Long Stockings: Weave--Country Trends

Figure 1.--Here we se two German brothers wearing short pants with dark flat-weave long stockings. The portraits looks to have been taken in the 1940s. Click on the image for a fuller discussion.

Weaveing trends seem to have varied somewhat among countries, but we do not have extensive details at this time. There are large number of images archived on HBC with children wearing long stockings. We will link some of the images here to help develop some country information on weaving. We think that there are many similarities from country, especially because thart long stockings were most commonly worn by children in northern countries. There do, however, seem to have been some differences. We note for example more flat-knit stockings in the United states and more ribbed knit stockings in Canada.


We note more flat-knit stockings in the United states and more ribbed knit stockings in Canada. A Canadian reader report that girls in Canada wore the flat-weave stockings while boys wore the ribbed variety and that boys in Quebec considered the ribbed stockings more boyish and masculine. W note both boys and girls wearing flat-weave long stockings for formal occassions. The Canadian catalogs show both ribbed and plain-weave stockings as appropriate for both genders, and girls seem to have worn ribbed stockings for sportier occasions just as boys also wore the plain-weave stockings at certain times. We note catalogs in 1940 and 1949.


Karel Chech, a Czech boy in 1947, wore beige long stockings which are finely ribbed, highly elastic, and form-fitting for a studio portrait. But the occasion does not seem to have been especially formal, since the boy is shown with his horse toy.


Most of our images of German schoolboys wearing long stockings, whether black, brown, or beige, seem to suggest that mothers preferred to buy the standard flat-weave texture for their sons, perhaps again because these were considered a bit dressier. But we have an image of Hans J. at age 4 wearing dark brown stockings that are obviously ribbed.


United States

I am not sure yet about long stocking weaves in the United states during the 19th century. Much more information is available on the 20th century. l Wards made a special point of ribbed long stockings being especially appropriate for boys, but ribbed stockings are shown also as worn by girls. One image in a 1930 Wards advertisement shows both genders wearing ribbed stockings but with finer rib for girls and a bolder, wider rib for boys. But there is apparently nothing definitive, at least in America, about ribbing being a gender issue. A Sears 1943 ad for tan long stockings shows both plain and ribbed long stockings for boys and girls as being almost indifferent choices. And another 1943 Sears ad shows a boy and a girl both wearing the plain-weave variety of stockings, presumably for school wear. A Wards ad of almost the same time (1943-44) shows a whole variety of weaves including a kind of waffle weave as well as both ribbed and unribbed plain-weave long stockings. These styles all seem to cross gender lines. It does seem obvious that the plain-weave stockings would be more appropriate for dressier occasions whether on the part of boys or girls.


Related Pages:
[Return to the main Main long stocking weave page]
[Return to the main Main long stocking page]
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Created: 1:38 AM 11/14/2006
Last updated: 1:04 AM 1/2/2007