Fully Fashioned Stockings: The Most Luxurious Stockings in the World
Fully Fashioned Stockings are the nylons made famous due to their scarcity during WWII. Nylon Fully Fashioned Stockings were launched in the USA in 1939, but just months later it was decided items like parachutes were slightly more important! With WWII over, nylon Fully Fashioned Stockings gradually went back into production. They've been made on the same vintage machinery now for over 60 years and there is nothing to beat the look and feel of them. If you haven't tried wearing a pair of fully fashioned stockings before you're in for a real treat!
Different Fully Fashioned Stocking Heel Types
Our regular Fully Fashioned Stockings feature a Cuban or Point Heel although we do limited edition runs of more fancy heels when we can. Both Point and Cuban Heel Fully Fashioned Stockings were popular in the 1940s and 1950s, so it's totally down to personal preference which one you choose. The Point heel is also known as a 'French Heel' and gives a very elegant line, encouraging the eye to move futher up the leg. The Cuban Heel is unique in that it's hard to find a modern copy (by a modern copy, I mean a Cuban Heel Seamed Stocking made on modern circular knit machines) so if you want everyone to know you're wearing the real deal, then you might want to choose Cuban Heel Fully Fashioned Stockings.
Fancy Heel Fully Fashioned Stockings
Fully fashioned stockings were made with fancy heels in the 1950s, but they were extremely expensive and reserved for evening wear. Today a couple of fancy variants are still made by the 3 remaining Fully Fashioned Stocking mills in the world: most commonly known as Havana and Manhattan (which we call Empire) Heels. The Havana Heel features a slightly wider heel than the Cuban, while the Manhattan (or Empire) feautures a fancy outline and is inspired by tthe Empire State Building in New York.
Contrast Seamed Fully Fashioned Stockings were also made in the 1950s, but again they were reserved for evening wear. It's very easy to spot a genuine contrast Seamed Fully Fashioned Stocking as the contrast stitching tends to be very subtle.
How Fully Fashioned Stockings Are Made
There's only one way to make Fully Fashioned Stockings, and that's on a vintage Reading knitting machine. These are huge, cumbersome machines and it's easy to see why the Chinese are quite happy to let the English battle with them - they're certainly not interested in trying to make cheap versions! The 'Fully Fashioned' bit comes from the placement of the needles on the Reading Machine which decrease as the leg is knitted making the stocking narrower as it moves down the leg. Reading Knitting machines work at a top speed of 30 pairs of nylons per hour and even when running at top speed there is a defect rate of up to 30%. Fully Fashioned Stockings are knitted flat, and seam is added afterwards, sewn by hand on an overlock machine. The seam actually holds the stocking together, without it, the stocking would just be a flat piece of fabric.
At What Katie Did we take quality control extremely seriously and each and every pair of our Fully Fashioned Stockings is checked by hand for any defects the factory might have missed. After all, you can't be too careful. We believe we're the only company in the world to do this.
Buying Fully Fashioned Stockings
Fully Fashioned Stockings are made from 100% non stretch nylon, so if you're used to modern stockings which contain lycra, you'll be in for a shock! When you take your first pair of Fully Fashioned Stockings out of the packet they'll appear to be very big, but don't worry, once you bunch them up, place your toe in the end and carefully pull them up your leg, your leg will fill them out. Having said that, Fully Fashioned Stockings are now made to fit the 'average' woman so please read our sizing notes to ensure you order the correct size for you. It's normal for Fully Fashioned Stockings to vary in size by up to 2" due to the Reading knitting machines, so one pair might differ in size very slightly from another, but each pair is match by hand so you don't have to worry about one stocking being a different length to the other! We enclose a Care of Stockings card with each Fully Fashioned Stocking purchase which will advise you on how to care for these delicate nylons. Of course, it goes without saying that to get the most out of wearing Fully Fashioned Stockings you need a great 6 Strap Garter Belt.