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The History & Fully-Fashioned Luxury of Gio Stockings

January 23, 2020 3 min read

Gio Stockings Cuban Vs Point Heel

The most recent addition to our product range, Gio Stockings is a hosiery brand unlike almost any other. From their base in Berkshire, UK, they create some of the world’s favourite stockings – authentic fully-fashioneds!

Gio is one of the few remaining brands on the planet that even has the capability to make this classic and beloved stocking style. That’s because they must be made on specialised Reading machines, of which only a few still exist after their manufacturer went out of business in the 1960s. So it’s no wonder that Gio Stockings has a loyal and global fan base.

Gio Stockings Fully Fashioned Point Heel In Bronze

Gio Stockings Point Heel fully-fashioned stockings in ‘Bronze’

Of course, a brand doesn’t become popular simply because its products are rare. It becomes popular because those products are good, and Gio Stockings are very good. Their hosiery is silky smooth, available to suit a range of skin tones, and made by experts who’ve been honing their skills for many years. That includes knitters, seamers, and finishing technicians, because it really does take a team of people to create the perfect, premium-quality stocking.

All Gio stockings are a sheer-but-durable 15 denier, and of course, 100% nylon. They make hosiery exactly the way it was made in stockings’ heyday, for an authentic vintage look and feel. This includes, as mentioned, using the original Reading machines to create their fully-fashioned stockings, which are knitted flat and require sewing together up the back of the leg, creating the seam.

Gio Stockings Fully Fashioned Cuban Heel In Chocolate

Gio Stockings Cuban Heel fully-fashioned stockings in ‘Chocolate’

That is what sets fully-fashioned stockings apart from other seamed hosiery (all of which has a non-functional seam added purely for decoration), and why they are considered the height of hosiery luxury. You can tell that a pair of stockings are authentic fully-fashioneds due to the ‘finishing loop’ at the top of the seam, a necessary design feature that also happens to look rather chic!

Speaking of design details, Gio’s fully-fashioned stockings are available with a range of traditional heel options, of which we carry the two most popular – an elegant French point, and a bolder Cuban block. Both styles add the perfect finishing touch to retro outfits, making Gio Stockings especially popular among fans of vintage fashion. But really, anyone who enjoys glamour and luxury will adore these stockings!

Gio Stockings Fully Fashioned Cuban Heel In Black

Gio Stockings Cuban Heel fully-fashioned stockings in ‘Black’

Gio Stockings only exists thanks to the foresight of one man, Frank Wilkinson, who saw a reason to continue manufacturing fully-fashioned hosiery at a time when other companies were stopping production to focus solely on newer, seamless designs.

A technician trained to build Reading R80 machines, he jumped on a rare chance to purchase three of them, which he then restored and set to work. The company has since expanded and acquired a few more Reading machines, but it’s still family-run to this day, currently owned by Frank’s grandchildren.

Gio Stockings Fully Fashioned Point Heel In Natural

Gio Stockings Point Heel fully-fashioned stockings in ‘Natural’

Reading machines, by the way, are as much as 50 foot in length and 17 tonnes in weight, and contain tens of thousands of different parts. If you’re wondering why another company hasn’t stepped in to fill the gap by manufacturing a similar machine of their own, this is why! It made sense to create these enormous and expensive machines when almost everyone wore stockings on a daily basis. Now, we rely on the handful that are left, which are meticulously and lovingly maintained – because if they go, fully-fashioned stockings go with them.

Luckily for hosiery addicts, that seems unlikely any time soon. Gio Stockings is one of the best-loved hosiery brands around, and there are still many people who appreciate an authentic, fully-fashioned stocking. No other legwear is quite so luxurious!

Feeling tempted? Take a look at our Gio Stockings range here.


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