Got a hosiery and stocking fetish? Hosiery has been around probably as long as recorded history, if not longer – the Romans are referred to as having worn something like hose made out of strips of leather, and there is some Egyptian art that suggests that they had long, woolly sock-like hose with toes. Technically, hose is anything worn against the skin that covers the leg and generally also the foot – thigh high socks, leggings, stockings, fishnets, fully fashioned stockings, and more are the modern day evolutions of something that has been a part of humanity as decoration or merely protection from the elements for quite some time.

Where does your stocking fetish come from?


Some of the earliest iterations that resemble our modern day hosiery were actually more often worn by men in the 14th century; they were pieces of fabric sewn to be shaped like the leg. Knitted socks and stockings, however, did not appear until the 16th century, when knitting guilds were flourishing throughout Europe. One of these was a Parisian guild said to have been founded in 1527, and Henry VIII was apparently very fond of knit silk hose imported from Italy. In the earlier days of hose, decorative and colorful options were worn by men, who showed their legs readily – women’s fashion required their legs to be covered, and it was quite shocking to get a glimpse of their stockings.

hosiery and stocking fetishThe hidden nature of women’s stockings didn’t keep them from colorful and decorative options if they could afford them – with wealthy aristocrats wearing hose embroidered with silver and gold thread - but it did mean that the actual viewing of their stockings while being worn was an intensely intimate and likely sexually charged experience. I of course think of the scene in Marie Antoinette where Marie is seeing her lover, and wearing nothing but white silken hose held in place by pale blue ribbons, with a fan obscuring the rest of her body.

Hosiery and Stocking Fetish: it's a Victorian thing


Hand-knit stockings gave way to a mechanized knitting frame during the reign of Elizabeth I; much like the nylons stocking enthusiasts seek today they were knit flat in the shape of the leg and seamed uo the back. Which handcranked circular machines made seamless stockings available in the 1800s, they were shapeless cylinders and not considered to be very flattering. Victorians also loved stockings, and though they were generally not seen decorative embroidery became popular – a glimpse of this embroidery if a skirt was lifted a coupe inches was considered to be incredibly racy.

When the 20s roared in, hemlines raised and stockings changed forever – popular fashion at this time was to roll stockings over garters just above the knee to give a padded look, and a glimpse when skirts moved.

It was in the 1910s when synthetic materials started replacing costly cotton and silk stockings, making them more readily available and thinner. It wasn’t until 1939 that nylon deputed and took the world by storm. The new material seemed futuristic, and was additionally bolstered by the patriotism of being an American-made material, unlike silk which was imported from Japan.

During WWII Dupont switched from manufacturing stockings to manufacturing parachutes and other items to support the war effort, creating an intense demand – and even a black market – for what stockings where still available. This is the time period in which people would draw fake seams up the back of their legs and ‘spray on’ stockings flourished, but they didn't compare to the Nylons women craved – there are even reports of people being robbed of their nylon stashes during this time.

When nylons became available again after the war, DuPont, the creator of the material, had such a hard time keeping up with demand that there were riots at a Pittsburgh department store when 40,000 women showed up for only 13,000 pairs of available stockings.

Though stockings have gone in and out of fashion throughout modern history, they are a commonly fetishized article of intimate clothing. Though seeing the legs clad in form-fitting clothing is more and more acceptable (just look at how popular yoga pants are, even becoming more acceptable as part of a workwear wardrobe), there is still an allure to them, especially rarer vintage stules like Fully Fashioned Nylons, which went out of production for a short while.

Something so delicate, so close to the skin, so soft – it is no wonder there are many people who love them, even to this day and might develop a hosiery and stocking fetish.

Caitlin is a writer, sex educator, consultant, and product reviewer who focuses primarily on issues of sex toy and accessory safety, pleasure, sexuality, gender, and more. You can learn more, or ask any questions, at their website- www.sex-ational.com.

 
Images by Philip Pessar und Paul Townsend via Flickr with CC BY 2.0 license

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