Glossary of Hosiery Terms
A briefer, illustrated, Glossary can be found on Page 69 onward in the the 'Pretty Polly' booklet.

A

Abrasion Resistance
The degree to which a fabric is able to withstand rubbing and chafing within the shoe. Many socks and sheer hosiery products are reinforced, usually with nylon to improve durability.
Acetate
A. W. Eley Page 24
Adjustables
These are stockings having the top as a single piece of sheer fabric (not a double hemmed welt) the length of which is 7" for each size of foot, 8½" to 10½". This fabric is made in this one-length top only, and is capable of adjustment to leg lengths varying from 25½" to 32½". This is, therefore, right for every height.
Afterwelt
The area of knitted fabric just below the double turned fabric in stockings. It is usually made of the same yarn as the welt and is only one layer in thickness. Also known as 'Underwelt'. See also A. W. Eley
Air-Covered/Mactex (Yarn)
The process of air entangling a false twist textured yarn around the extended core. This is accomplished by forcing compressed air into a jet device through which both the core and cover yarns travel, entangling or lacing the cover yarn around the core.
Alpaca
Extremely fine, soft, and costly yarn derived from the hair of a domesticated Peruvian llama.
Angora
A yarn made from the hair of the angora rabbit. It is prized for its soft feel and fluffy look, is often used in blends, and adds great warmth to socks. Angora is now often simulated by the use of speciality acrylic fibres.
Ankle Fit
“Fit at the Ankle” is one of the chief requirements in Women’s Stockings, and even the use of plastic yarn knitted on fine-gauge circular machines—the stockings shaped by pre-boarding—does not overcome the basis of the thigh, leg, ankle and foot of a seamless hose having the same number of needles as there are needles in the machine (the shaping being achieved by graduation of the stitches). The shape of a seamless stocking cannot, therefore, be induced in the same way as is that of a fully-fashioned hose, where the machine maintains a stitch regularity, the shape being worked into the fabric. The fully-fashioned hose also has the advantage in that the leg contour adjustments ensure a retaining of the shape when worn. This shape is never lost, in spite of prolonged wear and repeated laundering, whereas the seamless hose made from plastic yarn gets its shape from the pre-boarding thermal setting, and as the width of the ankle on the shape does not change, there can be little adjustment to accommodate women’s ankles of varying size.
Appliqué
Any pre-prepared fabric decoration which is sewn or ironed onto a hosiery product.
Argyle
Geometrically knit pattern that produces a balanced design of multicoloured diamond figures against a solid colour background.
Auto-Heeler
A. W. Eley Page 45

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Balanced Stitch
This is a balanced construction of thread with the gauge of the machine, as a result of which the stitches are perfectly formed, fitting the needles, and sinkers within the frame-gauge. Without this special attention to stitch balance, sheerness is merely slack (loose) fabric.
Bember (aka Bemberg)
A lightweight, 100% rayon that is rich in feeling. Bember is reknowned for not creating static electricity like many synthetic products. See also A. W. Eley
Bird's-eye
A small, evenly spaced pattern in a diamond design.
Blended
Textile materials made of a combination of two or more fibres, yarns or filaments.
Blends
The combination of two or more types of fibre in one yarn to achieve improved performance or styling effects.
Block Toe
A reinforcement in the centre of the toe portion of the hose, this being usually oblong in shape, and serving the purpose of strengthening that part which directly encounters the nails of the foot. (See A. W. Eley Fig. 43, No. 11)
Boarding — Socks:
In this operation the sock is stretched either dry or moist over flat metal or wooden forms conforming to the desired sock shape and size. It is then pressed between two heated surfaces. This gives the sock form a smooth appearance. It is a process similar to ironing.
Boarding — Sheers:
A full-shaped heat setting operation in which stockings are put on metal leg forms for a specific size and shape and then dried in a steam cabinet. The process is done after dyeing. The term "boarding" stems from the olden days when wooden boards were used to dry stockings. (See Pre-Boarding, Semi-Boarded, and the Intech Process. and A. W. Eley)
Boot
The portion of the stocking leg running from below stocking welt area to the toe.
Boot Fabric
The leg portion of fabric in hosiery.
Brand
The name used to identify a product, such as hosiery or fibre, which comes from a particular manufacturer.
a) Branded hosiery is that which is marketed and usually advertised nationally, under one name which guarantees the same quality regardless of where it is purchased. (See unbranded.)
b) Name used to identify fibre from which stockings are knit.
Bruised Fabric
Sheer nylons cannot stand coming in contact with any hard surface and contacted by another hard object. This action will bruise the fabric sufficiently to cause a rupture when placed under strain.
Bulk
This term is usually used when referring to textured multifilament yarn. Multifilament twisted yarn with low turns produces low bulk or lean yarn. High twist multifilament yarn produces high bulk yarn. The degree of bulk can be built into the yarn by the throwster as desired.
Bulk Yarn
Yarns which have been treated physically or chemically so as to have a notably greater "apparent volume". Bulk is usually obtained when using textured multifilament yarn.

