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Pretty Polly and Elbeo

Pretty Polly was originally named after a famous racehorse, owned by an English bookmaker. His daughter launched a hosiery wholesaling company in 1926 and the business was shortly taken over by Hibbert and Buckland, a local hosiery producer. The new proprietors developed the brand, together with its now famous parrot trademark, and by the 30s Pretty Polly was renowned for high-quality stockings made from silk, nylon, and lisle. Its annual sales of fine-gauge hosiery in 1939, was a staggering 48 million pairs plus.

Company ownership changed again in 1959. As part of the Thomas Tilling Group, the brand was officially incorporated as Pretty Polly Ltd, and in less than a year Pretty Polly had launched the original non-run seam-free stockings. Echoed a decade later another innovative design was when the first Hold Ups were introduced, removing any requirement for a garter belt. Soon afterward, one-piece tights indispensable to the mini-skirt followed the inventive one-size stockings launched earlier. Sheer Knee Highs were Pretty Polly's answer to the tight jeans of the 70s.

As hosiery made a come back in the 80s, Pretty Polly introduced Lycra into its denier collection. It was the earliest company to merge ultra-fine Lycra with a fine-denier textured yarn. The now famous "Nylons", still a bestseller, were trend setting, and a signal of the vogue for a "sheer" look to come in the late 80's. In 1991 the Sara Lee Corporation, who had already acquired Elbeo, bought Pretty Polly, the very year the company attained a world first by applying micro fibres to sheer and opaque hosiery. Sara Lee then merged the two companies in 1993, capturing over twenty-three percent of the global hosiery market by the late 90s., The company, operating under the Pretty Polly name since then, has been given tribute for being the first to produce the finest sheer 5 denier hosiery.


Elbeo, was the oldest branded hosiery company in the world and by 1990 the Bahner family had been manufacturing stockings for some 250 years, Elbeo renowned for its support hose were bought by the Sara Lee Corporation and shortly after merged with Pretty Polly in 1993 who were a later acquisition.

Originally Johann Christian Bahner founded Elbeo in 1741. However, it was Louis Bahner, taking over the business in 1906, who conceived the Elbeo brand name. Determined to offer a guarantee of quality to his customers, he started to mark his initials L.B.O. on his products, and it was from this that the brand name was born.

The sheer quality of Elbeo's stockings swiftly gained them an international reputation at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris and was awarded the Grand Prix, the only hosiery company ever to attain this honour.

Developed for over forty years, it was Elbeo's expertise in support hosiery, which made its company's name. Its unequalled standard for support hose was perfected when Elbeo established a working relationship with The Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, England. In 1958 Elbeo founded a subsidiary company in Cumbria, to meet British demand and so successful the undertaking that in 1965 it opened its head office in Nottingham, famous for hosiery and lace. Further growth included the acquisition of the Martyn Fisher factory where Jacquard knitting machines knitted the unique patterns for Elbeo's products.

It was during the 1990s when Elbeo's fashion hosiery really took off. In 1992 the Shimmering Sheer collection was introduced, and just a year later, the deriative brand Seasons offered top quality opaques and textured hosiery in a variety of fashion colours. Lastly Sheer Extravagance was launched in1994 for the luxury market.

Stockings HQ. An incredible range of Pretty Polly stockings, as well as the best manufacturers from across the world, includes fully fashioned/seamed stockings, silk stockings, thigh-highs /hold-ups and more, all with the lowest prices guaranteed. Recommended.

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