Book Review: “Om Strømper” (About Stockings)

Book Review: ‘Om Strømper’
(“About Stockings”)
Editor: L. Brahe Christensen. Illustrator: Des Asmussen.

Numbered Festschrift for Erik Gravesen, Founder of Valby Strømperfabrik (Stocking Manufacturing) on the 50th anniversary in 1953.
160 pages. One colour photo. 48 drawings, 32 b/w photos. Hardcover, showing the fashioning of a machine-knitted stocking in close-up. Limited edition of 3,500. Text in Danish.

Chapters:

◾Margrethe Hald: “Bare Feet to Stockings”
◾Ellen Andersen: “The Stocking in European Fashions”
◾H.P.Hansen: “Hose Knitting and Trading”
◾Georg Horregaard: “The Individual Production Begins”
◾Erik Gravesen: “Fashioned Stockings”
◾Jorgen Gravesen: “Round Knitted Stockings”
◾Erik Gravesen: “My Father”

Margrethe Hald: Chapter 1 – “Bare Feet to Stockings”
Translated and abridged by Karen Finch, 2006. (As yet unpublished).

The person most often associated with the Bronze Age Dress Collection at the Danish National Museum is Margrethe Hald, whose work has been the inspiration of several generations of textile researchers and conservators.

I met her with a fellow student at Kunsthaandvaskerskolen in Copenhagen in 1944. Her office was filled with her preparations for her doctoral thesis published in 1950, and in English in 1980 under the title “Ancient Danish Textiles in Bogs and Burials”.

“From Bare Feet to Stockings” was produced as her contribution to a festchrift to a stocking manufacturer and gives an over-view of the many stages of their development from several individual garments to the footed legwear that we know as stockings. The last part is devoted to the techniques of making, using Sprang, Looped Needlenetting or Needlebinding, Woven fabrics and Knitting.

Karen Finch