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Cable
A knitted pattern usually made up of two vertically intertwined bands.
Calf-High
The name used for short-length stockings that come up to the calf of the wearer.
Cashmere
Luxuriously soft, expensive yarn made from the undercoat of the Kashmir goat.
Cellulose
A. W. Eley Page 23
Chiffon
A. W. Eley Page 131
Circular Knit
The major knitting method in hosiery construction. Yarn is knitted into hose using a cylindrical tube. Toes are later sewn and a waistband added. See also A. W. Eley
Clock
A knitted or embroidered ornament on a stocking, usually running up the side. See also A. W. Eley
Colourfast
Fabric with dye retention such that no significant change in shade takes place during the normal life of the sock.
Combed Yarn
A. W. Eley Page 36
Comparison (Seamless v. Fully-Fashioned)
A. W. Eley Page 82
Compenzine (Compensene)
A. W. Eley Page 19
“Complet” v. Heel-less Machines
The “Complet” machine knits a fully-fashioned stocking complete, while the Heel-less machine knits a stocking-blank, the heel-tabs being attached afterwards. By each method, the leg, instep, and foot fabric is perfectly matched, there being no necessity to transfer the leg of a stocking-blank from the “legger” to the “footer” machine, this being necessary with the old type of two-machine system. (See A. W. Eley page 46) Undoubtedly, the advent of the “Complet” machine is one of the most important developments in the Fully-Fashioned hosiery field during the past twenty years, as when in the past, three or four-thread silk (sheer) stockings became the principal part of the industry’s total output, it was noticed that the “topping line” (see A. W. Eley Fig. 57) resulting from the transfer of the leg-blank to the “footer” machine was very strongly exaggerated. The “Complet” machine—in rendering the transfer redundant—was the answer to this difficulty.
Both the “Complet” and the Heel-less machines produce the popular French foot which, because of its superior appearance, comfort, and wearing quality, is recognised as the correct construction of foot for fully-fashioned stockings.
The “Complet” machine takes a long time to knit the heels, and is also a very complicated machine. The Heel-less machine, by omitting the heel-tabs, gives about 15% more production than the “Complet.” The heel-tabs are knitted on afterwards on a small High-speed “Heeler” operated by female labour. Both these systems have one disadvantage in that it is necessary to join on a linking machine the inner selvedges of the heel-tabs to the first course of the sole splicing, and the join corner of the heel/ankle gore can be very troublesome, ladders being very apt to commence there, and run up the leg. A modern improvement on this method is brought about by the “Auto-Heeler” machine, which removes the drawback of the side-linking of heel to sole by inter-knitting the two portions together while the heel is being made.
Continuous Filament
A fibre produced in a single, uncut strand rather than cut into short fibres such as cotton or wool. Also used to describe yarns which are not spun.
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.
Cotton Fibre
A soft and heat-resistant vegetable fibre used in garments since 3,000 BC It absorbs and retains moisture, is readily washable, and is available in a wide variety of types and qualities. Long staple combed cotton is generally considered to provide the finest quality cotton yarn for socks. See also A. W. Eley
Cotton Sole
A cotton insert sewn or knit into the sole of the stocking.
Cotton's Patent
A. W. Eley Page 83
Course
A series of adjacent loops forming a horizontal line across the knitted fabric. Small horizontal stitches mean more yarn has been used, resulting in finer fabric, greater elasticity, and longer wear. See also A. W. Eley
Cradle Sole
A. W. Eley Fig. 44 (See type 23)
Crepe
A. W. Eley Page 19
Crochet
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.
Cuban Heel
A flat-topped (or squared-off) reinforced heel extending slightly up the back of the leg in a fully-fashioned stocking.
Cuprammonium
A. W. Eley Page 24

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Decals
Designs printed on paper and transferred to the stocking by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "heat transfer".
Decitex
The metric measuring system used to indicate weight per unit length of yarns in Europe. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 10,000 metres of yarn.)
Defects (Welt, Leg and Foot)
A. W. Eley Page 132
Demi-Toe
Stocking with a nude, sheer heel and reinforced toe. A popular fashion with slingback shoes.
Denier
Denier is the weight-per-unit-length of the yarn. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 9,000 metres [5.59 miles] of yarn. Thus 9,000 metres [5.59 miles] of 15 denier nylon, used in nylon stockings, weighs 15g [0.5oz], and in this case the thickness of thread would be 0.00425 mm [0.0017in.]) 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. An average hair from the human head is about 50 denier. The lowest denier nylon ever produced for stockings was 6 denier which was exhibited at the Nylon Fair in London in 1956, although Pretty Polly manufactured and sold stockings in 5 denier yarn in 1989.
(See also illustrated vintage advert for Taylor Woods fully-fashioned stockings and A. W. Eley)
Deodorant
A chemical additive introduced to hosiery during the finishing process to control sock odour. Originally used in athletic hosiery. Deodorants control odour by inhibiting the growth of odour causing organisms.
Detailing
Any material applied to the sock body after manufacture, such as lace, stitched monograms or insignia, fringes, sewn-on cuffs, etc.
Double-Reinforcement
Two thread lines, usually nylon or polyester, knitted into portions of the stocking foot to achieve added abrasion resistance, most commonly at the heel and/or toe.
Drop Stitch
When a needle on a knitting machine does not form a knitted loop.
Dupont Nylon
Dupont were the original manufacturers of nylon for use in hosiery. A stocking bearing this on the imprint is likely to date to before the mid 1950's, and generally implies that the stocking was made in the United States.
Dyeing
The permanent application of colour to a yarn or fabric.

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Elastic
A term which designates the ability of a yarn to return to its original size or shape after being stretched.
Elasticity
The ability of a strained material to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress that caused deformation.
Embroidery
The application of designs of decorative trim by machine or hand sewing.
English Foot
A. W. Eley Page 48
Ethnic
Usually sheer hosiery (knee-high,stockings) dyed in colours designed to compliment the natural skintones of various ethnic population groups.
Extra Long Stockings (1946)
All hosiery 33½" long or longer.

