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30 October 2011

Stockings :: a glossary of terms

Fully fashioned (FF)
This refers to stockings that are knitted flat on vintage machinery, and then sewn up the back with a genuine seam and finishing loop. Genuine fully fashioned stockings are now very rare but much sought after (see fig 1 & fig 2).
Contrast heal and seam
Many would say the ultimate in hosiery, striking, sophisticated and very daring, this type of stocking features a contrast colour foot, seam and welt. Sometime bright colours may be used as the "contrast", but often it wil be a black seam, heel, toe and welt featuring as part of a "nude" stocking (see fig 1).
Cuban heel
Type of heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part is squared off above the back of the ankle, rather than tapering to a point (see fig 1).

fully fashend stockings with cuban heel and contrast seam
fig 1
Fully fashioned stockings with a combination of "cuban heel" and "contrast heel and seam"
Copyright © Nebel Knitwear Company

French heel
Also known as a point heel, it's the type of heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part tapers off to a point, helping to accentuate the length and shape of the leg (see fig 2).
Reinforced heel and toe (RHT)
Stockings that have a reinforced heel and toe. Classic RHTs are generally made from 100% non-stretch nylon, and along with fully fashioned stockings, are the most reminiscent of the golden era of the 1950s. RHT stockings do not have a seam.
Sandal toe
Sheer, invisible toe - ideal for wearing with strappy sandals or open toe shoes. May come with or without reinforced heel.
As a term specific to stockings it describes the double thickness at the stocking top. Fully fashioned stockings have a finishing loop at the back of the stocking welt (see fig 2).

Fully fashioned stockings with a French heel
fig 2
Fully fashioned stockings with a "French heel" and "finishing loop" in the welt
Copyright © Hidden Assets
This is a guide to whether the hosiery is sheer (see through) or opaque. Low deniers are sheer. High deniers are opaque. Technically it's defined as the weight in grams of 9000 meters of yarn. Standard sheer hosiery tends to be in the 10-20 denier range. Anything less than 10 denier is considered ultra sheer. Higher deniers tend to be semi-opaque (around 30 denier) or fully opaque (45-50 and above).

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