What are those dots?!

Fully-fashioned stockings, they are such beautiful and luxurious items to own. For the money you pay for a pair, you would expect them to be perfect. So why the heck are there little ‘holes’, or ‘dots’ down the back of the legs?!

Take the image below of modern made Fully-fashioned stockings by Gio, if you were to zoom in, you would notice a line of dots on either side of the seam.

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Stockings by Gio

These dots exist in both vintage and new fully-fashioned stockings, but not stockings that have a ‘decorative’ seam. Let me explain…

Fully-fashioned stocking are named as such because they are made of one sheet of nylon ’tissue’; that is then turned into a sculptured tube by joining the outer edged through the process that is seaming. You can read more about how FFS are made here.

However, nylon yarn, or thread has almost no stretch to it, this means that if the stocking were made in the shape of an actual tube, it would not not fit. It would be tight in some areas of the leg, and baggy in other areas.

So how do FFS manufacturers get around this? Simple, the stockings are knitted into the shape of a leg. If you take out a new pair of FFS from their packet, you will clearly see that they are wider at the thigh, then curve out at the calf, nip in around the ankle and heel. As such, when you put your nylon stockings on your legs, they will mould themselves perfectly to you.

But what does this have to do with the dots? Well, if you look really closely, you can see the grain of the nylon tissue is aiming for the dots, then the grain goes parallel to the seam.


The little dots are actually called compression stitching which are caused by drop stitches. Drop-stitches are where many filaments are brought together to a single filament, this is done to shrink the profile of the stocking. If the grain was running straight down the leg, there would be very little control over the shape of the nylon.

To really simplify the technique, the machine on which stockings are made, are programmed to gather the thread at a certain point down the length of the leg and redirect it parallel to where the seam will eventually be.


There are many different ways in which you can check to see if the FFS that you are about to buy, or have already bought are genuine. Checking for the presence of these dots is one of them.


5 thoughts on “What are those dots?!

  1. HI Elinor, To let you know, ROMANTASY still has a number of full fashioned 100% nylon seamed stockings in inventory from my former boutique! Mainly I have small sizes with a few medium sizes left in various colors. The sale price is $19.95 for the first pair and $15.00 for pairs over that (any color may be ordered if in stock). These were knit by the last US mill in Alabama if I remember right. Sad to see that mill go! You might want to let your readers know! — Ann Grogan, President, ROMANTASY (romantasy.com)

  2. I’ve always adored wearing ff nylons and find the rows of sexy dots intriguing. Just love your posts on vintage nylon manufacture. Love your pix too xXx Penny

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