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Fabric
Specifically in hosiery, the word is used to refer to that which is knitted on hosiery machines from fibre.
Fabric Stretch
The amount of stretch in fabric from the relaxed state to the fully-extended stretch.
Fabric Recovery
The ability of fabric to recover from the fully extended state to the original flat state before extending.
Fair Isle
Any nordic or snowflake patterning.
Fashion Marks
A. W. Eley Page 85
Fashioning Point
A. W. Eley Page 85
Faulty Fashionings
Ladders sometimes commence to run from the fashioning stitches (see A. W. Eley photograph, Fig 65). This may be an imperfection in manufacture due to a defect in machinery or thread. In certain methods of manufacture, the point at the corner of the gore is not all manufacturers desire, and this point is frequently a starting point for ladders. A defect of this type would be a legitimate cause for complaint from a retail customer.
Faulty Seaming
Ladders running from the back seam (see A. W. Eley photograph Fig. 67) are usually due to faulty seaming. Stockings are examined for defects, but sometimes this particular trouble would not show itself until the affected stocking was actually in wear. Should a complaint of this type be made—ladders starting in the fabric at the first wearing—it is fair to presume the customer has a just grievance, and the satisfaction of this particular customer should be made the first consideration.
Faulty Suspendering
Ladders will be caused if stockings are too tightly suspendered (see A. W. Eley photograph Fig. 68) shows a hose suspender fixed in the shadow-welt (the portion below the welt). The suspender should be secured in the welt, not below it, the welt being that portion of the top of the stocking which is specially manufactured of heavier material in order to take the strain. Retail customers’ complaints due to faulty suspendering should be courteously, yet firmly, dealt with, and the sales staff should demonstrate the cause of any accident directly attributable to this, which in itself is sufficient ground for the refusing of consideration of compensation.
Faux Seam
A false (faux) seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking of circular knit hosiery. See also A. W. Eley
Feeds
This term is normally used in conjunction with circular knitting machines and literally means how many yarns are fed into a machine at each revolution to knit continuous rows of stitches.
Fibre
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 fibres to be spun into yarn include a length of at least 5 millimetres, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength. Other important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, and lustre.
Filament
The finished fibre used in sheer hosiery is called filament yarn. It is characterised by continuous length and is extruded either as monofilament yarns, which is composed of one single strand, or multifilament yarn which is made up of several filaments bundled together.
Filament Count
The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn. See also A. W. Eley
Filament Yarn
A yarn composed of long strands of synthetic fibres which continue the entire length of the yarn. The basic yarns used in ladies hosiery are all filament yarns. To describe the size of filament yarns, the term denier(weight-per-unit-length) is used.
Finishing
Includes all sock and sheer hosiery manufacturing steps excluding knitting and sewing. For socks, it includes bleaching, scouring and dyeing, boarding, pairing, ornamentation, folding and packaging. For sheers, it includes dyeing, boarding, pairing, and packaging. See also A. W. Eley
Fishmouth Toe
A method for closing a non-reciprocated toe in which the seam runs parallel to the bottom of the foot rather than across the top of the toe.
Fishnet
Knitted stockings with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net. Very stylish and fashionable, but very porous providing little warmth or protection or cosmetic covering.
Fit
It is the combination of yarn and construction that determines the adaptability of hosiery and bodywear to the human form. Stretch and recovery of yarns and knit construction contribute to a garment's fit.
Flare
A. W. Eley Page 102
Flammability
The test to determine if fabric will ignite under controlled conditions.
Flat/Plain Knit
The second-most widely-used construction. Sock or stocking fabric knitted on a single cylinder machine and producing a fine, smooth surface with a jersey-like appearance. Used for casual socks of all types, some varieties of work socks, for children's hosiery, ladies nylon stockings (particularly in the United Sates and Italy) and in socks where the distinction is achieved by the yarn or by treatments such as embroidery, appliqués, or small neat patterns. See also A. W. Eley
Flat Yarn
This term is often used by knitters and coverers to indicate raw yarn they use. Flat yarns have no stretch unless they are textured. They are also used as the alternate course in many sheer spandex styles. (See Raw Yarn)
Float Loop
The needle is not raised and the yarn which should have been associated with the needle goes behind the needle and appears as a float. The spandex elastic in the waistband is floated into the garment.
Flocking
Design applied to a boot, usually soft and fuzzy in appearance.
Fluorescent Colours
(See A. W. Eley “Iridescent.”)
Folding (or Fellowing)
A. W. Eley Page 122
Foot Styles
A. W. Eley Page 89 (See Figs. 43 and 44)
Footer
A. W. Eley Page 44
French Foot
A. W Eley Pages 46 and 49
Full-Fashioned
Full-fashioned stockings are knitted flat, and the two sides are united afterwards by a seam up the back. As a result of decreasing stitches over the calf to make the hose narrower in the ankle, small "fashion markings" or loops are visible running parallel to either side of the seam. The popularity of the full fashioned stockings, at a peak immediately after World War II, has declined since the introduction of seamless hosiery. See also A. W. Eley
Fully-Fashioned
The British equivalent of Full-fashioned. See also A. W. Eley
Full-Length Hosiery
Hosiery designed to be worn with the welt above the knee. This is customary, but periodically a demand arises for a knee-high hose, in which the welt must necessarily be below the knee, and for the securing of which, a thread of lastex yarn is knitted into the fabric.

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Gassed Yarn
A. W Eley Page 37
Gauge
The measurement of the distance between needles in a knitting machine. Two-thirds of the gauge equals the number of needles per inch. For example, on a 60 gauge machine there are 60 needles to 1.5 inches (37mm). Thus the lower the number, the looser the knit, and the stocking is likely to be more sheer. (See also illustrated vintage advert for Taylor Woods fully-fashioned stockings and A. W. Eley)
Georgette
This term is applied to stockings made from 4-thread silk, of crêpe construction and dull texture, having a sheer appearance.
Glimmer
This term refers to a light reflection from the yarn, mainly from a trilobal yarn which gives the glimmer effect by reflecting the light.
Gore
The centre of the heel or toe pocket, created in the knitting process, sometimes giving the appearance of a seam. See also A. W. Eley
Grain Texture
This is seen on that side of the stocking fabric which is usually worn next to the skin. The surface is smooth, even, and softly dull. Grain texture is made full use of in the knitting of a stocking inside-out (referred to as “Reverse-knit.”).
Grenadine
A. W. Eley Page 19
Graduation
The tapering of the leg from the top to the bottom by tightening the stitches to give a proper fit at the ankle, knee and thigh.
Greige
(pronounced "grey") Greige goods are any fabric as it comes off the knitting machine before bleaching, scouring, or dyeing. See also A. W. Eley
Gusset Square Heel
A. W. Eley Page 76
Gusset Toe
A. W. Eley Page 77

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Hand
The tactile qualities of a fabric such as softness, elasticity, fineness and resilience.
Handle (Hand)
The reaction to the sense of touch when fabrics are grasped in hand. Many factors which give "character" combine in the judgement as to handle.
Heat Transfers
The application of a design or logo to a stocking by transferring a design from specially printed paper to the fabric by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "decals" and "imprints".
Heel (Round)
A. W. Eley Pages 66, 72 and 89
Heel (Universal)
A. W .Eley Page 91
Heel-less Machine
A. W. Eley Page 43
High-Bulk Yarn
Qualitative term to describe a highly-twisted textured yarn. A bulked yarn develops more bulk than stretch in the finished fabric.
High-Spliced Heel
The term “high-spliced” refers to that area at the back of the stocking which is immediately above the shoe, a splicing thread being inserted here. The following are variations on the splicing theme:-
The “French” Heel. This term is applied to any heel which is made in colour contrast to the remainder of the stocking.
The “Wigwam” Heel. This (as its name implies) is made in the shape of a wigwam, or inverted “V”.
The “Panel” Heel. This is usually used in the manufacture of lace stockings, and is a continuation of the heel proper, resulting in a panel of heel width up the back of the stocking.
The “Double V” Heel. This is in the form of an inverted “V” at each side of the stocking.
The “Pointex” Heel. This is graduated step by step, terminating in a point
High-tenacity Rayons
Considerable attention is being given to these by hosiery manufacturers, and rayons of this type will fill a very important role in the future of stocking making. The property of high tenacity is imparted during the spinning process, a special stretch technique being applied to the filaments while these are in a plastic state. By the use of this spinning under tension, exceptional fineness of filament denier yarn is obtained. To give an instance:- In the production of one type of yarn, 160 fine filaments are twisted together to form a 20 denier yarn of exceptional strength. High-tenacity rayons require special processing (part of their elasticity being lost) and experiments are already being made in the introducing of new features in the knitting of these yarns into stockings, such features being special twist, variation from the standard number of courses per inch, and the use of a type of fashioning which, employing fewer narrowings, results in an increased width. This additional width minimises the loss of elasticity, so that the hose does not suffer by comparison with ordinary hosiery, but has, indeed, the very considerable advantage of greatly increased strength.
High Twist
A yarn spinning process in which more twist is used than is needed for normal processing to provide desired aesthetic properties such as harshness, brightness, or to reduce hairiness on the yarn surface. See also A. W. Eley
Hole
Hosiery that has been ruptured by bruised, cut, burned, or a braided fabric to cause a hole to appear that will develop into a run.
Hosiery Lengths
A. W. Eley Page 124
Hosiery Standards (U.S.A.) c.1946
A. W. Eley Page 102
Human Foot Structure
A. W. Eley Page 87
Humidity
A. W. Eley Page 20

