At Calzette Hosiery we understand how hard can be buying hosiery, so we’ve created this simple hosiery glossary to help you understand the most common terms. So, let’s get started.
Brief – it is the section of the hosiery that starts at the waist or hip and finishes at the top of the thigh.
Boxer brief – This area is noticeably darker and stronger. The brief is thicker around the top of the waist to the thigh, which provides extra reinforcement. Usually, we describe it as a reinforced brief.
Sheer to waist – These items are consistent from the toes to the top of the tights. It can be sheer or opaque, the effect is still known as sheer to waist.
Denier (DEN) – actually refers to fabric weight. However, denier is most often used to measure the thickness of items. It’s a guide to whether the hosiery is sheer (see-through) or opaque (not see-through). Most items use a higher denier to denote a thicker item.
Usually, we have three kinds of thickness:
- Sheer hosiery – 6 den to 30 den
- Semi-sheer hosiery – 30 den to 40 den
- Opaques hosiery – 40 den or higher
Matte – matte items have no gloss. Matte is elegant and simple and can be worn at the office or on a night out.
High-shine (or glossy) is any legwear that is very shiny. This is for making your legs very noticeable and to attract attention to your outfit high gloss and other similar terminology.
Slight sheen or soft sheen means a subtle gloss that’s livelier than matte. Its subtlety makes it look almost like you have nothing on your legs and makes it very versatile. It looks great on a night out or for a business meeting.
Shiny refers to legwear with a sheen that is noticeable enough to show you are wearing hosiery. They are perfect for enhancing your legs but they are still tasteful.
Gusset – A panel added to the crotch for comfort, fit and personal hygiene. Gussets are usually cotton or made from the same material as the product.
Cotton gusset – are ideal for tights because they are natural materials and ensure superior hygiene and breathability
No gusset – simply have a seam instead of an oval shape panel. This kind of finish is great for shorts or a fitness body.
Back panel gusset – Fabric panel sewn into the body section of tights to increase their size and improve fit and comfort. Usually, used in 5-XL or bigger sizes of tights.
Hold-ups (“stay-ups” or “thigh highs”) – cover the leg up to the thigh. They are often decorated with an elegant lace cuff at the top of the garment. They use silicone on its inner surface to stay up and require no suspender belt.
Microfibre – a yarn made up of large numbers of fine filaments. Microfiber is finer than one denier (For example Strand of silk is one denier) It’s usually used to matte tights or others. The most common types of microfibers are made from polyesters, polyamides (e.g., nylon or Kevlar)
Nylon – ( NYLON 6.6) is a polyamide yarn. It is a man-made fiber, made from basic ingredients originating from the petrochemical industry. It can also be produced in differing cross-sections which give different handles and appearances.
Lycra is a synthetic elastane fiber invented by an American company. In most European countries it is called elastane, but in US it is spandex. It can stretch up to seven times its own length and return to its original state. It provides a great fit, comfort and any hosiery. Lycra can be used in its bare form (i.e. no covering). Covering increases the thickness and changes the handle characteristics of the yarn. It also adds to the yarn’s durability and costs rankhaya.com. It is also possible to mix other yarns or fibers and Lycra together. Usually, Lycra® is mixed with Nylon 6.6.
Visit the Lycra® website to learn more.
Polyamide – an alternative name for nylon. Polyamide is sometimes used instead of the word nylon in fiber content declarations.
Socks, Knee-Highs, Overknees
Socks – normally refer to the ankle socks variety. They cover the toes and foot and end over the ankle or partway up the calf
Knee Highs – are longer garments that reach the knee. Knee highs sit under the knees.
Overknees – very long knee highs sit over the knees. They look great with colored tights and mini skirts or shorts.
Shapewear – helps mold and massage your legs, midriff, and pelvis, enhancing your figure. Perfect for evening wear or if you suppose to wear a tight dress.
Control top – Tights produced with a body section containing sufficient Lycra to provide comprehensive figure-shaping in the waist, bottom or thigh area – or any combination of the three. The body section is often opaque in appearance.
Waist cincher – are designed to keep the lower and upper stomach shaped for an hourglass effect
Stockings – a classic in the hosiery world, stockings were the first type of legwear available and they remain a classic choice. They require a suspender belt, which clips to the welt. Stockings can be worn under a business skirt or with sexy lingerie.
Tights – A tight-fitting garment that covers everything from the toes to the waist. They are a versatile garment that makes it easy to spot printed patterns, stitched and woven details and other features.
See the difference: American English and British English have different terminology.
UK: Tights – all products covering from toes to the waist.
US: Tights – products that are covering (Opaque). Sheer products are named “pantyhose”
Maternity tights – are extra stretchy around the stomach so they fit comfortably without reducing circulation. They are very comfortable and help keep you warm. They are often designed with a massaging effect so your legs won’t become as tired during pregnancy.
Reinforced toes – prevent damage that can occur in the toe of some hosiery. Manufacturers include a strengthening panel, preventing tears and rips. This can be sometimes seen so it is often worn with shoes that cover the toes.
Sandal toes – use lighter coloured or sheerer material, mimicking the sheerness of the rest of the garment. This provides strength and invisibility. Perfect for toeless shoes.
Hipsters / hipster waist – the top of an item of hosiery is low on the hip
Regular waist – the top of an item sitting on the waist as normal
High waist – the top of an item continues until just under the bra.
We deeply believe that our simple hosiery glossary helped you to know some basic hosiery terms.
Now, when you know the most important things about hosiery, let’s go shopping!