Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1960s (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Nylon and Lycra

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Girdle of nylon and Lycra.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1960s (made)



Materials and Techniques

Nylon and Lycra

Object history note

Purchased. Registered File number 1993/916.

Descriptive line

Girdle, nylon and Lycra, Great Britain, 1960s.

Labels and date


The 'Little X' girdle, designed by Anne-Marie Lobbenberg for Silhouette in 1958, proved very popular with young women. The all-elastic girlde provided light control and two-way stretch.

Advertisements for the girdle focused on its functionality and the freedom of movement it allowed, promising that it, 'Won't wrinkle, roll over or ride up'.

The corset incorporates Lycra, which is a brand name for elastane (spandex), a synthetic stretch fibre produced from polyurethane. Lycra became available in 1959.

Girdle, 'Little X'
Silhouette (Salop) Ltd.
Britain, Shropshire, early 1960s
LYCRA, nylon, lurex trim with metal suspender clips
V&A: T.291-1993
Before the mid-1950s, rubber and latex girdles only stretched horizontally and constantly rode up. The 'Little X' was one of the first garments to incorporate Lycra, introduced in 1959. Lycra is the brand name for elastane (spandex). It is a completely synthetic, multi-directional stretch fabric, three times more powerful than previous elastics with twice the recovery power. It became increasingly popular throughout the 1960s and is the staple underwear textile today.

'Little X' girdle
Britain, early 1960s
Lycra and nylon, lurex trim, with metal suspender clasps
V&A: T.291-1993 [2013-2015]


Nylon; Lycra


Women's clothes; Underwear; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.