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Ingrain Yarn
Yarn that has been dyed before knitting, requiring no further dyeing. See also A. W. Eley
Inside-Out
(A. W. Eley “Reverse-knit”.)
Inspection Grades
A. W. Eley Page 126
Intarsia
A geometric pattern knitted-in either with a different stitch or a different colour from the background. In intarsia knitting, both sides of the fabric look alike.
Intech Process
This semi-boarded process is not subjected to a full heat setting operation. (See Semi-Boarded)
Inturned Welt
A. W. Eley Page 76
Iridisecent or Fluorescent colours
“Iridescent” is not a definite colour name, but is applied to stockings which are dyed in such a way that a gentle shaded effect is achieved, the colour deepening evenly from a light tone at the front of the leg to a deep tone at the back, this creating a decided illusion of slenderness.
The stocking is first dyed and finished as usual, and colour is then sprayed on, this process—due to chemical compounds used—imparting to the stocking a many-coloured appearance, the shades changing under different lighting effects, and the varying angles from which they are viewed.
Irregulars
Hosiery that contains minor imperfections in dimensions, size, colour or knit but without obvious mends, runs, breaks or substantial damage to yarn or fabric. See also A. W. Eley

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Jacquard
A. W. Eley Fig. 45
Joining
A. W. Eley Page 107

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Knee-Highs
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.
Knee Warmers
Thigh high knitted garment generally of heavier fabric that usually has no knitted foot and extends from above the ankle or calf over the knee to approximately mid-thigh.
Knit Loop
This is the normal basic loop in knitting. See also A. W. Eley
Knitting
The art of constructing fabric on needles, by the interlooping of one or more yarns in several series of connected loops hanging on and supporting one another.
Knocking-Over
A. W. Eley Page 56

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Lace
Ladies sheer hosiery knitted with a pattern resembling lace and/or hosiery with lace seamed to the top of the leg. See also A. W. Eley
Ladders
Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches.
Lambswool
The first clip taken from a sheep up to seven months old, which explains its soft hand.
Landing
A. W. Eley Page 56
Lanolized
A finishing treatment applied to quality nylon stockings to enhance the silkiness of the feel of the stockings when new. Some stockings made in the early Dupont nylon were rather harsh to the touch, and this form of treatment improved the feel significantly.
Latch Needles
One type of needle used in hosiery machines. The needle performs the basic act of knitting, pulling one loop of yarn through another. See also A. W. Eley, Page 84 and Page 98
Laying the Thread
A. W. Eley Page 54
Leg Form
Form for displaying socks or sheer hosiery. Leg forms are weighted so that they are free-standing and can be designed to present one or a pair of stockings. The term, "leg form", may also describe the form used to pull a sock or sheer hosiery on for testing, and may designate the boarding forms used for shaping unboarded hosiery. May also be flat forms (e.g. NAHM forms for sizing).
Legger
           - and English Footer. A. W. Eley Page 48
           - and French Footer. A. W. Eley Page 46
           - Combined Legger and French Footer. A. W. Eley Page 49
Leg Length
The leg length is measured up the back of the stocking, from top of the welt to the point at which the heel turns from the foot to the leg when laid flat. Usually measured in inches. See also A. W. Eley
Lisle
Hosiery made of lisle yarn, which is a fine, hard-twisted, long-staple cotton yarn with two or more ply. See also A. W. Eley
Longfold
Step in hosiery production where merchandise is stored and prepared for final packaging.
Loop Forming
A. W. Eley Page 79 A. W. Eley Figs. 24 to 29 and Fig. 38
Looping
A. W. Eley Page 107.

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Man-Made Fibre
A class name for various genera of fibres (including continuous filaments) produced from fibre-forming substances which may be:
1) polymers synthesised from chemical compounds, e.g. acrylics, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl fibres;
2) modified or transformed natural polymers, e.g., alginic and cellulose-based fibres such as acetates and rayons;
3) mineral, e.g., glass.
Marking Stitch
This is sometimes inserted in the welt portion of a fully-fashioned stocking to indicate the size of the hose, and takes the form of small holes, the numbers of these varying as follows:-
        One Hole .............. Size 8½"
        Two Holes .............    ''   9"
        Three   ''  .............    ''  9½"
        Four     ''   .............    ''  10"
This marking-stitch is achieved by the transfer of one-half of a knitted loop to an adjoining needle, so that this needle carries one-and-a-half stitches (its own and the half transferred from the next needle). By the variation of these openings, names, letters and figures can be produced, and these can be placed on the welt or on the sole near the heel. This stitch adjustment can also be used for ornamental purposes.
Marls
Multicoloured yarns in which each component strand is different colour.
Matte
Hosiery with a dull finish; minus a shine or lustre.
Measurement
A. W. Eley Page 124
Mercerised
A cotton yarn which has been treated with a solution of caustic under conditions of caustic concentration and temperature which effect a permanent or irreversible swelling of the cellulose. See also A. W. Eley
Merino
A fine grade of wool from sheep originating in Spain.
Mesh
An open knit used primarily to achieve a hand-knit, textured look. See also A. W. Eley
Mesh Knit
A hosiery fabric produced in a variety of tiny patterns. Upon close inspection it looks like lots of fine zigzag 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. The runguard, however, does use the mesh stitch. See also A. W. Eley
Micro-Mesh (Micromesh)
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.
Mixture Yarns
These are made up of two or more dissimilar yarns of different fibres combined into one, such as Wool/Rayon, Cotton/Wool, Silk/Wool, etc. Each of the yarns used would contribute to the character of the hose, and the following effects can be arrived at, according to the method adopted:-
Blended Effect. Can be obtained by taking material of varying fibre, and spinning both into a yarn.
Twisted Effect. Achieved by the twisting together of yarns which have been individually spun. The number of turns or twists per inch given in preparing a yarn for hosiery purposes, can be varied, each variation being thrown-up in the final appearance of the fabric.

