Service Weight

This rather vague term refers to stockings differing by weight of yarn or by gauge from the finer stockings of lighter constructed yarns.

Seamless or Mock-fashioned Stockings

These stockings are knitted by a machine on which the needles are mounted in a cylinder. The stocking is produced as a tube, and though by modern methods of production it is possible to give some degree of shaping to such a stocking, they cannot be fashioned by increasing or decreasing the true width of the fabric as is required to fit the human leg to the shape of the leg. Most stockings of this type are now given an artificial seam for appearance’s sake only, and in most cases imitation fashioning marks are made in the fabric and by the side of this mock seam. They have no effect whatever on the shape or behaviour in wear of the stocking and are merely there for decoration. The gauge of circular-knit stockings is determined by the number of needles in the circular needlebar, but occasionally manufacturers will give the number of needles per inch-and-a-half of bar as the stocking gauge in the way similar to that adopted for identifying fully-fashioned hose. It should be noted that the result of doing this is usually an even number, not necessarily divisible by three. Fully-fashioned stocking gauges are always multiples of three.

Tram Silk

This was at one time a standard raw material used in the construction of pure silk stockings. It consists simply of a number of threads of silk from two upwards, given a slight twist of about five turns to the inch. The disadvantage of this material is that the stockings made from this type of yarn tend to have a glossy appearance, and because of the looseness of the yarn, a tendency to snag easily.

High Twist

This yarn is similar in construction to Tram Silk but far more turns to the inch are given in the twisting processes, and as a result, the yarn produced is harder, thinner and gives a much better appearance and wearing quality to the stocking constructed from it. Such stockings are also duller in appearance than those made from a loosely twisted silk.

Mesh Stockings

A properly-made fully fashioned mesh stocking will not ladder, and all stockings manufactured under the name “Pretty Polly Mesh” are in this category. There are, however,other types of stocking which while giving a mesh appearance are definitely not ladder-proof.