– Is it really not possible to produce FF’s on modern round-knitting machinery? Okay, I’m not talking about “genuine” FF’s but rather a quality that comes as close as possible in terms of feel and look of the original thing, aka non-stretch and 100% nylon.
– Anything can be made less expensively if there are sufficient volumes. It’s a case of creating enough demand and then machine manufacturers would quickly design machines to produce them and the prices would fall.
– As far as I know, this is true. I understand that the machines that make hose these days use a different blend of nylon thread than what was used on the flat knitting machine. However, if there’s money to be made, someone will build a better mousetrap.
– It all depends on the thin thread of what is “close” and what is not. True, original fully fashioned stockings were made by knitting a flat (what could be described as a butterfly) leg, then the leg is closed by knitting the piece together to form a leg and the seam results.
That is why a FF stocking stretches to accomodate the width of a leg but does not stretch in height. If anything, if a leg is full, it will shorten the length of the stocking in order to accommodate – never the opposite.
Modern machines (circular) have a multi-directional stretch capability. This is why, in my opinion, modern stockings with seams are more difficult to keep straight than those made on the original machines.