Mock Seams
A false (faux) seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking of circular knit hosiery.
Modulus of Elasticity
The determined ratio of stress versus strain that expresses the measure of elasticity in the hosiery fabric.
Monofilament Yarn
Yarn made of one single filament of fibre. We use this term to define a non-stretch nylon thread. (See Filament)
Monotop
This is a welt made of single fabric only, as opposed to a welt made of double fabric, although its weight equals that of the latter.
Multi-Feed Hosiery Machinery
A machine that is usually fed by two or more spools to knit stockings.
Multi-head Heeler
A. W. Eley Page 45
Multifilament Yarn
Yarn made of several filaments twisted or bundled together. (See Filament)

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Narrowing
A. W. Eley Page 64
Natural fibres
Cotton, wool, or silk hosiery fibres.
Needle Bar
A. W. Eley Page 99
Needle (Bearded)
A. W. Eley Page 84
Needle Count
The total number of needles used in knitting a sock or sheer hosiery product. The higher the needle count the closer the stitches and the finer the fabric. 400 needles is the norm for Micromesh stockings, but, curiously, a stocking knitted with 200 needles would have a more sheer appearance because the stitches would be further apart. See also A. W. Eley
Needle Out
This type of stocking is made by removing certain needles (around the cylinder if seamless machines, or out of the needle-bed if fully-fashioned) this being done for the purpose of obtaining drop-stitches. A drop-stitch is a defect in the normal way of knitting, producing a ladder, and this can be formed systematically between every third needle, or as required to conform to whatever mock-rib effect is desired. The system of “needle out” on Seamless machines is used in the production of rayon mock-rib hose, and on 45gg. Fully-Fashioned machines in the use of two-fold 130s. lisle.
Non-Reciprocated
Socks or sheer hosiery knitted with no heel or toe pocket, e.g. tube socks.
Non-Run
Stockings 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 extra life. See also A. W. Eley
Non-Stretch
Garment manufactured without stretch yarns. Usually made of natural, ridged non-stretch fibres. 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.
Novelties
Women's non-basic styles characterised by unusual patterning and/or coloration.
Novelty Yarns
Yarns showing unusual and fancy effects.
Nude Heel
Stocking without reinforcement in the heel area. The exact same knitting is used as in the boot or leg of the stocking. Enjoys a popular appeal thanks to the open-heeled or sling-back shoe.
Nylon
Man-made fibre introduced in 1938. It is the first and the oldest of the true synthetics. Chemically, nylon is a man-made polyamide fibre derived from coal, air, and water. This fibre 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 a reinforcement with other fibres. Another use for nylon in socks is the stretch filament nylon plaited with other fibres to obtain multi-sizes. See also A. W. Eley

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Odour Preventive
Hosiery treated to kill bacteria which grow under warm, moist conditions such as in shoes, socks, or on the feet. This bacteria generally is odourless, and the compounds the hosiery is treated with inhibit bacteria growth.
One Size
The term applied to stockings that fit most sizes from very small to large.
Opacity
Degree to which light passes through, not transparent.
Opaque
Stockings made of yarn which give them heavier appearance, usually 40 denier or greater in weight.
Open-End Spun Yarn
Yarn-making process in which fibres are twisted and wrapped around each other by the use of a rapidly rotating rotor. The process is much faster than ring-spinning.
Opera Length
This type of stocking is made over 40” in length, and has an extra wide top to accommodate the thigh.
Organzine
W. W. Eley Page 17
Outsize
Stockings proportioned to accommodate the heavier woman or the taller than average figure. (See Queen Size)

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Pairing
The finishing operation in which individual stockings are inspected and made into pairs prior to folding and packaging. See also A. W. Eley
Panel
Sometimes referred to as the “Boot” or “Leg”, and is that part of the stocking which extends from the heel to the lower edge of the shadow-welt.
Pantyhose
A garment that combines both panty and stockings into a one piece waist-high garment that extends above the crotch, but not above the waist, to the toes.
Patterned
Socks or sheers having a design knitted into the garment or impressed on the side, front or over-all surface. (See Textures)
Picot
A picot course or lines of open-work stitches are frequently included in the making of the top of the stocking. A picot course at the junction of the welt and under-welt or between the under-welt and the leg panel of the stocking, does prevent a ladder from running up into the welt, but it does not stop a suspendered ladder from running down the stocking. This 'no-run course' has a very limited value and cannot be relied on to safeguard the life of the stocking. Some manufacturers build in to the stocking a number of picot courses in or just below the welt and these merely have a fashion value in most cases. Picot courses do, to a limited extent, assist in spreading the pull of the suspender more evenly around the top of the stocking.
Pilling
When a fibre exceeds its abrasion level and the fibres begin to break and form a small ball of fibre on the fabric surface.
Plain/Flat Knit
The most common knit in hosiery, similar to a jersey or hand-knit stitch. Plain knit gives a smooth, sheer surface. (See Mesh and See also A. W. Eley)
Plating
This is a knitting process in which two yarns of different quality are used, one showing on the outside face of the stocking, and the other on the inside (or back). It is possible to use this process in the reinforcement of the wearing parts of the stocking by using a splicing thread as an additional strengthener. Silk is usually plated on Cotton or Mercerised Lisle, the silk showing on the fabric face, for appearance. In order to obtain, say, Silk plated on Cotton, on a fully-fashioned machine, it is necessary to lay the inside thread exactly on top of the outer thread, because the outer side of the stocking (or that which is seen on the leg) is the inside (lying underneath) during the process of knitting the plated fabric, and receives the direct plating thread. In order to prevent any twisting or crossing of the two materials, the main carrier containing the silk underthread runs a certain distance ahead of the plating (or cotton) carrier, and the movement of the cotton carrier must follow almost simultaneously with the advance of the sinkers, so that the two threads will be in their relative positions when the sinkers push the yarns forward.
Plied Yarn
When strands of single yarns are combined, twisted together, or air entangled, resultant yarn is referred to as "plied". See also A. W. Eley
Pointelle
An open, lacy-look knit similar to crochet.
Popcorn Stitch
A pattern composed of a series of geometrically arranged round or lozenge-shaped raised areas; so-named because of their resemblance to popcorn.
Pouch Heel
A simulated or "false heel" in what is fundamentally a shaped tube sock. The heel effect is created in boarding. Unlike the tube, a pouch heel sock usually has a fishmouth toe.
POY (partially oriented yarns)
Nylon or polyester texturing feed yarns supplied by fibre producers to texturers for processing (texturing). Yarn is then sold to sheer hosiery, sock and half-hose knitters.
Pre-Boarding
After a stocking is knit, each stitch and loop is permanently set in place by an operation called "pre-boarding" or heat setting in a steam chamber. The stocking is placed on a metal leg form called a "board" and then given the steam treatment. Pre-boarding takes place prior to dyeing. (See Boarding and See also A. W. Eley)
Press-Off
Condition arising when hosiery presses off the machine and fails to knit, caused by slubs or knots in yarn, poorly wound cones, improper tension, machine in bad mechanical condition, etc.
Printing
Method of producing patterns or designs on hosiery by depositing colour or other treating material and fixing with steam, heat, or chemicals. There are many different methods for printing.
Promotional Plan
Co-ordination of stockings with shoes, gloves, hats, and accessories, giving a general effect of harmony.
Proportioned Fit
Stockings specially designed to have different circumferences (foot, ankle, calf, and thigh) and lengths for each size wearer.
Pull Threads
A thread is snagged and pulled from the fabric causing tight stitches that rupture under strain to make holes and runs. The greatest hazard to sheer hosiery is a pulled thread. This accounts for approximately 80 percent of all ruined sheer hosiery products. See also A. W. Eley

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Quarter-Splicing
A. W. Eley Fig. 43, Numbers 2 and 8
Queen Size
Stockings 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 (see Outsize and See also A. W. Eley).

