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The Arosa Hosiery Factory in West Hartlepool

A woman sewing stockings at the Arsoa Factory in Hartlepool, 1950s. Image courtesy of the Museum of Hartlepool, Hartlepool Cultural Services. 

The Arosa Hosiery Factory took over the Pyramid Plastic Button Factory on Warren Road in the West Hartlepool trading estate in 1955. In the collection of the Museum of Hartlepool, there are some amazing images from the factory showing things like nylon stockings being made. In this blog, we are exploring these images and the legacy of the Arosa Factory.

Family ran the Arosa Factory had a wonderful reputation for looking after their employees even going so far as to work with the local authority to buy affordable homes near the factory which they could then offer to their workforce along with a good salary. 

The factory produced tights and stockings and created the most wonderful marketing images to encourage the sale of their products to some big companies. In 1957 the Arosa Factory employed 120 local people and purchased new machinery to expand their range of products to include knitwear such as cardigans. 

Ladies from the Arosa Factory are posing in the company’s nylon stockings for a marketing photo. Image courtesy of the Museum of Hartlepool, Hartlepool Cultural Services. 

The stockings produced by the company were made from Nylon a relatively new product introduced in 1940 and used mainly during the Second World War to create parachutes. Created in factories such as ICI Billingham, Nylon was a good, cheaper alternative to silk and made luxurious feeling stockings. 

In 1963 the Arosa Company tried to secure a contract from the Ministry of Defence to supply serving women in the military with their issued stockings. Unfortunately, they didn’t receive the contract and the company closed in the late 1960s with the building becoming Blairs Knitwear.