Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Crinoline (Lat. crinis, hair, linum, flax), a kind of hair-cloth used for stiffening underskirts of women and making the dress bulge out. In and about 1860 the name was applied to the magnified mousetraps composed of narrow bands or wires of steel, which hid all female grace by transforming a woman into an awkward, ungainly balloon. Those of us who do not recollect them may get a clear idea of some of their features, and the awkward mishaps they gave rise to, by studying the engravings in Punch, where Leech so faithfully mirrored passing customs and fashions.