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Care and washing of Vintage Nylon Stockings

These stockings are very delicate.   They really don't get that dirty, just baggy after a couple days or even one day of wearing them.   By washing they go back into original shape.   Before using, I really strongly recommend a warm wash to remove the sizing starch.   You can use a mild soap and just warm water or cup of borax or other commercial softener and 2 tablespoons of mild liquid soap or mild soap shavings.   If you use real hot water some of the dye will leach out, not that you'd notice by wearing them.   Rinse a couple times in lukewarm water removing traces of soap.   I cup the whole stocking in my hand and compress with my fingers to squeeze excess water after each rinse by gently squeezing.  

Wash the nylons gently, I use a metal or ceramic bowl, not the sink.   Avoid rubbing and pulling.   This will stretch the stockings out of shape and could start a 'run'.   Extract water by gently squeezing stockings.   Do not slide your hands up and down the stockings.   Lightly squeeze them to remove excess water.   Use cotton gloves even if you do manicure your hands.   Any dead skin snag will cause a stocking "pull".   I use a emery board on my nails and rough spots on my skin of the fingers.   Lay on a towel to dry.   Or hang the stockings gently into shape, feet down, on a cotton towel draped over a shower rod away from high heat and direct sunlight.   Never put in a washing machine or dryer.  

Keep Nylon Stockings Away From Rough Surfaces

Do a good pedicure.   Use hand lotion on the feet and legs to make your skin smooth and sexy.   Use gloves to put the stocking on to keep from sagging them with a finger nail snag or dead skin snag.   I have ironed new ones that were rumpled in the box. I set the temperature to the nylon setting, once the stocking cools to room temp the color comes back.   The soap should be mild and very diluted to keep the acidity low so that the dye doesn't leach out.   After hand washing I use a hand lotion on my hands to keep them from drying out.  

Store them in plastic sandwich bags, one pair in one bag.   For heavy stained nylons, you know what I mean, I have soaked overnight in very hot water and heavy soap.   This seams to dissolve the stain pretty good.   But you do notice the dye leaching.   So, put both stockings together for this treatment, so they'll match shades.   To stop a run from getting longer, I carefully put my hand inside the stocking to get one finger under the end of the run.   Then I put a small,SMALL dab of clear finger nail polish at the end of the run.   I let it dry by moving my finger away and breathing on the spot for a minute.  

Avoid Sharp Objects Near Nylon Stockings

I'm trying to think of anything else to tell you.   I think that this covers every thing, except for dying the light colored stockings. It is really messy.   I was never happy with the results.   The water temperature, dye concentration, time, all have an impact on the outcome.   I've learned to appreciate the subtleties of the shades, tints and hues in stockings from one batch run to another.   I used Rit dye black.   I'd end up with strange hues of blackish purples.   You really need to start out with washed white nylons.

Perspiration is an enemy to silk.   Wash silk stockings as soon as possible after each wearing.   But, Nylon resists perspiration and moths and and isn't weakened by mildew.  Nylon resists stretching and shrinking and takes a long time to wear out.  Nylon only needs a low iron temperature setting.   It resist oils, alcohols, some solvents, and bases(alkalis) but not acid, especially acetic ones from citrius slowly attack nylon.

Quote from
"Since these stockings have been stored for many years,
I would HIGHLY suggest soaking them for at least 1 -2 hrs
with a delicate soap, and then gently laundering, then hang
dry before wearing. This should re-hydrate the stockings, and
should add to their silky and sheerness, and could also
increase their length. I have done this with my stockings, and
have had remarkable results.  ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES