"File:Fully fashioned seamed.jpg" by AG Nahtstrumpf is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re a true handbag collector, you would know that Hermès birkins are the holy grail of purses. There’s something about Birkins that is unrivalled, making it on the top of every woman’s bag wishlist: quality and craftsmanship. And of course, the idea of entering the circle of “elites” and exclusivity. Well, hosiery is no different. Though you are saving yourselves thousands of dollars when spending on high quality hosiery, fully fashioned stockings would be what we think are the holy grail of hosiery.

For those who need a little insight on what fully fashioned stockings are, fully fashioned essentially means stockings that have been seamed from the back. It is the process where stockings are knitted flat, and then sewn up the back. Authentic fully fashioned stockings are only manufactured on original Reading knitting machines in which only very few remain operational today. Fully fashioned machines were made between 1940 to 1960 by the company called Reading Machinery Company based in Reading, Pennsylvania. Due to their highly complex and technical machinery, Reading knitting machines can not be reproduced and will remain scarce. To this day, there are only four Reading knitting machines in the world, 2 in the U.K., 1 in the U.S., and 1 in France. Regardless of which brand you choose to buy your fully fashioned stockings from today, there is no doubt that they were made from one of these four facilities.

Another reason why fully fashioned stockings are more expensive than your average pair of hosiery is because of the limited capacity each Reading knitting machine can produce. Needles of these machines are always set by hand and are only able to create about 30 pairs an hour according to What Katie Did. Not to mention, they also do have a high reject rate.

Though there isn’t any so-called “waiting list” (just like you would for a Birkin), fully fashioned stockings can be quite difficult to obtain simply because of their limited supply. So, if a brand offers a range of fully fashioned stockings, make sure to buy one immediately! 

Now you have an idea as to why fully fashioned stockings are the ultimate holy grail item for our legs, it’s time for us to recommend some of our favorite brands that continue to produce fully fashioned stockings.

1. Gio Stockings

Made in Derbyshire, England, Gio Stockings are one of the pioneers and leading manufacturers of fully fashioned stockings. With an extensive selection of fully fashioned stockings in different colors, you can’t go wrong with purchasing your very first fully fashioned with them. They also have occasional sales that go up to 40% so make sure to watch out for those and purchase your fully fashioned at a fraction of the price! 

2. What Katie Did

What Katie Did was founded by Katie in 1999. Her deep passion for vintage fashion, lingerie, and nylons is what sets her brand apart from competitors. If you’re looking for some great fully fashioned stockings with exceptional quality at an affordable price, What Katie Did is your place for that. 

3. Secrets in Lace 

Secrets in Lace was founded in 1984 in Northern Virginia. Their focus on classic hosiery and lingerie gets their customers returning back for more. Though their prices may be a little more pricey than the other brands we have mentioned, it is worth taking a look at their selections of premier heel fully fashioned stockings.

4. True Corset

True Corset is another brand that is able to provide you authentic and affordable fully fashioned stockings. With their 15 denier non stretch nylons, you’ll feel like you were back in the 1950’s! 

5. Gerbe

Gerbe is a brand that needs no further introduction. Gerbe has been in the business of hosiery for the longest time dating way back in 1904. They were the first brand to launch fully fashioned stockings called Bas Carnation. If you’re a hosiery collector who is into French craftsmanship and art, you need not to look any further. Gerbe is your answer to French luxury. 

Ladies, what do you think of fully fashioned stockings? Do you think they are worth it or not? Let us know down the comment section below!

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