Fully fashioned stockings, FFS, are becoming increasingly rare – only a handful of manufacturerd worldwide now make them regularly. They are knitted flat and then the two sides are sewn together forming what is the seam– therefore the seam is an integral part of the stocking and not sewn on afterwards as is the case with more modern stockings.
Fully fashioned stockings are sized to the height and shoe size of the wearer and as such have little or no stretch in them as they have no lycra contained within the yarn. In addition to the distinctive seam they also come in a number of heel designs (covered below) 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 The loop is needed to allow the needle sewing the seam to be withdrawn.
Heel styles 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 is defined by being much thinner and finishing higher up the calf than the Havana heel.
Authentic fully fashioned seam stockings require up to 2 hours of work for a single pair to obtain an exceptional craft finish.