14

THE SECRET OF HOSIERY PRICES



It is important that Wholesale and Retail—and the public—should realise that each process in the manufacture of a stocking affects the quality of the finished style. It is the construction details, the care in each step of knitting, that determine the value of a pair of stockings. Fine construction details justify higher prices. The customer usually “gets what she pays for”, but it is not the amount paid, but the value received for the outlay, that matters most. The figures on a hosiery price-ticket should be an exact measure of what the customer gets in yarn quality, construction of fabric, and any other special features which make for value and satisfaction.

Each pair of seamless or fully-fashioned stockings has a certain value, and is worth so much—there is the quality of the silk or rayon used, the better grades costing the manufacturer more than the inferior grades, and sending up the selling price accordingly. If, therefore, a hose is made from one of the better grades of silk, or a high-twisted rayon yarn, it will command a much higher market price. (Nylon is of a standard quality, and—from a yarn point of view—is not, therefore, subject to quality price fluctuation.)

Fine gauge fabrics, having more courses per inch, take up more material, especially when high-twist yarn is used, and while it is possible to save money by skimping the stocking in width and length, and thus sell at a lower price, the value will not be there. The skimped styles lack that something which the hose may be called upon to give, such as elasticity for perfect fit, and special resistance to strain. That which is taken out of the stocking is reflected in the lowered price asked by the retailer. It is possible to cheapen fully-fashioned hosiery by knitting a few needles short on each end of the needle bar. (A stocking is knitted on a row or bar of needles, as wide as the stocking at its widest part.) This, of course, would save yarn, also extra length could be given by stretching during the drying and boarding process. Stockings made this way conform to the required measurements, and no difference in appearance is

STOCKINGS

two-thread silk, 51 Gauge style, the reference is to the specification of a stocking made from 2 threads 51 Gauge fabric which has been knitted on a 51 Gauge machine having 51 needles per 1½", using two threads of silk twisted together.

As regards the fineness of the fabric, although—as we have seen—this is controlled by the gauge of the machine, here it might be pointed out that the yarn count determines the thickness of the yarn, and a range of several counts (from fine to coarse diameters) can be used on one machine,

Fig. 47 The needle bar on a fully fashioned machine.

FIG. 47—The needle bar on a fully-fashioned machine.
Note—The narrowing points above the needle (left).
provided such yarns come within the scope of the machine’s gauge. Hence, several types of stockings can be made on one machine.

The sheerness of a stocking can also be determined by the size (or count) of yarn used in relation to the gauge of the machine. Thus, a 45 Gauge stocking might look more sheer than a 51 Gauge made from the same count of yarn, as on the lower gauge machine the fabric becomes more loosely knitted, resulting in a more sheer effect.

There is also the twist of the yarn to be considered.