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Use Old Pantyhose as Quilt Stuffing

Frustrated at wasting her old pantyhose, the author—an avid quiltmaker—realized they would work well as quilt stuffing.

| March/April 1979

  • 056 old pantyhose quilt stuffing.jpg
    Old pantyhose that are full of runs and otherwise have no other use do very well as quilt stuffing.

  • 056 old pantyhose quilt stuffing.jpg

If you're female and have an office job, chances are you go through several pairs of pantyhose a week. A friend of mine (who works in a travel agency and earns a rather small salary) calculated that she works two days a month to pay for her hose. That figures out to 24 days a year—or about one work-month—wasted on the flimsy legwear!

It does, of course, seem a bit ridiculous to put that much labor into a nylon supply. There are ways to fight back, though. You could, for instance, go barelegged, wear pants, wear runny hose under boots and/or pants ... or take a pair with a left run and a pair with a right run, cut off the offending leg of each, and then put both pairs on. (Who's to know?)

Many of these solutions, however, only forestall the inevitable. Sooner or later, you'll pull on your pantyhose, and they'll do what they were designed to do: branch out into rivers, streams, rivulets, and rills of runs, rendering themselves useless. Worse yet, these "longstockings" are about as biodegradable as plastic bags!

"Old pantyhose have to be good for something! They have to be!" I used to wail, while gnashing my teeth over the waste.

I finally came up with an idea, though, and it's pretty good if I do say so myself: Why not turn then into quilt stuffing? After all, nylons are lightweight, easily cleaned, and they dry quickly without packing down. (I've found that hose can be used to stuff children's toys, too.)

So, round up your dead nylons and (of course) wash them. When the stockings are clean, cut off the elastic waistbands. (I can't think of any use for these, unless you're ranching tomatoes, in which case you now have lots of nice, soft, vine tie-ups.)

9/1/2009 10:50:42 AM

You could also, instead of hand overcasting each square, use a zigzag on top of butted edges when putting together the little pockets. It would look neater than stitching the ends, and it would take a lot less time than hand stitching them. What a great idea. Back when my children were small, in the 70's, I used to stuff all their homemade toys with nylons, since I saved all the ruined ones (and we wore a lot more of them back then). They lasted forever, and nylons are very washable, plus non-allergenic. It's a good use of what would ordinarily be wasted.

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