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Our glossary is sorted alphabetically. To find what you are looking for, simply choose a letter.

The glossary aims to include every hosiery related terms that you might come across, on packaging or website, and to explain throroughly, but simply what the benefits are and how it actually works.



Hosiery with a top designed to cover the ankle bone and extending less than one-third of the way up the largest part of the calf.


Pantyhose are infused with all natural, cellulite-fighting ingredients that work to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Active ingredients include: soybean oil, butcher's broom, rutin, horse chestnut, Paraguay tea extract, coleus forksholi, gotu kola, grape seed extract.


Geometrically knit pattern that produces a balanced design of multi-colored diamond figures against a solid color background.

Athletic Socks

Hosiery designed for active sports, often having a ribbed striped top and plain foot construction. Usually knit of acrylic cotton, wool, or combinations thereof.


Traditional or classic styles which vary seasonally only in color. Basics form the bulk of the sock and sheer hosiery business.


A knitted pattern usually made up of two vertically intertwined bands.


Luxuriously soft, expensive yarn made from the undercoat of the Kashmir goat.


A broad hosiery term used to describe all socks, trouser socks, or knee-highs except dress, athletic, and work styles.

Control Top

Sheers or opaque with Spandex in the panty area to provide extra support (and a slimming effect) for hips and buns.

Cotton Count

An indirect yarn numbering system generally used for yarns spun on the cotton system; the number of 840 yd. lengths of yarn per round.


A knitting process that creates a fabric by a series of interlocking loops rather than rows of stitches. Needlework that is used to form an ornamented design on the hose whether it is sheer or "wool-like" in texture.


Socks folded over at the top, usually just above the ankle.


Any construction with a pile surface on one side and a ribbed or plain knit surface on the other. In most cushioned athletic socks, the terry forms the inside of the foot portion of the sock. Some of more complex constructions feature added layers of cushioning under certain areas of the foot, depending upon the sports activity for which the socks are intended. Cushion constructions are used in men's and women's athletic and casual socks of all types. While terry cushioning normally fulfills a functional purpose of reducing shock of running or jumping, the same terry-knitting procedure is followed in producing novelty socks with a terry or velour outer surface.

Daytime or Dress Sheers

Pantyhose of 15 or 20 denier yarn for a dressy daytime look.


Denier is the weight-per-unit-length of the yarn. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 9,000 meters of yarn.) The lower the denier, the lighter and finer the yarn, and the sheerer the garment. Hose knit of higher denier yarns tend to be more durable.

Dress Socks

Light to medium weight sock that may vary in length from mid- to over-the-calf.


A fabric or tape woven with strands of real or imitation rubber to make it stretch or a term which designates the ability of a yarn to return to its original size or shape after being stretched.


The ability of a strained material to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress that caused deformation.


The application of designs of decorative trim by machine or hand sewing.

Enhanced Toe


Evening Sheers

Pantyhose made of 10 to 15 denier yarn. Worn for special occasions, they often have a satin finish.

Enhanced Toe

A gradual transition from the leg yarn to the end of the toe so it is not as visible as the reinforced toe but more durable than a sheer toe.

Extended Control Top Panty

An extended control top panty is a control top panty that extends from the waist to the upper thighs providing same control as a regular control top.


Specifically in hosiery, the word is used to refer to that which is knitted on hosiery machines from fiber.


Natural or man-made units of matter which can be spun into a yarn or made into a fabric by various methods including weaving, knitting, braiding, felting and twisting. The essential properties for fibers to be spun into yarn include a length of at least 5 millimeters, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength. Other important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, and luster.

Filament Count

The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn.

Firm Support

Support pantyhose that give more support because heavier weights of spandex are used usually 70 or higher.


Knitted knee-highs, stockings or pantyhose with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net.


Short, below the ankle bone hosiery of varying weight and fiber content. Often called slipper socks and have varying uses such as athletic wear, casual wear, and come in different sizes for all age groups.

Full Figured

Girdle Top

Pantyhose with a sewn-on girdle, for the firmest possible tummy control.


This term refers to a light reflection from the yarn, mainly from a trilobal yarn which gives the glimmer effect by reflecting the light.

Graduated Support

This type of support hosiery is more comfortable because there are no sudden changes in the tightness of the spandex going up and down the leg.


A term that means crotch panel in pantyhose. The "gusset" can be all nylon, or can be cotton/nylon. It can be any shape from diamond to full back panel, but always means there is an extra piece sewn in at the crotch area.


