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The seam on fully fashioned stockings is an integral part of the stocking and not sewn on afterwards. Fully fashioned stockings are becoming increasingly rare; only a handful of manufacturers worldwide now make them regularly.
In addition to the distinctive seam they also come in a number of heel designs and the top of the seam where it meets the welt at the top of the stocking is completed by the welt being turned over and a finishing loop applied. The loop is needed to allow the needle sewing the seam to be withdrawn.
Fully fashioned stockings rose to prominence in the market during the 1940s (peaking in the 1950s) with the introduction of Nylon, with over 780,000 pairs sold on the first day and 64 million in the first year of North American sales alone. They remained popular until the introduction of Lycra in 1958 and mini-skirts shortly after.
Heel styles now vary from the original French (pyramidal) or point heel which was made most famous by the Aristoc Point Heel design to the Cuban and Havana heels—darkened reinforced heel design finishing in a square top rather than pointed top—the Cuban heel being defined by being much thinner and finishing higher up the calf than the Havana heel.
More recently a number of manufacturers have also started manufacturing different heel styles—most specifically the Manhattan heel which is a cross between the two above and French brand Gerbe coming out with some more distinctive designs around the heel.
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- Lockhart, Mary (2000-02-05). "Working a seam". The Scotsman. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-06. (subscription required)
- Freeth (2005). Made in America: From Levi's to Barbie to Google. MBI Publishing Company. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-7603-2270-3.
- Brown, Jonathan (2007-07-19). "Sales Shock: A Last Glimpse of Stockings". Belfast Telegraph. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-06. (subscription required)
- Cicolini, Alice (2005-01-01). "Stockings, Women's". Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 2014-06-10. Retrieved 2014-01-06. (subscription required)
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