How to Care for your Stockings Like a Vintage Lady

Monday is wash day, but did you know that the housewife (and teenage girls) were taught to wash their stockings, lingerie, and foundation garments by hand, every day? Especially when stockings were made of silk!

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The Routine

For stockings, you were supposed to wash them each evening after you took them off, but at least no later than during the next morning’s daily cleaning routine. As America’s Housekeeping Book says,

There is probably no need to remind you that perspiration is the deadly enemy of silk stockings, and that washing as soon as possible after each wearing is obligatory if you expect your stockings to last.
America’s Housekeeping Book

As rayon stockings became widespread and cheap, women often treated them as disposable. But if you are buying expensive, vintage-style or reproduction stockings, it pays to know how to care for them properly!

Washing Stockings

Remove your rings before you launder stockings or a thread may catch in a ring and start a run. Use lukewarm water (about 98 degrees F), softened if necessary.

Make a rich suds with mild soap. Turn the stockings inside out and immerse them in suds. Never rub soap on the stockings and never rub surfaces together. Instead, squeeze the suds gently through the stockings again and again. Extract wash water by squeezing gently. (I use Ivory soap. affiliate link)

Rinse several times in lukewarm water until there is no trace of soap left. Extract water after each rinse by squeezing gently.

Stretch the stockings gently into shape and hang, feet down, over a smooth rod to dry, away from heat.

Buying REproduction Stockings

I like to get old-fashioned stockings because I wear girdles mostly. There are even a couple of companies that specialize in making stockings the old-fashioned way. The best place to get authentically vintage-style stockings in What Katie Did. (affiliate link)

The best place to get authentically vintage-style stockings in What Katie Did

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