Dyeing and finishing make up the final steps of manufacture, and the aim in colouring stockings is to employ a dye which will:-
Be thorough and not patchy.
Be fast to washing and sunlight.
Be free from chemical odour.
After removing by scouring, all impurities formed during knitting, the dyer uses a solution to keep the raw material—as far as is possible—in its natural fibre state, so giving increased life to the stocking, and preserving its softness and resilience.
The ideal finish:-
Keeps the loops intact and even, so preserving the strength and serviceability of the stocking.
Bonds and seals the threads, presenting a film of protection against runs and wear.
The above conditions being observed, the stockings when finished, will have a refined appearance and greater resistance to snags.
The photo-micrograph (1) Fig. 54 shows the finishes of silk fabric.
(a) Threads smoothly bonded and sealed together.
(b) Loops inlaid and regular.
(c) Raw material fibre kept in its natural state.
The photo-micrograph (2) shows:-
(a) Unsealed threads and free ends.
(b) Uneven loops.
(c) Raw material weakened.