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Rag Sock
Recycled fibre spun into usable yarn count to create a casual look.
Raw Yarn
Filament yarn which has no stretch and is untextured.
Rayon
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. See also A. W. Eley
Reciprocated
In the usual knitting process, the sock is begun at the top and knitted toward the toe. Upon reaching the heel, the machine begins to move more slowly in a semicircular ("reciprocated") fashion to produce the heel pocket. It may be adjusted to reciprocate again at the toe to form a toe pocket. Not all socks have reciprocated toes and heels. For example, the basic tube styles have neither. The "fishmouth" toe closure is non-reciprocated but may be used on a stocking with a reciprocated heel.
Reinforced
The stress areas such as the toe or heel have been strengthened with yarns of heavier denier. The knit of reinforced areas of stockings is normally plain (flat) knit, as micromesh is more inclined to snag. See also A. W. Eley
Reverse-knit (or inside-out) Stockings
Owing to the demand for a stocking with a dull appearance, some women insist upon wearing their hose inside out, overlooking the fact that they are actually sacrificing a neat appearance in the leg seam, also the heel and foot. This dull appearance is due to the curved parts of the loops of both needles and sinkers not reflecting the light at the same angle as do the straight parts of the knitted loops, and here it might be stated that the order of manufacture is that the curved parts of the loops of a stocking lie next to the skin, while the side parts of the loops which connect the needles and sinkers, form that surface which is exposed to the view when the stocking is worn. (A. W. Eley Fig. 72) Manufacturers can, therefore—by reversing the order of manufacture—produce the coveted dull appearance, and in this case the argument against reversing a hose does not hold, the seam in this case being as normal, while the sole, toe and heel are knitted in the usual way. Both Rayon and Nylon yarns used in stockings are dulled by the producers prior to knitting, but even then, there is a section of the public which reverses its stockings in wear.
Ribbed
Vertical pattern of alternating ridges in socks and sheer hosiery. Design may be formed through differences in weight, in knit stitch or opacity.
Ringless Stockings (Three Carrier)
Unfortunately, owing to the natural irregularities caused by the silkworm, it is not possible to place a cone of silk on the knitting machine, and expect regular knitting from the commencement of yarn to the end of the cone. The cone may reel off for half the length of a stocking, then it may noticeably start to run coarser or thicker. The result of this would become apparent after the dyeing of the stocking—shadow bands or dark rings would appear in the fabric. The sheerer the stocking, the more these dark rings would show up, so device known as a “three-carrier construction” is used. By means of this attachment, three yarn carriers draw Silk alternately from three cones: one row of stitches draws from Cone No. 1, the second row of stitches from Cone No. 2, and the third row of stitches from Cone No. 3. By feeding the silk into the knitting machine this way, any possible variations in the size or diameter of the silk are diffused over the surface, thus covering up, any imperfections which may exist in the one cone. If any one strand runs coarse for a length, owing to the law of averages it will not all appear in the same place in the stocking; thus from the three cones used, a clear, ringless texture is obtained.
Genuine ringless stockings are only produced by means of this three-carrier system.

Ring Spinning
A system of spinning using a ring and traveller take-up wherein the drafting of the roving and the twisting and winding of the yarn on to the bobbin proceed simultaneously and continuously.
Ring-Spun Yarn
Yarn prepared by drafting and twisting together individual fibres with the use of rings to achieve a desired yarn size.
Ring Toe
A. W. Eley Fig. No. 43, No. 12
Round Heel (by Carriers)
A. W. Eley Page 66
Round Heel (by Points)
A. W. Eley Page 72
Run-Resistant
Stockings knit with micromesh or tuck stitch patterns that resist runs in an upward direction.
Runguard
Acts as a deterrent to runs from the foot into the leg, or from the welt into the leg. It can be made of heavier yarn, or can be a change of stitch from plain to mesh. See also A. W. Eley
Runs
Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches.

