From the eternal question when guys feel compelled to ask if you are wearing stockings, by way of a compliment on ones summery looking hosiery, to a look of horror that anyone could have the audacity to display seams in public.
There is little doubt that seams provoke comment. They provide a focal point on the legs that draws the eyes towards them. They add a classic and timeless look to an outfit.
For those that wish to step out in seamed stockings for the first time it is interesting to note that not all seams are the same and that heels come in a variety of delightful shapes.
Traditional nylon fully fashioned stockings are made by knitting the material into flat sheets that are cut to the shape of a leg, folded in half, with the two sides sewn together to form a seam. 100% nylon stockings will contain no Lycra and therefore have little or no stretch. The top of the seam where it meets the double layer of nylon at the top of the stocking; known as the welt, is completed by the welt being turned over and a finishing loop applied. This process is needed to allow the needle sewing the seam to be withdrawn.
Fully Fashioned Stockings Full Contrast Cuban Heel H2027. Priced at £26.50.
Reinforced Heel and Toe stockings (RHT) are also made from nylon but have distinct differences from fully fashioned stockings. There is no keyhole in the welt, and although RHTs with seams are available, the seam is solely for decorative purposes as the process of circular knitting the stocking on barrels removes the need for a seam.
RHT Seamed Stockings. Priced at £12.95.
Most stockings that we wear today are a composition of nylon and Lycra (elastane); that allows their stretch, with the seams and heels being decorative to reproduce a vintage style.
Seamed Stockings Red Glamour H2039. Priced at £10.00.
As mentioned earlier there are also a number of styles of heels (photos http://www.vintage-legs.com).
Cuban Heel – where the reinforced part is squared off above the back of the ankle, rather than tapering to a point.
Similar to the Cuban heel, the reinforced part of the stocking comes to a wider square above the back of the ankle, with the width above the ankle being similar to that on the bottom of the foot.
A mix between the Point and Cuban heels with the inclusion of a thin outline that traces the entire heel design.
Sometimes referred to as a French heel the reinforced section tapers off to a point that helps to accentuate the length and shape of the leg.
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