and fitting qualities is eliminated. Consequently, there is no subsequent bagging at the knees, nor any loss of shape in any other parts. Pre-boarding enables the stocking to fit the slenderest ankle without a shadow of a wrinkle.

A manufacturer determines that the stockings are adequately pre-boarded, by subjecting hose thus treated under actual operating conditions to a series of launderings such as they would receive when in service. The following points in the laundered hose denote the pre-boarding quality:-

1. The nylon fabric should not show wrinkles when laid flat on a table.

2. The stockings should not spiral or twirl when hung with the welt portion over a smooth rod, but should maintain their pre-boarded shape.

3. There should not be any rolling of the fabric along the reinforced parts of the foot, especially where the heel joins the sole.

The importance of good commercial stitch formation on the knitting machine cannot be over-estimated. This contributes to the clear, attractive appearance of dyed nylon hose. If non-uniform stitches are present in the grey (greige) hose prior to the pre-boarding process, such stitches will be set in the final stocking. This also applies in respect of oil spots, grease, or any mark contracted during the knitting process. These marks should be cleaned prior to pre-setting. Thus it may be seen that systematic cleaning of the knitting machine is necessary for the economical performance of nylon.


Beauty is one of the chief selling points, and there is no doubt that before wear, comes first and foremost to a customer’s mind, “How will these stockings look on the leg—do they give eye appeal?”

Stockings from fine silk, rayon or nylon are very attractive in appearance. The fibre of these three yarns lends itself to the manufacture of sheer hosiery, and the stockings have that clinging quality which defines the contours of leg and ankle, making for a very trim appearance. One cannot really compare these fibres one with another—each has its own characteristics—yet it


one difference being the removal of two to four narrowings in the leg, thus providing the necessary scope for shrinkage.

It is a simple matter to change to any battery of sizes. The leg forms (stainless-steel) are mounted upright on a collapsible conveyor which is set in a track, and when open to its full extent. sufficient room is available between forms for the placing on of stockings, as all work is done at the front of the machine. Stockings are pulled down to a mark on the board. This mark should be 32½" from the bottom of the heel, on Paramold type of form—a shrinkage of the hose during pre-boarding results in the length being 31".

The conveyor is moved automatically to the front of the door-track, and trips over when needed to be placed inside the steam chamber, after which the door of this closes and seals itself. This starts the solenoid valve injecting steam into the chamber and within a short time, according to the pressure required, the desired temperature is reached in the chamber. The closing of the door also puts into operation the timing device, and should it be wished to increase the temperature of the steam, the set of the nylon would, within limits, improve accordingly, but greater shrinkage may result, consequently the hose would need to have larger dimensions. After a pre-determined time has elapsed, the solenoid valve shuts off the steam and opens the exhaust for the release of this. A pressure control switch keeps the door from opening until pressure drops, and this switch will commence to open the door by adjustment provided. The pressure may range from 3 to 25 lbs. per square inch.

The carriage of forms bearing stockings just treated is now removed from the retort and brought over on its rail to a vertical position for the stripping of forms by the operator. While the charge of stockings was being treated inside the retort, a further set of forms was filled with stockings, thus keeping up the cycle of operation.

The stockings taken off the form are crease-proof, their shape being maintained through the next operation of dyeing (and subsequent home laundering) provided the original setting temperature is not exceeded. Thus, after the hose have been pre-boarded, repeated wetting, washing, or drying does not change the original shape, and, therefore, the possibility of change in size