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“S” Twist
(A. W. Eley See illustration Fig. 73.)
This twist can be applied to any fibre used in the construction of a stocking. Taking nylon as an example. “S” twist is used on the yarn for the manufacture of seamless hose. This is in contrast to “Z” twist, which is used for fully-fashioned hose.
Sandal Heel
Stocking without reinforcement in the heel area. The exact same knitting is used as in the boot or leg of the stocking. Enjoys a popular appeal thanks to the open-heeled or sling-back shoe.
Sandalfoot Hosiery
This is a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn in the toe than is in the leg.
Scouring
A process (soap bath) that removes chemicals, tints, impurities and foreign matter from socks during finishing.
Scroop Finish
This is a characteristic associated with silk. The word, “scroop,” is the term for that process which imparts the “swish and rustic” to silk. This charming property is not shared by any other fibre, and it docs not appear to be inherent in the silk fibre itself, but seems to be the outcome of the working of the silk fibre in an acidic solution. The aim of the finisher of stockings is to make them more pleasing to the touch without destroying the softness of the fabric. Although mercerised cotton can be made to acquire an effect similar to silk (from a handling point of view) there is, actually, a great disparity between the two mediums. Experiments are now being made to impart silk-like scroop to rayon and nylon stockings.
Seamed
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.
Seamless
Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back. (See Full Fashioned and See also A. W. Eley)
Seconds
Stockings with major imperfections which make them unsuitable for sale even as irregulars. The US Federal Trade Commission defines seconds as all hosiery which is not of first quality, does not qualify as "irregulars" and which contains runs, obvious mends, irregularities, substantial imperfections, or defects in material, construction or finish. See also A. W. Eley
Semi-Boarded
These garments are not subjected to a full heat setting operation. In appearance they are slightly wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body. This operation is sometimes called the Intech Process.
Semi-Service
A. W. Eley Pages 135 and 136
Service Weight
Generally considered to be a heavier weight garment for professional use such as nurses. Could be interchanged with opaques and are designed to provide longer wear life as compared to sheers. See also A. W. Eley
Sheers
Dress sheers are hosiery fashioned generally of 15 or 20 denier yarn—to be worn for daytime glamour. Evening sheers are hosiery fashioned of wisp-weight 10,12, or 15 denier yarn—to be worn for special occasions. See also A. W. Eley
Shetland
Originally a soft, warm shaggy yarn made only from wool of Shetland sheep. Now often used to describe yarns that offer Shetland characteristics.
Shrinkage
A reduction in size that takes place when a fabric is washed and dried, or when hosiery is finished.
Silk
The filaments obtained from the cocoons of various types of silkworms. See also A. W. Eley
Silk de-gumming
Raw silk, as spun by the silkworm, consists of two single filaments of fibroin, surrounded by a layer of sericin, or “gum”. This gum must be removed prior to the dyeing and finishing, and the process known as de-gumming consists in treating the silk with an alkaline solution at or near the boil, but de-gumming should not be allowed to continue beyond the point of the complete removal of the gum, as [he exposing of the fibroin to boiling alkali results in loss of silk fibre strength. On the other hand, this discharging or de-gumming must essentially be complete, or the presence of residual gum-spots will give rise to uneven dye effects.
Silk Floss
A. W. Eley Page 10
Silk (Mussel or fish silk)
This is found in certain parts of the Mediterranean and is one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the strongest materials known. The mussel shells are about seven inches long by three inches broad, and each contains a hank or byssus of fibre filament. When the shells are harvested from the sea, the fibres are removed from these, and are washed, combed, and spun like cotton. The resultant yarn is extremely lustrous, and the natural shades vary from golden brown to olive green,therefore, deftness in colour grading is necessary, as stockings made from the yarn are ingrain, no dyeing operation being required. The stockings are used for evening wear, and are in shades of brown and olive which tone with gowns, accordingly.
Single Covered (Yarn)
The process of wrapping one non-elastic filament or spun yarn around the extended core. Single cover yarn has torque.
Sinker
The sinkers are steel elements that are located between the needles. The sinker holds the previously knitted fabric and prevents the loop from rising up the needle and interfering with the knitting action. It also helps support the old loop for the needle to pull the new loop through. See also A. W. Eley
Size
Foot size; length from back of heel to tip of toe. Usually measured in inches. See also A. W. Eley
Skein-Relaxed
A method of applying bulk to a yarn by the controlled application of heat. This softens yarn texture and hand.
Sliver
A loose, soft, untwisted strand or rope of fibres used in making yarn. In diameter about the size of a man's thumb.
Slub Yarns
Any yarn made in an irregular diameter to achieve a nubby or knotted effect.
Snag
Same as pulled thread. (See Pull Threads.)
Sole-Slicing
This in a stocking is very important, not only from the strengthening of that area of wear by the introduction of a splicing thread for extra reinforcement, but also from the point of view of warmth, some degree of which is thus contributed to the foot tread. This is especially important when nylon is used, this being cold to the foot, and the addition of a thread of another fibre—usually cotton—helps in this respect. The sole portion of a hose made on a 340 needle machine having a diameter of 31", using 30D. nylon, could be plated with the nylon showing on the face of the fabric, while the cotton (usually one thread of 120s. Mercerised) would be next to the foot tread. For wear with the sandal-type shoe, where a greater area of stocking is exposed to view, a 30D. nylon thread could be plated on a 30D. nylon thread, resulting, of course, in loss of warmth, but achieving an attractive appearance. In the production of the feet of seamless hose, it is difficult to plate the foot bottom when a high-twisted yarn is used.
Spinneret (Rayon)
A. W. Eley Page 24
Spinneret (Silkworm)
A. W. Eley Page 13
Splice
Knit-in reinforcement for areas of stress. Particularly effective in the panty of all nude garments. See also A. W. Eley
Split Sole
The foot of a stocking made from two different materials. See also A. W. Eley
Spun Yarns
Short lengths of fibre, of various lengths, are twisted together to form spun yarns. These yarns are more bulky than continuous filaments yarns, and are thus used in hosiery manufacturing of knee-highs and socks where a soft, fuzzy texture is desired.
Staple
Short lengths of fibre that are spun together to form yarn.
Stitch
A stitch is the basic repeating unit of the yarn pattern in forming a knitted fabric, consisting of the needle loop and sinker loop.
Stocking
A knitted, close-fitting covering for the foot and leg.
Straight-bar Knitting Machines
A. W. Eley Page 83.
Strand
A single filament of fibre.
Stretch Yarns
Continuous filament yarns (e.g. nylon) that have been textured to give them elasticity.
Sueding
This is done by applying abrasive-covered rolls to the face of the stocking fabric. This breaks up the surface, and enhances the softness. This suede finish is usually given to medium-gauge lisle hose.
Super Toe
A construction in which the fabric in the toe has considerably more density than normal. The addition of density in the forward part of the foot is so gradual that no change in appearance is visible. The wear life achieved is significantly improved over the normal nude toe.
Suspender blocks
Some stockings are manufactured with these special blocks, constituting a reinforcement in those areas where the suspenders are attached, such areas being in the back and front portions of the welt. Four of these blocks are used, two being at the front and two at the back, and they extend the full length of the welt (not including the shadow-welt).

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Tartan
Any traditional plaid design.
Tensile Strength
The ability of fabric or yarn to resist breaking by tension.
Terry
A looped pile construction used inside most athletic socks and some work socks.
Textured Yarns
Yarns modified so they have desirable properties such as "hand" (feel), increased softness, and greater fit latitude. (Same as stretch yarns).
Textures
A general term that includes all knitted-in patterns. Typical textures include cable, herringbone, basketweave, fisherman and pointelle.
Texturizing
A method of processing continuous filament yarns using heat and twist to give them bulk, elasticity, and/or better recoverability or "memory".
Thread Weight
The number of threads of silk twisted together and used in a stocking. The nylon and rayon denier equivalents (to the nearest commercially produced denier) are as follow:-
Silk Thread123456789101112
Nylon (Denier)1015203045 70 
Rayon (Denier) 4555657590100125135150
(See A. W. Eley Chapter “Sheerness: Denier v. Gauge” for fuller explanation of this.)
Three-Carrier
(See A. W. Eley “Ringless”.)
Thigh-Highs
Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastomer bands.
Throwing
Term used to describe the twisting of rayon, nylon, or silk yarns.
Throwster
A. W. Eley Page 17
Tinted Hosiery
Hosiery dyed to fashion shades. It is created to blend with and enhance costume and shoe ensembles and to lend more grace and beauty to the leg.
Torque
A term used in the hosiery industry for defining a monofilament or multifilament yarn that has been textured to give residual stitch deformation in knitted hosiery, resulting in high sheerness.
Tram
A. W. Eley Page 17
Trilobal Yarn
Contrary to a round cross-section of yarn, trilobal yarn is a cross section with three lobes. It reflects light and gives the finished product a glimmer or brilliance.
Trimming
A. W. Eley Page 118
Tube Socks
Hosiery knit in the shape of a tube, usually on multi-feed machines. Tube socks are non-reciprocated—without a knit-in heel—and are primarily used as men's and boy's spectator athletic socks.
Tuck Loop
A tuck loop is formed by only partially raising the needle so the old loop does not clear, but rises sufficiently for feeding a new yarn into the hook. The old loop which did not clear is the held loop and the new yarn forms the tuck loop. When the needle is cleared on a subsequent course, the knit loop formed is pulled through the tuck loop in addition to the held loop. Tuck loops are used for runguards, in the band area, and some places in the panty. The tuck loops are also used to put in sewing marks and machine identification marks.
Turbo
A process in which large bundles of continuous filament fibres, called tow are stretched randomly, broken and drafted into sliver form. This sliver, with high shrinkage potential, is blended (or combined) with sliver having low shrinkage potential. After spinning this blend into yarn, the yarn is subjected to steam, and the resultant strains force the low shrinkage fibres to yarn surface as loops. This produces a yarn (and sock) with high bulk, softness and loft.
Turning-Off
A. W. Eley Page 107
Twist
The number of turns about its axis per unit of length of a yarn. Normally, no more twist is placed in a yarn than is needed for strength and abrasion resistance. (See also "High Twist" and See also A. W. Eley)

