Knitted hose was worn in Scotland around the turn of the 15th century, and then in France. Love created the first knitting machine. William Lee, an English clergyman, invented the machine in 1589 because the woman he was in love with barely looked up at him from her knitting needles! Many of the principles Lee developed can still be found in modern textile machinery today. Queen Elizabeth I refused William Lee the first patent for his knitting machine because she didn’t like the feel of the stockings it produced. She was used to fine silk stockings imported from Spain. His machine, she complained, made wool stockings that were far too coarse for the royal ankles.
« Back to News