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White knitted cotton stocking

Date: 1890 - 1910
Overall: 810 x 170 mm, 0.03 kg
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Stocking
Object No: 00018342

User Terms

    This white cotton stocking is part of a pair that would have been worn as part of a late Victorian or Edwardian woman's elaborate set of undergarments. The knitted stocking extends above the knee, and features elaborate open work lace patterning.
    SignificanceThe stockings are a rare example of women's undergarment fashions at the turn of the nineteenth century. They also signal advancements in manufacturing technology and textile design.
    HistoryBy the turn of the 19th century, developments in the manufacture of textiles meant that items such as 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, though by 1912 rayon stockings were marketed as 'artificial' silk and offered a more affordable alterative.

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