Hosiery that contains minor imperfections in dimensions, size, color or knit but without obvious mends, runs, breaks or substantial damage to yarn or fabric.


An intricate process for knitting patterns, designs, or textures into the sock fabric, and the method by which is produced the decorative patterns.


Short hosiery that comes up to just below the knee. They are styled with elastic tops and stay up without the help of garters. They became very popular with the advent of women's slacks.

Knit-In Waistband

This type waistband is made of spandex and nylon and is inserted into the top of the garment while on the knitting machine. It is not attached later. It is non-binding and does not get tighter, and thus uncomfortable, during wear.


Ladies sheer hosiery knitted with a pattern resembling lace and/or hosiery with lace seamed to the top of the leg or waistband.


Light Support

Pantyhose made with a low denier spandex in the leg, usually 40 denier or lower spandex, to give light compression on the wearer.

Lycra® Spandex

A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their spandex fiber, which is commonly used in sheer hosiery, socks and half-hose for its stretch and recovery properties, providing better fit and shape retention, comfort, and/or support.


Hosiery with a dull finish; minus a shine or lustre.


A fine grade of wool from sheep originating in Spain.


An open knit used primarily to achieve a hand-knit, textured look.

Mesh Knit

A hosiery fabric produced in a variety of tiny patterns. Upon close inspection it looks like lots of fine zig-zag lines. Actually, the knit is a variety of tiny patterns with loops interlocked. This kind of construction helps prevent runs, but a snag in a mesh stocking will generally leave a hole. There are variations of mesh stitches, but for the most part, because the mesh stitch isn't as sheer, it is seldom used in the leg portion of the pantyhose. The runguard, however, does use the mesh stitch.

Metallic Yarn

A manufactured yarn usually made of metallic coated polyester plastic and used as an accent in novelty socks.


Microfiber is a generic term used to indicate yarns made of filament weighing less than one denier per filament (DPF), most commonly used in creation of nylon and polyester products.


A seamless mesh stocking where the loops are knotted in one direction only. Because of this the stocking can run in one direction - from the foot up towards the welt.


Hosiery with a top extending beyond ankle length but not beyond the largest part of the calf.

Non-Control Top

A visible panty without control.

Natural Fibers

Cotton, wool, or silk hosiery fibers.


Stockings or pantyhose with a special interlocking stitch that prevents runs (but not holes). Also called run-proof and run-less. Special processes under which the hosiery are manufactured are all designed to give the stocking or pantyhose extra life.


Garment manufactured without stretch yarns. Usually made of natural, ridged non-stretch fibers. Product has no compression or stretch ability which generally makes for a less satisfactory fit but is desirable for varying reasons such as fashion or medical conditions.


Man-made fiber introduced in 1938. It is the first and the oldest of the true synthetics. Chemically, nylon is a man-made polyamide fiber derived from coal, air, and water. This fiber is famous for its strength, abrasion resistance, dimensional stability, soft hand, elasticity, and easy-washing and quick-drying characteristics. There are two basic types of nylon used in hosiery. They are Type 6 and Type 6,6. Type 6 nylon is softer and has less memory when textured than Type 6,6. Most of the yarns used in ladies hosiery are made of Type 6,6 nylon to impart the maximum memory to the fabric. In socks, it is used primarily in men's dress socks, novelties, and as reinforcement with other fibers. Another use for nylon in socks is the stretch filament nylon plaited with other fibers to obtain multi-sizes.


Man-made fibers derived from polypropylene or polyethylene.

One Size

The term applied to hosiery products that fit most sizes from very small to large.


Degree to which light passes through, not transparent. When used to describe the panty of pantyhose-in-one garments, it creates an important part of the wearer's feeling of security when she opts to wear hosiery without undergarments.


Stockings or pantyhose made of yarn which give them heavier appearance, usually 40 denier or greater in weight.


Hosiery product that extends above the fattest part of the calf.


A hosiery garment that includes a true knitted-in panty, constructed of heavier weight nylon or cotton.


A garment that combines both panty (cut-n-sewed or knitted in) and stocking legs into a one piece that can extend from below the breast bone to the toes.


Socks or sheers having a design knitted into the garment or impressed on the side, front or over-all surface.


Polyester is a man-made fiber which has abrasion-resistance, excellent wash ability, and is fast-drying. It is readily heat-settable and dye able. Polyester is used in men's and boy's dress socks, in decorative applications such as cross-dyeing and jacquards, and as a reinforcement.


Plus Size

Stockings, pantyhose, or knee-highs sized to fit the heavier woman. Queen size is usually considered an extension of standard garments into a larger size. Outsize, on the other hand, is considered a separate category of merchandise altogether.

