Fancy Heels

As the name suggests, these merely affect the appearance of the stockings, as the normal splicing of hose at the heel is given to withstand the extra rubbing and wear that the stocking receives from the back of a shoe. Any splicing above this point is for fashion purposes only.


A picot course or lines of open-work stitches are frequently included in the making of the top of the stocking. A picot course at the junction of the welt and under-welt or between the under-welt and the leg panel of the stocking, does prevent a ladder from running up into the welt, but it does not stop a suspendered ladder from running down the stocking. This “no-run course” has a very limited value and cannot be relied on to safeguard the life of the stocking. Some manufacturers build in to the stocking a number of picot courses in or just below the welt and these merely have a fashion value in most cases. Picot courses do, to a limited extent, assist in spreading the pull of the suspender more evenly around the top of the stocking.

Fully fashioned stocking with English Foot
Fully fashioned stocking with Round Heel

English Foot

Stockings with an English foot are distinguishable by the seams either side of the foot. This type of stocking is knitted on two machines. One, the “legger”, knits the whole of the leg of the stocking and the instep and heel tabs, which will form the back of the heel when the stocking is complete. The stocking is then taken off the first machine and placed on the needle bar of a “footer” machine. The rest of the stocking foot is then knitted. In making up, the ends of the heel tabs are linked together and the sole piece of the foot and the instep are seamed up along the sides of the foot. The leg of the stocking is seamed in the normal way.

French Foot

This foot style is knitted with linked heel tabs and a single seam running down the centre of the sole. The legs are similar to other fully-fashioned styles with the seam running down the back.

Round Heel

This type of stocking has a seam that is continuous from welt to toe. The whole of this stocking is knitted on one machine and the shaping of the heel is achieved by increasing the width of the fabric to allow the extra stitches necessary to accommodate the heel with the fashioning points. To perform this operation, the fashioning points move stitches outwards from their original needles instead of inwards, as in the production of thigh and calf narrowings. The fashioning marks may clearly be seen on either side of the front of the heel splicing.

Designed and produced by Allardyce Palmer Ltd., London.
Printed by Jones Cond Ltd., Birmingham, England. 1½M.