Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Seams Like Gravy

When we think of images of women during WWII, we think of strong women, adorning pants and joining factory lines. We might even think about food rationing and metal scrapping.

It's unlikely we've ever considered how women made do without basic necessities like... stockings...? A standard of dress that women today will gladly, and readily, do without, in the 1940s was clung to with a sense of morale and duty.

In 1939, following the World's Fair, nylon sales were at an all time high. Marketed as a fabric made from “carbon, water and air", nylon was strong and durable, but when war broke out, nylon factories were retooled to make parachutes, cords and rope, instead of stockings

So what does the industrious woman do when her stockings are no longer mendable?
Using gravy as a paint, women began painting dark stripes up the backs of their legs to mimic stockings. These "Glamour Hose" gave the illusion of stockings during a time of rationing.  

These wartime images show women fighting a battle different than the ones we're used to seeing.
After the war, nylon production couldn't meet demand. Fighting broke out at home until manufactures were able to keep up. 

Read more about these improvised stockings at

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