GIO - Point Heel Fully Fashioned Seamed Stockings - Bronze


Point Heel Fully Fashioned Stockings.

Bronze - Seamed.

15 Denier Sheer Nylon Stockings.

Made in UK by GIO.

These Vintage Classic Stockings are the closest you can get to travelling in time in the world of hosiery. Still made in the labour intensive fashion by highly skilled textile craftsmen and craftswomen.

Production is very limited due to the processes used with the skill required to fashion these stockings and the quality control standards applied.

Gio fully fashioned stockings are made on the original Reading machines liberated from the old Aristoc factory when it modernised its production methods. Only a handful of these are still in service around the world, but with loving care and attention the four Gio machines are still working to the same exacting standards as ever.

Full-fashioned stockings are knitted flat, then fashioned, or shaped, by hand manipulation and hand seamed up the back. Knitting is back and forth across the fabric (weft knitting) on a straight-bar machine.

The stocking is started at the top with the welt, with an extra-thick section for gartering. Reducing the number of needles at the ankle, then adding needles at the heel, and again reducing the number through the foot shape to the fabric.

The fully-fashioned machinery was made from 1940 - 1960 by a company called Reading Machinery Company, of Pennsylvania. Production of the machines stopped in the early 1960s, as modern seamless nylons took hold with the cheaper prices appealing to consumers and cheaper costs of mass machine production likewise appealing to manufacturers.

Seaming - True fully fashioned stockings are seamed by joining the two sides of the blank together. It is a very skilled process starting at the reinforced toe matching up the sides of the toe and heel, and then seaming up the back of the shaped leg feeding the nylon leg through the seamer to the loop hole and on to the welt. Handling of the stocking is very important as the machinist needs to vary her handling of the stocking as she seams from toe to welt.

Temperature Control - These R100 machines require you to keep the temperature (summer and winter) within 4 degrees, 74 to 78 degrees. Outside of this temperature range they won't knit properly. You may have 5 or 6 good stockings out of 30. You will have to throw out the rest.

Designs - Every pattern is on a continual chain of 120 feet and about 8" wide which has studs pressed into the links. These studs tell the machine what it should do, so every design needs a new stud pattern, which is a huge operation.

Quality Control - Each stocking is checked individually by hand and volumetrically and the flat length measured to ensure correct sizing.

Stockings which do not meet exacting standards are rejected.

Handling of the delicate stockings are kept to a minimum and all the quality control operatives must wear gloves.

After manufacture each stocking is seamed, one at a time. People often ask why there is a hole at the top of the seam. This is called 'the finishing loop' which cannot be eliminated, as the seaming machinist has to finish the seam turning the stocking top in a circle.

Every stocking is manufactured white and must be colour dyed. They must then be 'Boarded' where each stocking is pulled over a flat wooden leg and steamed. This tightens the knit, defines the leg shape correctly and removes creases.

Thereafter each stocking is checked for size to ensure that pairs match. Quality control for faults large and small can mean a third of production can be lost.

Please note these stockings give less than a modern stocking, but thankfully Gio produce a range of sizes that would just not be viable for a mass market manufacturer.

Sizes are by Gio Size and UK Shoe Size range, a conversion chart to US or European Sizing is available on the size guide page.

We have tried these amongst ourselves and our friends and we can confirm that the UK Shoe Sizes is an accurate sizing guide providing you are not thin and short or well-built and tall (You will have to adjust your size selection if you are).

These Bronze dyed stockings are a very good colour for those wishing to faithfully reproduce a vintage look.

You can feel the craftsman quality when you open the packet and the heritage is evident, these are very special stockings.

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  • 2 Units in Stock
  • Manufactured by: Gio

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 06 March, 2012.