Stocking samples

Find out more about why we made stocking samples

June 3rd, 2020

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In the Archive we have many stocking sample books but we never made stockings.  We also still have a stocking machine although it needs some Tender Loving Care to start working again.

The reason for the stocking machine samples is all to do with the dyeing.  To check yarn dye a small knitted sample was created to check the shade of the yarn this was much quicker and cost effective than having to set up a whole loom to check the yarn.

As you can see from the samples colour was everywhere.  Although the cloth produced here was for fine worsted suit cloth many colours were used to create subtle shades and keep up with the latest fashion trends.  You might also note that some of the stocking samples have had pieces cut out of them.  In fact the cloth sample books called Guard books also have pieces cut out of some of the cloth.  This was most likely a designers handy work.  To keep up with trends and fashion they would look at previous years and seasons and adapt and create for future lines and designs by cutting a sample of cloth.  So if you are in a cloth Archive like ours watch out for designers with sharp scissors.

If anyone has advice or practical skills to help us fix our stocking machine I would love to hear from you.  Please contact

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