric. The bustle shape is obtained by lacing bands with eyelet holes, which when laced and pulled up cause the back of the bustle to curve and be held firmly in shape. There are hooks at the waist to fasten the bustle onto a petticoat and two pairs of ties to secure it around the waist and hips.”
The small bits of padding at the sides of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress were made this way!