And so we have our silk stockings to-day and there are still Queens and Princesses and Duchesses who say much the same nice things as Queen Elizabeth said in 1560. In fact last week the Duchess of Kent, at the opening of an exhibition of English made hosiery at the Forum Club, said many complimentary things about the stockings she was shown and actually chose some designs for herself.
A new sandal stocking was among the Duchess's selection. This stocking is the loveliest cobwebby affair I have yet seen. It should be in for a grand time this
summer. Although it does exist, its function is to look just as if it didn't. It covers the whole foot, yet is so transparent that all the toes look through it as if it were glass.
Technically, it can be described as a stocking with no reinforcement across the toe, and a very small amount of reinforcement for protection across the heel, so that sandals can be worn with the maximum effect of bare feet, without the usual discomfort of this gipsy fashion.
All Nottingham Combined
Stockings, however, were only one of the industries represented at the Forum Club. Nottingham had brought itself there in full array, and exhibits included swim suits, underclothes, sports suits, children's clothes and shetland scarves.
Because the wind blew with great ferocity from the north-east on the afternoon on which I visited the Forum, I was very woolconscious—so I was shown all the wool that an eager secretary could find. He showed me everything made of wool from children's tiny vests and panties to complete suits of sleeping pyjamas.
I was greatly impressed with this last be cause I had always imagined that there was one thing no self-respecting person could ever own to the possession of, and that was a pair of woollen pyjamas. I have always had visions of those clumsy, lumpy, all-enveloping, tickly garments that would make one feel as though one were sleeping inside a suet pudding. Such are the garments that appear in most of our shop windows.
But at the Forum I saw something else. I saw the thinest, lightest, cosiest, and most superbly cut sleeping suit made entirely of wool, that could not possibly suggest the suet pudding analogy to any sleeper. So you who feel cold in bed— here is your chance for next winter—and you need have no "Clothes repression" about owning these woolly pyjamas!
Satin On The Beach•
Turning from the comforting but wintery subject of wool undies, to the exciting, but, alas, remote summery subject of swim suits I was shown a new fabric which will almost out-dazzle the sun upon the lidos of our coast resorts. It is called lastex satin, and is actually a brilliant satin material with elastic properties. There were suits made up in it in every possible subtlety of colour and they shone with a glory of their own.
Just as I was leaving I noticed a machine, in one corner of the room, which was made a hundred years ago by one of the stocking manufacturers.
A man at it was laboriously throwing a shuttle to and fro in the manner of the old weavers, and his work was to produce a long black silk stocking. I asked how long he would take to complete the work in that fashion and he replied that it was Possible to make a stocking a day!
Things have changed in Nottingham in a hundred years!