By Claire Brayford
Pictured: All Nude pantyhose, £20, Fogal, available at Fenwick Bond Street
Fogal was founded in 1923 in Zurich and was the first brand to create pantyhose made of fine cashmere and silk. Using the latest technology, Fogal processed natural fibres to achieve never-been-seen-before fineness and softness. Fogal partnered with the filmmakers of The Great Gatsby to create The Gatsby Collection by Fogal. Featuring colourful variations of Jazz age-inspired tights of the era, it illustrated the timelessness of the design that still resound a century later.
Pictured: Sophie tights, £33, Wolford, available at Fenwick Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Canterbury, Colchester, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, York.
In 1950, Wolford took conventional American knitting machines and used them to make synthetic-fibre and pure silk ladies stockings, it was an innovation that set them apart as it was almost impossible for competitors to copy. Although created in Paris, in 1968 Wolford was the first to bring a suspenderless stocking with adjustable support tops. The new stocking could accommodate any thigh dimension with a simple adjustment. In 1998, all the buildings that manufacture Wolford tights were waterproofed to prevent any seepage of chemicals or waste water from reaching the ground water.
Pictured: Naturals Oiled tights, £6, Pretty Polly, available at Fenwick Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Colchester, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells.
It takes 164 seconds to knit one leg of Pretty Polly Suspended Tights. There are 2.8 million stitches in one pair of tights. Pretty Polly was named after a legendary race horse. In 1967, Pretty Polly invented and launched hold-ups, it was also the first company in the world to produce five denier hosiery. More than 90 per cent of its hosiery is designed and manufactured at its West Mill factory in Derbyshire.
Pictured: Treasure tights, £16, Falke, available at Fenwick Bond Street, Brent Cross, Colchester, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells.
Founded in Berlin in 1895, Falke is still a family business today and is operating in more than 30 countries. Falke’s Pure Shine hosiery is specifically developed using Japanese yarn with a special hydrophilic effect, which whisks any moisture away from your skin helping your legs to stay cooler. Burlington, which is part of the Falke portfolio, is famous for its Argyle sock which is made in more than 100 different colours. Falke’s Cotton Delight sock is knitted using 200 needles to give a refined and elegant appearance.
Pictured: Passion 40 tights, £13.99, Pierre Mantoux, available at Fenwick Bond Street
Pierre Mantoux tights undergo no less than 16 stages in their production, with six of those performed by hand. In 1984, The New York Times declared that the brand’s founders, Remo and Velia, were responsible for transforming a mass-produced item into a a creative representation of fashion. Among its many fans, Princess Diana was the most famous. In the Noughties, the brand expanded into knitwear, nightwear and swimwear.
Pictured: Luminosity tights, £10, Jonathan Aston, available at Fenwick Bond Street, Bracknell, Brent Cross, Kingston, Tunbridge Wells.
The company began as a family of hosiery wholesalers in 1933, while the Jonathan Aston brand was conceived in the mid-1960s when patterning machines became available, enabling the company to develop many unique designs. Jonathan Aston won UK Hosiery Brand of the Year for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Jonathan Aston continues to be favoured by celebrities including Rihanna, Emily Blunt and Fearne Cotton. To mark its anniversary the brand is launching two exclusive collections for autumn/winter 2015 with Celia Birtwell and Zandra Rhodes.