Shoe Size1234
Hose Size8"8"8"8½"8½"8½"9"9"
Shoe Size5"5½"6"6½"7"7½"8"
Hose Size9½"9½"9½" 10"10"10"10½"10½"

In another part of this handbook, “Grades of Inspection” are given, and here it will be seen that—the inspection of stockings being entirely visual, both before leaving the factory in which they are made, and prior to being passed for despatch from the warehouse to which they are sent after manufacture—certain obscure faults cannot be detected, although the inspectors do their best to eliminate any undesirable hose which could be sold as perfect. Even in the best quality production, there may be faults not evident before the first wearing—the slight extra strain on the fabric during actual wear may perhaps cause a weak thread to snap, thereby creating a “popping run”, and a ladder results. If, on the first occasion on which a stocking is worn, a ladder occurs without undue tension from a pulled thread, or too tight suspendering, or in the case of fashioned goods a ladder extending from a fashion mark, it may be safely concluded that here is a just complaint due to faulty manufacture.

Sheer stockings of all types are made from comparatively frail materials, and if the best wear out of hosiery is desired (and that seems self-evident) then the stockings must be treated accordingly. Many complaints have been lodged with manufacturers which have been directly attributable to the customers themselves, and in respect of those complaints which arise through customers’ own carelessness, it should be pointed out that these never give sufficient ground for consideration of compensation.

Causes are often directly traceable—too tight suspendering also the placing of the suspender in the “shadow welt” (the portion below the reinforced band—or welt—at the top of the leg). Then there is the “pulled thread and snag” caused by rough splinters on chair leg or table, this being a horizontal line of tight thread in the fabric, almost inevitably resulting in a “run”. This “snag” can also be caused by wringing the fabric when washing—see “Care of Stockings”. Holes in heels and toes cannot justly be laid to faulty manufacture, and complaints in this direction should be firmly, but courteously, dealt with by stating possible causes outside the control of the


needs, measure from the top of the shoe heel, then take into consideration the length of girdle worn, and type of leg. The customer will appreciate the extra trouble taken to sell her the exact length she has in mind. Repeat sales will grow out of emphasising the right lengths, especially for hard–to–fit customers. It is, therefore, important to remember it is not only the proportions of the leg, but the length of the girdle worn that decides the stocking length.

Selling proper length is an important factor, since satisfying the customer is the goal at which all selling is directed.


Stocking returns could be kept down by an anticipation of the hazards that might cause such returns, instead of these having to be dealt with after they develop. Such knowledge would train the salespeople to diagnose a case of complaint in a stocking return, and they would not, therefore, be at a disadvantage in suggesting the right remedy.

It is a good policy never to allow a customer to handle hose at the sales counter. If the customer wishes to see how sheer the hose looks, the saleswoman only should prove this by running the stocking over the clenched hand. Here, a special caution to the saleswoman—have the hands smooth, and free from any rough skin, long nails and jewellery. It is surprising how a rough finger will catch the thread of a sheer stocking and pull it, causing a “pulled course”.

Never sell to your customer a stocking which is too small in size. Do not ask what size stocking she requires, but enquire as to her shoe size, and advise accordingly—sooner err on the generous side of foot length, as the fabric of hosiery is elastic and will cling to the foot. Furthermore, it should always be remembered that stocking size is governed by the inch measurement (8", 8½", 9", 9½", 10", 10½") thus a half-size up in stockings means half-an-inch added to length of foot, whilst shoe sizes are three to the inch.