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Women's white knitted cotton stockings

Date: 1900s
Overall: 810 x 170 mm, 0.03 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Stockings
Object No: V00018341

User Terms

    This pair of white fine cotton knit lace stockings would have been worn as part of a late Victorian or Edwardian woman's elaborate set of undergarments. Extending above the knee, the stockings are elaborately patterned and would have been held up with garters.

    The white cotton day dress was a sort of 'uniform' of the ladies of leisure in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Decorated with a white sash and accessorised with veils, hats, mitts and parasols, the white 'sun' dress was worn by women of all ages enjoying fresh air and mild physical exertion, preferably by the sea.

    SignificanceThe stockings are a rare surviving example of women's undergarment fashions at the turn of the nineteenth century and would have been worn by women when visiting the Australian seaside in the early 1900s.
    HistoryBy the early 1900s, developments in the manufacture of textiles meant that items such as women's stockings were more affordable, and could be purchased at clothing and department stores. The 1880s saw the introduction of a fully automated circular knitting machine that was able to produce the tube stocking complete with a heel and closed toe.

    During the 19th century stockings were largely manufactured from linen, cotton and wool. Silk stockings were a luxury available to women of the upper classes. By 1912 rayon stockings were marketed as 'artificial' silk and offered a more affordable alternative.

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