with permission from and great thanks to the owners of Liivia Lingerie


Liivia Lingerie is a net shop and information centre for all kind of old models. Also historical models can still be manufactured and purchased by Liivia.



These adverts come from the Swedish companies Germa and Froja but were widely available in Finland.


I was very surprised recently (February 2008) to discover that Finnish corsetry was, and still is, very sophisticated and, like the Swedish, a preference for high-waisted girdles was apparently de rigueur in the 1960's.

I have carefully entitled this web 'Scandinavia and Finland', since Finnish roots owe as much to Eastern Europe and Russia as they do to Scandinavia as we popularly imagine it. Certainly, the Finnish language's closest cousin is Hungarian, and even by the standards of my European upbringing (I speak three languages fluently and two quite well), Finnish, like Chinese, Welsh and the Doric will remain a closed book.


Tilaus tehdään lähettämällä sähköpostilla tai kirjeessä tilauskaavake tai vapaamuotoisesti vastaavat tiedot (tuote, malli, koko, väri, kappalemäärä). Klikkaa kaavake näkyviin. 

See what I mean!





The uniquely Finnish garment on the right was made by Atlas from 1950 - 1980. Essentially it is a warm vest with suspenders and eminently suitable for the Finnish climate.




A short history of Finnish Corsetry


The Finnish word liivi (plural liivit) means all heavy foundations, like corsets, corselettes, girdles, panty-girdles, bras and garter belts, but NOT light underwear like briefs, panties, camisoles etc. Anyway, the liiviliike shops (lingerie shops) are selling all feminine lingerie.


All corsets were imported to Finland before 1880 when corset shops like Palmberg and Lindfors began to manufacture their own models. By 1900 there were only a few corset factories in Finland, but already by the 1930´s there were more than 30. The golden era was the 50´s and 60´s with more than 40 corset companies. The new innovation, panty hose slowly eroded the production numbers of girdles and corsets so that only one company, Tyyli, founded 1928 in Turku, survived independent until today and maintained production work in Finland. Now the demand of garters and corsets again is rising.


Oy Sjöblom Ab, was founded under the name J. Sjöblomin Korsetti ja Liina in 1912, concentrating on girdles and corsets during the1930´s. The first bra was produced in 1922. During the 50´s and 60´s they manufactured by license American Peter Pan bras and girdles.  The best known own mark of Sjöblom is Patricia.


Wiipurin Erikoiskorsettiliike (Special Corset Shop of Vyborg) has been working for decades, now in Helsinki, because Vyborg was occupied by Russians. They are manufacturing customised corsets to clients.


Figura is the most famous Finnish corset company and it was the biggest, too. They started the production in 1951. You can still by Figura foundations, but it is now in Swedish ownership.


Profile  started in 1953 a corset and girdle production under the company Oy Korsettiteollisuus Ab.  Later they used product name Finnprofile.


Other manufacturers were Diana, Finnform, Pamela, Perho-Liivi, SiSi, Suvi ja TuLi. The most famous nylons in Finland since 1956 have been Amar.




From Finnish mail order catalogues of the 1970's come these charming images. Unlike many advertisements, the models are at least within a decade of the sort of women that might purchase such garments. Curiously (to my eye anyway) is the appearance that the breasts of the models have been pulled down rather than pushed up. Both models on the right even display a slight tummy; how refreshingly realistic!


The best web-site for Finnish corsetry is and examples from this excellent site are shown with kind permission of the owner. I just love the pink satin corselette. This is a garment that I've seen made in France, Germany, England, America, Norway and now Finland. Typically, it is built from heavy corset-quality satin, extensively boned and, in this case, with twin side-lacers. Originally it also had a double-laced under-belt. Before you imagine two sturdy maids heroically straining on either side of their aging mistress in a vain attempt to force a waist onto a reluctant torso, this was not the case. Side-lacing is almost impossible to lace oneself, however, this would have been a rare, coarse adjustment for grosser body fluctuations. The daily adjustment would have been on the under-belt, with perhaps a little tightening around the waist by the external lacers.




If such garments come under the generic title of liivi, that may well be all the Finnish that I'll ever learn!