Queen Size

Stockings, pantyhose, or knee-highs sized to fit the heavier woman. Queen size is usually considered an extension of standard garments into a larger size. Outsize, on the other hand, is considered a separate category of merchandise altogether.

Reinforced Toe

The toe area is reinforced for durability and this area is typically darker than the leg.


A generic term for filaments made from various solutions of modified cellulose by pressing or drawing the cellulose solution through an orifice and solidifying it in the form of a filament. Rayon has a soft hand, high moisture absorbency and retention, and good dyeability and washability.


Vertical pattern of alternating ridges in hosiery products. Design may be formed through differences in weight, in knit stitch or opacity.


Acts as a deterrent to runs from the foot into the leg, or from the panty into the leg. It can be made of heavier yarn, or can be a change of stitch from plain to mesh.


Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches.

Shaper or Shaper Panty

Extended control top panty with more support than a regular control top panty. The shaper extends from the stomach to the upper thigh area.

Sandalfoot/Sheer Toe

This is a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn in the toe than is in the leg.


Hosiery manufactured in the old full-fashioned manner with a seam running up the back of the leg. In the past, these garments were manufactured by cutting fabric and sewing it together. Today these products are generally made on a full circular knitted two bases and a fake seam is added up the back for a particular fashion look. Some tights are seamed on the inside of the leg but these are generally not produced by hosiery manufacturers.


Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back.

Sheer Support

A term often used when describing support pantyhose, which are considerably more sheer than the original support garments, due to improvements in yarns and manufacturing techniques.


Pantyhose without visible panty line or reinforcement in the panty portion. It is an all-sheer garment from waist to toe.


Dress sheers are hosiery fashioned generally of 15 or 20 denier yarns - to be worn for daytime glamour. Evening sheers are hosiery fashioned of wisp-weight 10, 12, or 15 denier yarns - to be worn for special occasions.



The filaments obtained from the cocoons of various types of silkworms.

Silken Sheers

Category of soft, silky well-fitting pantyhose made from nylon and fine denier spandex.


A generic term denoting a man-made elastomeric fiber used in place of rubber. Spandex was developed by DuPont in 1959, offering the unique capacity for stretch and recovery. It can stretch to over five times its relaxed strength and fully recover. Spandex is used in support and light support products to provide the energy to shape and compress the leg. Spandex yarns are often covered with nylon yarns to protect the spandex. Spandex is widely used in sock tops and pantyhose waistbands for its stretch/recovery properties and "stay up" holding power. It is increasingly used in core spun yarn and as plaiting yarn to replace textured nylon for better size range, improved fit, and comfort.

Spandex Sheers

A category of sheer hosiery styles. The leg yarn is composed of sheer nylon and single covered light-weight spandex (20 denier or finer) to give this hosiery good fit, sheerness, and softness. Spandex sheers do not give a support leg, but the spandex does enhance fit and comfort.

Stretch Hosiery

Stockings knit of processed nylon filament yarn treated to give permanent stretchability. Stretch stockings "change" size to fit each foot, leg length, and volume perfectly. They are extremely desirable to the woman whose dimensions are too heavy or too slender.

Support Hosiery

Socks or other hosiery made of nylon or polyester with spandex or other elastic fiber added to give support to the leg. Support hosiery has spandex in the legs to reduce leg fatigue. The principle of support is to provide graduated compression to the leg. Total support pantyhose is one that has control in the panty portion as well as support in the legs. Support no longer means a heavy, surgical garment. Today, it has fashion sheerness and color as well as durability.

Textured Yarns

Yarns modified so they have desirable properties such as "hand" (feel), increased softness, and greater fit latitude. (Same as stretch yarns).


A general term that includes all knitted-in patterns. Typical textures include cable, herringbone, basketweave, fisherman and pointelle.


A method of processing continuous filament yarns using heat and twist to give them bulk, elasticity, and/or better recoverability or "memory".

Thermal Socks

Winter-weight boot length socks favored by skiers, skaters, or anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors in cold weather. They can be made of heavy duty Orlon acrylic, wool, Thermax, silk, polypropylene, or Hollofil yarns, or a blend of fibers.


Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastomer bands.


Ultra Sheer

A fine denier fiber which gives the ultimate in sheerness. It is usually 20 denier or less and a low filament count.


An elastic band either knitted into or sewn onto the top portion of the pantyhose, to hug the waist and hold.

Waistcincher Panty

Extended panty to control your entire waistline.

Waste Hosiery

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