This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Hose may be arranged in several different ways. Richly embroidered goods must hang with a good sweep to the window, but common kinds should be drawn up short, or the "laundry" is suggested at once. Good stockings will look well as follows: Place two rods one above another, distant about eighteen inches. Fix a third four or five inches behind the top one, and a little lower from this last, hang the stockings, one foot to fall forward over the rod below, the upper foot to be turned upward over the rod above. Space being allowed between each pair, others may hang plainly back, the feet resting over a fourth rod fixed behind the lowest one. Another way would be to press them out, to show the fronts in the same way that half-hose are often hung by gents' hosiers. Let the first row hang to show about ten or twelve inches. A row directly behind these to hang from back to front; that is, falling from a rod placed behind to one fully eighteen inches lower in the front. Between these hose as they now hang there will be spaces of three or four inches, and to fill them let two other rows follow exactly in the same order, and a capital effect will be produced for fully fashioned or handsome embroidered goods.
Long-ribbed hose will generally look better folded—almost to half— before being thrown over the rod, fold and feet showing to the window, But this arrangement requires to be carried back in three rows, or the effect is poor.