Fully Fashioned Stockings (FFS) are vintage-style stockings meant to be worn with a garter belt. FFS are considered true nylon stockings as they are made 100% from nylons by a Reading Machine. Due to its manufacturing process, all Fully Fashioned Stockings feature a welt, shadow welt, keyhole, back seam, reinforced heel-and-toe (RHT), and picot lines.


Traditionally, stockings are knitted from the top down. The top of the stockings is called the welt and is created by stitching two layers of fabric together. As a result, the welt tends to be slightly darker than the rest of the hosiery.

Shadow Welt

The purpose of the shadow welt is to transition the welt to the rest of the stockings. A shadow welt exists below the welt, thus creating a single layer of fabric.


As the top of the stockings is folded and sewn back on itself, a distinct hole is created in the back of the stockings. This hole is called a keyhole.

Back Seam

All FFS are made with a back seam as sheets of nylon are sewn together in the form of a leg, thus forming a back seam.

Reinforced Heel and Toe

A darkened area around the toe and heel is created to secure the stockings together. This area is called the reinforced heel and toe.

Picot lines

During the production process, dotted lines, known as picot lines, are indented on next to the back seam.

Components of FFS

How are Fully Fashioned Stockings made?

Between 1940 and 1960, sheer hosiery was produced by a Reading machine – named after the Reading Machinery Company located in Reading, Pennsylvania. While one may imagine that a well engine machine is required to produce fine hosiery – that is not the case. Reading Machines yields thirty pairs of stockings at full speed where forty percent of its creation is considered faulty. Additionally, Reading machines can only operate under certain conditions using 15,000 – 18,000 needles. The process for creating Fully Fashioned Stockings is not sustainable, which is why there are less than half a dozen of these machines left in the world.

Fully Fashioned Stockings

Thigh Highs and Stockings for Garter Belts

Today, stockings are knitted through a circular machine, allowing hosiery to be created more efficiently, thus creating less waste. As a result, stockings for garter belts are simpler and more elegant by design as they no longer comprise a back seam, a keyhole, and RHT.

Alternatively, thigh highs (also known as stay ups) are also available for women who do not want to be hassled by wearing a garter belt. Thigh highs stay up on their own, thus allowing a woman to look and feel elegant, playful, and sexy in every occasion.

At VienneMilano, we offer a variety of hosiery styles, including stockings for garter belts, thigh highs, back seam stockings, and garter belts. Complete your look by shopping our collection.

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