Before we have made a complete study of the fabrics that we wear and use every day we must make a study of shoes and stockings and how they are made. To know how they are made will help us to purchase them more wisely. We will know what the saleswoman means when she says, "These hose are full-fashioned," or what the shoe salesman means when he says, "These shoes are made with turned soles." We will know better how to understand newspaper advertisements and how to judge when an advertised bargain is a real bargain.
How Stockings Are Made. - A well-made stocking is made to fit the leg and foot. It must be larger in the upper part of the leg and fit snugly around the ankle. Have you ever had a stocking that was too full around the ankle and persisted in wrinkling? This means that it was not well made. The fit of a stocking depends to some extent on the way in which it is made.
Three ways in which stockings are made are described in the following paragraphs.
Cut Goods. - These stockings are knitted in a long, tubular piece that is the same size from top to bottom. Then the material is cut to fit the leg and sewed in a seam. The heel and toe are added and in some cases a ribbed top. This is the cheapest type of stocking and is objectionable to many people because of the very heavy seam.
Seamless Hose. - This type of stocking is made with no seam running down the back of the leg. Some of the seamless stockings are shaped somewhat in the knitting, so that the ankle is smaller than the upper part of the leg. In others the stocking is the same size all the way from top to bottom and this often causes the stocking to wrinkle around the ankle.
Full-fashioned Hose. - The full-fashioned hose are knitted in a flat piece and made narrower at the ankle by dropping stitches. The flat knitted piece is then made into a stocking with a seam down the back of the leg. By examining a pair of full-fashioned hose you can see the narrowing marks each side of the seam where the stitches were dropped. Sometimes the narrowing marks and seam are imitated in cheap stockings. When these stockings are washed they may stretch and fit badly around the ankle. The foot of the stocking is knitted at the same time as the leg, so that the whole stocking is made in one piece. These are the best fitting and most expensive hose.
An Investigation. - 1. Appoint a committee to find out and report to the class on the prices of each of these kinds of stockings.
2. Appoint a committee to find out the names of some of the well-known brands of stockings.
3. Appoint a committee to find out what other kinds of clothing are made by knitting and how it is done. References listed at the end of this chapter will help you. How Shoes Are Made. - Many different kinds of material are used in the making of shoes. Those most commonly used are calfskin, kid, patent leather and canvas. Each of these materials has particular characteristics that make it suitable for a certain type of shoe. Calfskin is a heavy, durable kind of leather which makes a serviceable shoe. Kid is a thin, soft leather which makes a comfortable, light-weight shoe. It is not suitable for an everyday shoe because it is easily scuffed and does not keep its shape well. Patent leather is made by applying a preparation to the surface of kid which makes it shiny. In buying patent leather shoes one should be careful to insist upon having genuine patent leather. An imitation of patent leather is made by putting a patent leather preparation over a cloth foundation. This, of course, does not wear as well as real leather. The shiny surface soon cracks and scales off, showing the cloth underneath. Canvas is a material used for tennis shoes and white sport shoes for summer. These are cool and comfortable for summer wear, being much more easily cleaned than white kid or buckskin shoes.
Some shoes are made wrong side out and then turned right side out after being sewed. It seems impossible that a shoe can be turned inside out, but some of our fine, light-weight shoes are made in this way. These are called turned sole shoes and are always soft and pliable.
A good quality of shoe made by another method is called the Goodyear Welt. This shoe is not turned inside out in the process of making. It is made with an extra strip of leather sewed around the edge of the sole to give it additional strength. The stitching can be seen around the edge of the sole. There is also a stitching inside the shoe which holds the insole to the welt and outersole.
Another shoe of less durable quality is called a McKay shoe. This has no extra strip of leather or stitching around the edge of the sole. The shoe is held together by stitching and tacks inside the shoe. These can be seen when the lining is pulled up.
A fourth method of making shoes is by tacking and screwing the sole to the uppers without the use of any stitching. This is generally used for very heavy shoes for outdoor wear.
Suggestions for Study. - 1. Make a list of other materials used for shoes.
2. Discuss the appropriate use of each of these materials.
3. Compare prices of shoes made from different kinds of materials.
4. Examine the shoes that the girls in the class are wearing to see if you can tell by what method they were made.
5. Compare prices of turned sole shoes, Goodyear Welt shoes, McKay shoes and standard screwed shoes.