Knitting in Rumania and in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula

No data are available about the use of the knitting machine in these countries up to the end of the eighteenth century, except for Dalmatia which has already been covered in the discussion on Italian knitting. The national dress worn both in Moldavia, as in Wallachia, in Transylvania, Bulgaria and different countries of Yugoslavia did not require the use of hosiery. They were not manufactured in the Turkish state. In Bulgaria the first textile manufactures came into being only in the thirties of the nineteenth century.104 The rich and variegated folk knitting of these countries probably developed relatively late, although in the eighteenth century there may have been a limited hand-knitting production in the mountainous regions.

The Hosiery on Knitting Frames outside Europe

Under the influence of English hosiery the first knitting frames began to be used in North America and later in the United States of America in the eighteenth century.105 The earliest history of American hosiery has not been studied systematically but some evidence is available. Following the imports of stockings and gloves from England in the seventeenth century the first manufactures were organized in the East coast of North America. I. J. Haskell wrote about the stockings in some centres:

From time to time the Colonies subsidies the making of stockings, as when, in 1662 Virginia decreed a premium of ten pounds of tobacco for every dozen worsteds made. In 1775 this state also offered fifty pounds for every 500 pairs made. This must have been Tor cotton, as a price is given of 1 to 3 shillings a pair. In 1747 a stockings factory was begun in Annapolis, Maryland, but it was not very successful. In 1776 Maryland appropirated three hundred pounds to Coxendorfer, Frederick County, to start a factory. In 1764 the Society of Arts in New York offered a premium for the largest quantity of three-thread wove stockings made in the State. Again in 1766 is offered the premium for the first thread stocking loom made of iron. In 1775 the Dutch people of New York had stockings in colors - blue, red and green. In the 1747 Governor Law of Connecticut wore what was purported to be the first coat and stockings made of new England silk. The material was made in Mansfield. In 1777 James Wallace asked for a loan of one hundred pounds from the state to manufacture.106

Also in Pennsylvania in 1748 a stocking weaver from German town named Nicolas Rary moved to Lower Salford Township, Philadelphia County. "A men named Stevens carried on the business of stocking weaving in an old log house which stood near the store in Harleysville. To weave stockings he used a loom or machine which was worked with foot treadles".107 These few and dispersed mentions are shown as the examples of the use of some knitting frames in America mainly for stockings production. Perhaps additional archive research could tell us more about the history of this hosiery. But it is certain that it was only a limited and dispersed production in the manufactures or artisan shops of that big country. The machine knitting does not seem to have been used in other parts of our world before the nineteenth century.

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