Anatomy of a Stocking

If you ever wondered what that top part of a stocking is called, or why there's a hole in the back of Fully Fashioned stockings, this post is for you. Here is an Anatomy of a Stocking.

The first thing you should know about stockings (as opposed to thigh highs), is that they require a garter belt to stay up.

Garter belts come in all different styles from slim and sexy to taller ones that work like shape wear. They can be pull ons, or have hook and eye closures at the back. Straps (either 4 or 6) are attached to the garter belt and attach to your stockings at the front and back (and sides if there are 6). Garter straps can be removable, as on a garter panty, a lingerie skirt or a corset, but most of the time they are not.

Garters attach to the welt of your stockings. Welts are (about) 3 inches of heavier nylon (or lycra) at the top of your stockings. Sometimes they are a darker shade of the stocking color, or they can be a completely different color all together. A welt can also be made of lace, these stockings are called lace tops.

Fully Fashioned stockings
are knitted by machine as a flat piece of material in the shape of a leg. The stocking then has a seam sewn in to hold it together. Most modern stockings with a seam are made with a circular knitting machine and the seam is added later as an effect. In this case, it doesn't hold the stockings together.

The keyhole in the welt of a Fully Fashioned Stocking appears as a "finishing loop", when the seaming machinist finishes the seam and turns the welt in a circle.

One final note about garter belts and stockings: If you like the look of seamed stockings, a 6 strap garter belt is recommended. More straps help keep the stockings straighter, which is essential when there is a contrast seam that needs to stay even on the backs of your legs.