In December several English lg knitting and historical sewing forum shared the note of the Leiden Textile Research Center, in which they were calling for volunteers to participate in reconstruction of a 19th century silk stockings. Of course in a "who-could-done-this-if-not-me" base I sent an e-mail right away, because I wanted o be a part of this.
Even from the pleriminary notes and exchanges we could see that it will not be an easy undertaking, as there were mentions of gossamer thin silk thread and knitting needles thinner than some of my sewing needles.
The second workshop was held in Castricum, where the stockings are stored, and the participants were allowed to take a look at them. It was an unbelievable, special treat.
The story is that at the dutch seaside a lot of ship went under, and there is a lot of wrencks still under wate, under a thick layer of sand. The area is under protection, search, digging is prohibited, however, once in a while, due to an unsual wind, a new pier or something similar the flow of the tide changes, bringing stuff up from the sand. The wreck and findings from teh early 17th century was found that way. There were interior textiles, child and male dress items in various stage of detpriation, a woman's silk dress in a rather good shape and THE STOCKINGS.
Of course touching was not allowed nor the use of flashlights, but we got magnifiers, and a bit of time to study the stockings.
The first to notice is the unbelieveabli fine thread, the even knitting and the tiny gauge.
The heel and the toes have an unusual shaping, from before short-rows and kitchener stitch were invented.
As I mentioned earlier, the whole stockings are smaller, lighter, finer, narrower than one would think looking at the pictures.
I will tell you more about the project, but this was so amazing, I had to show it to you all.