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Pair of stockings

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1590-1630 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Linen, silk; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, case 2 []

Object Type
Before the introduction of knitting to England in the 15th century, all hose were made from woven fabrics, either linen or wool. By the beginning of the 17th century knitted stockings were the most popular form of hose, but the cut versions like this example continued to be worn.

Designs & Designing
The stocking has been cut to follow the shape of the leg as closely as possible to prevent sagging. Cut hose were often worn under knitted silk hose, but the embroidered edgings in green silk meant that this one could also be worn on its own.

Physical description

Pair of man’s stockings or boot hose of bleached woven linen, pieced and cut with a centre-back seam, a clock on the outside and bound opening on the inside of the leg. The seams are edged with half-back and spaced chain stitches along the seams. There are 14 worked eyelets on each side of each leg opening, fastened with a finger-looped lace of dark green silk, knotted inside the stocking at one end, with a metal aiguillette at the other.

The stockings have been later re-soled with a lighter, finer linen.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1590-1630 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Linen, silk; hand-woven, hand-embroidered, hand-sewn


Length: 97.0 cm T.126:A-1938, hem to heel approx, Length: 25.4 cm foot, Width: 28 cm top

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Man's stockings or boot hose, 1590-1630, English; linen embroidred with green silk thread

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Susan North, ‘Embroidered linen stocking’, in 17th-Century Men’s Dress Patterns, 1600-1630, by Melanie Braun et al. Thames & Hudson and V&A Museum, 2016, pp.170-5.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Stockings made from wool or linen, cut on the bias (diagonally to the weave) to allow stretch were known as 'cut hose'. Lacing at the ankle gave a tight fit. Plain hose like this could be worn under a more expensive silk stocking to create a smooth line over hairy legs. [27/03/2003]


Linen (material); Silk thread


Hand weaving; Hand sewing; Hand embroidery


Footwear; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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