The stocking frame was one of the first technological developments in the textile industries, dating from the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. It was probably invented in the East Midlands, but certainly knitted garments became one of the main products of the region from the seventeenth century onwards. The frame was intended for use in the home and the whole family was involved, the men working the frame while their wives and children wound bobbins and seamed stockings. This book explains how the stocking framed worked, describes the lives of the knitters and illustrates the kinds of buildings in which knitting was done. Since the hosiery industry was the last of the textile industries to mechanise, many of these family workshops remain. There are some interesting places to visit both in Britain and Europe where the hand process is still demonstrated.
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Marilyn Palmer is Professor of Industrial Archaeology at the University of Leicester. She serves on advisory committees on industrial archaeology for the National Trust, English Heritage and the Council for British Archaeology.
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