Fully Fashioned Stockings in 2019: Who, Where and How?

Hi, I’m Katie from What Katie Did, and a couple
of weeks ago, I spoke to you about manufacturing in the UK, lingerie manufacturing in the UK
in particular, and looked into where all the lingerie factories in the UK had gone. And
this week is kind of on a similar vein, and I’m going to talk about fully fashioned stockings
and where all the fully fashioned stocking factories have gone. You might have noticed recently that we’ve
had a bit of a dry spell with our fully fashioned stockings and we’ve been out of stock of quite
a few of our most popular ranges, and I’m going to try aim this video to go live when
we do actually have stock, so hopefully if you’re seeing this, you’ll be at to actually
purchase what I’m talking about, which actually is the aim of the game here. Fully fashioned stockings have to be made
on vintage Reading machines, and these are machines where the stockings are knitted flat
and the seam actually holds the stocking together. And today in the world, there is one factory
in the USA, two in the UK and one in France. And wherever you buy your fully fashioned
stockings today, they’ll come out of one of these four facilities. The machines that make
these are absolutely huge and cumbersome. They’re over 30 feet long. All the needles
have to be set by hand. They’re extremely noisy and their top speed is about 30 pairs
an hour. And there’s also a high reject rate. So they’re very slow, and that kind of explains
why these stockings are so expensive. And you can also see why in the early 1960s when
RHT stockings started to be made on little circular inlet machines, which are like a
tenth of the size and a tenth as expensive as well, that all the hosiery manufacturers
were like, “Great, we’ll move over to this new technology and it will be fantastic and
stockings will be cheaper and we’ll be able to make them so much faster and everything
will be great.” And everything was great for a while, but of course that left the poor
old threading machines making the fully fashioned stockings, their factories gradually slowed
down to where we are today, which are only four factories left in the world making them. In my last video, I spoke to you about how
scarce fully fashioned stockings were, and in this video, I’m going to talk to you about
how delicate fully fashioned stockings are. So we have a two two pronged attack here.
One, they’re very difficult to hold of, and two, when you do get hold of them, you have
to be very, very careful with them because they are prone to getting hitched easily.
If you look back to the 1950s, so people who used to make your fully fashioned stockings,
they used to have two manicures a day. We always advise to wear gloves when you put
on your fully fashioned stockings, and you don’t need fancy hosiery gloves. I use latex
hairdressing gloves and they do the job perfectly. It’s just to protect the nylons from your
hands. And you’ll find that once you’ve got your nylons on, generally you’re past the
danger zone. Once you’ve got them, you’re good. But you just have to be very, very careful
when you’re taking them on, taking them off and storing them. So with these fully fashioned stockings being
so scarce and delicate, who actually buys them? Well, this can be divided into two groups.
And the first group are people who are totally obsessed with vintage fashion and clothing
and they don’t wear repro clothing at all. They want everything to be just as it was
in the ’50s and the fully fashioned stockings are a big part of that. These people, you
wouldn’t dream of wearing a modern circular knit stocking, which this is. It would have
to be fully fashioned because that’s what was worn in the 1950s and it really does give
an amazingly finished look to your outfit. The second group of people who love fully
fashioned stockings are stocking fetishists. They are made of a silkier smooth nylon and
feel amazing and look amazing, too. And so that’s basically the two groups who for fully
fashioned stockings really are essential. We are looking at people who wear true vintage,
who look absolutely amazing, and you’ve got the people who have a stocking fetish who
love the feel and look of fully fashioned stockings. So if you don’t wear true vintage every day
and you’re not a stocking fetishist, it’s probably best just to stick with reproduction
glamour seam stockings, because from a distance they give exactly the same look and feel and
they’re more durable and they’re also more affordable. So that would be my advice for
you. Because fully fashioned stockings are so delicate, I personally, I don’t wear black
very often at all because they are so easy to hitch. I go for the copper with a black
seam because I love the way the black seam stands out and it gives a look of a black
seam stocking while the skin tone leg will hide any defects. So that’s my tip and that’s
what I do. And that works out perfectly. If you do have any questions about fully fashioned
stockings or our glamour seams, please get in touch below and I shall get back to you.
Take care.

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