STOCKINGS

resistance to heat show itself in nylon hosiery. Those who have worn hose made from nylon report that at first they do have a different “feel” from stockings made from silk—although the “feel” is quite pleasing—but after wearing such hosiery for a few days, the consciousness of any difference is lost. Similarly, should the wearer revert to silk hosiery, then again there is the awareness of change.

Inflammability. Hosiery made from nylon yarn does not blaze when brought into contact with a flame, but simply melts, and although the molten nylon is ultimately consumed if kept in that flame, the fabric itself does not blaze—or propagate flames.

Resistance to water and other commonly used liquids. Nylon stockings are not injured in the least by water, or by any liquid which might be used as a dry-cleaner. Rayon stockings when wet have a low tensile strength, and such stockings having even a partially dried welt, may tear in the suspender area, or a damp heel or toe section may cause ladders in the foot. None of this happens with nylon, because stockings made from this have a high wet strength—in fact, nylon fibres are substantially as strong when wet as when dry—and although nylon hosiery is readily wetted by water, just as are silk, rayon or cotton, the nylon fibres absorb much less water (owing to a greater resistance to the action of water) with the result that a pair of nylon stockings after laundering will dry much quicker than will any other fibre type. Because of characteristics not possessed by any other fibre, any desired pre-set shape can be put into nylon stockings, this being known as “pre-boarding”. This is an operation comprising the putting of the stockings on to boarding forms of the same contour as the leg, after which a number of these are placed in a container and exposed to steam for a few minutes, the stockings being afterwards dried. This hot, wet treatment is the aftermath of manufacture, and by it the permanent shape of the stocking is determined, consequently there is no subsequent “bagging” at the knees, nor is there any loss of shape in any other part. Repeated wetting, washing or drying does not change the original shape of the stocking, or mar its smooth appearance, the hose shape being as well defined as when first taken from its original package. The stocking is crease-proof, its shape being maintained through dyeing and subsequent laundering, providing the original setting

STOCKINGS

“tough” if it is capable of standing up to severe use.) Because of the physical properties embodied in nylon yarn, hose manufactured from it will be resistant to abrasion to a higher degree than will hose manufactured from any other fibre of the same denier—that is, the same thickness of yarn. Owing to the compact structure of each filament, nylon produces a more sheer stocking appearance, and by virtue of this, together with the elasticity factor, stocking fabrics made from nylon have just the desirable flexibility and soft “handle” which is required in the presenting of an excellent appearance. Furthermore, because of its toughness, should a nylon stocking come in contact with a rough surface, there is less danger of a snag or “run” developing than there would be in any other stocking of similar construction, but, of course, nylon hose knitted in the orthodox manner will, when a thread is definitely broken, run just like any other fine gauge stocking so knitted.

Control of lustre. Normally made nylon yarn has a high lustre, but by adding a finely-divided white pigment to the molten polymer before it is spun, yarn of the desired degree of sheen may be obtained. Bright and dull are the two lustres which are commonly used, the latter being generally preferred. The dullness is not affected by subsequent wear or by washing, its quality of permanence being due to pigment particles within the filaments—not simply on the surface.

Coloured Yarns. By adding pigments to the molten polymer before spinning, suitably coloured yarns may be had. Stockings made from self-coloured nylon have already been made in the U.S.A. These are called Ingrain Hosiery, but for the most part, nylon hosiery will be dyed in the usual way. Particularly good results can be obtained with the special dyes which have been developed for acetate rayon.

Resistance to heat. It has been seen that it is possible to produce varying types of nylon, and that the temperature at which nylon melts (becomes liquid) depends upon the chemical composition of the particular nylon. Some types melt at quite low temperature, while the melting point of others may run as high as 600 degrees F. The melting point of the type of nylon which is suitable for textile purposes is about 480 degrees F. which, fortunately, is above the temperature normally used in the ironing of fabrics (women’s stockings should never be ironed). This