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Ultra Sheer
A fine denier fibre which gives the ultimate in sheerness. It is usually 20 denier or less and a low filament count.
Unboarded
Hosiery not subjected to pre-boarding or boarding operations in its manufacture. In appearance it is wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body.
Unbranded
Applied to hosiery that is not marketed throughout the country under a recognisable name. Usually not nationally advertised.
Underwelt
A fabric knitted hem at the top of a stocking leg knit in heavier denier yarn between the welt and the leg of the stocking. Generally this is about half the weight of the welt, but in some cases (e.g. micromesh stockings) the knit is different and generally of a greater gauge. This is also sometimes known as the 'Afterwelt'
Utility Weight
A heavier weight ladies hosiery product generally designed for professionals such as nurses. Designed to provide longer wear life than sheer garments, but provide little leg flattering characteristics. Are synonymous with service weight hosiery.

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Velon
This is an entirely new plastic fibre (1946) which is coming to the front. It has a high tensile strength as a yarn, and in some respects compares favourably with nylon. Stockings made from this yarn are non-porous, and all soil marks, are, therefore, confined to the surface of the hose. This means that the hose can be easily cleaned by the application of soap and water, and—also due to the non-porous nature of the yarn—they will dry very quickly. Actually, however, it is this very quality of non-porosity which makes the future of velon as a hose yarn very questionable, as—for health reasons alone—it is advisable for hose yarns to be of a porous nature.
Another further point arising from the non-porosity of the yarn is that the stockings cannot be dyed, and it is, therefore, necessary for velon to be colour-pigmented with the fashionable ruling colours during the actual manufacture of the yarn. This means that velon yarn will be what is know in the Trade as an “Ingrain” yarn. Velon is a multi-filament yarn, and can be made as fine as 20 denier—already hose have been knitted from 40 denier velon. Because of the difficulty of splitting the filaments of which the yarn is composed, the stocking has good snag-resistance, and great abrasion strength.
Vinyon
This yarn has properties which may make it a strong competitor of nylon (1946). The fibre is produced from a heat-resistant resin, and the yarn has a high wet and dry strength, is quick drying, and does not lose any elasticity when wet. There is a hope that vinyon stockings may not require pre-boarding. Already, experiments in the manufacture of 30 and 40 denier stockings have been successful. Its high heat-resistance enables dyes to be applied under boiling heat with a minimum shrinkage—this is news of great importance to the Industry.
Viscose
A. W. Eley Page 24

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Wales
Vertical rows of stitches in a knitted construction. See also A. W. Eley
Washing
A. W. Eley Page 147
Welt
A fabric knitted separately and machine-sewn to the top of the sock, or hem at the top of a stocking knit in heavier denier yarn and folded double to give strength for supporter fastening. See also A. W. Eley
Wicking
The capacity of a fibre to transport moisture away from itself.
Widening (by Carriers)
A. W. Eley Page 66
Widening (by Points)
A. W. Eley Page 72
Without Guarantee
In the selling of all types of stockings, whatever the price, the rule is to give no guarantee, as Hosiery comes into the category of those goods which cannot be guaranteed. Yet, in spite of this, it is good policy to show consideration to customers, and to be prepared to make restitution for goods returned with legitimate cause for complaint.
Wool
Wool is the soft, curly hair of a sheep which is spun into yarn. The wool family includes Shetland(Scottish) and Merino (Spanish) wool which are soft and of high quality. But most woollen yarn used in socks is made from standard grades produced in the US, Australia, and elsewhere. (Alpaca and cashmere are animal hairs but are not properly called wool.) Wool is warm, sturdy, and durable. It has a crisp, resilient hand and has excellent insulating properties.
Wool-lined
A. W. Eley Page 39
Woollen
Yarns produced by the woollen system of spinning. Generally containing very short fibres, unevenly distributed and not parallel to each other.
Woollen Cut Count
An indirect yarn numbering system based on the number of 300 yd. lengths per pound.
Woollen Run Count
An indirect numbering system generally used for yarn spun on the woollen system; the numbered 1600 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Worsted
Yarns produced by the worsted system of spinning. Generally contain long fibres arranged in parallel and well-distributed order.
Worsted Count
An indirect numbering system generally used for yarns spun on the worsted system; the number of 560 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Wrapped Yarn
A yarn composed of one fiber as a core, wrapped with a filament or spun yarn of another. For example, spandex is frequently wrapped with nylon to improve strength and durability.

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Yarn
A generic term for an assemblage of fibres or filaments, either natural or manufactured, twisted or laid together to form a continuous strand suitable for use in producing fibres.
Yarn Count
A numerical designation expressing relationship of length to weight. (See also Denier)

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“Z” Twist
(See illustration A. W. Eley Fig. 73)
This twist can be applied to any fibre used in the construction of a stocking. Taking nylon as an example, “Z” twist is used on the yarn for the manufacture of fully-fashioned hose. This is in contrast to “S” twist, which is used for seamless hose.

Glossary of Hosiery Terms

A briefer, illustrated, Glossary can be found on Page 69 onward in the the 'Pretty Polly' booklet.

There is a detailed glossary in A. W. Eley's comprehensive Handbook of 1946 entitled

'Stockings - Silk Cotton Rayon Nylon', much of which is now incorporated here.

A reference that includes a date e.g. (1946) indicates the original date of the definition,

and that the definition or term is outdated.

Abrasion Resistance
The degree to which a fabric is able to withstand rubbing and chafing within the shoe. Many socks and sheer hosiery products are reinforced, usually with nylon to improve durability.
Acetate
A. W. Eley Page 24
Adjustables
These are stockings having the top as a single piece of sheer fabric (not a double hemmed welt). The length of the top is fixed at 7" for stockings with a foot size of between 8½ and 10½ inches, inclusive. This fabric is made in this one-length top only, and is capable of adjustment to leg lengths varying from 25½" to 32½". This is, therefore, right for every height.
Afterwelt
The area of knitted fabric just below the double turned fabric in stockings. It is usually made of the same yarn as the welt and is only one layer in thickness. Also known as 'Underwelt'. See also A. W. Eley.
Air-Covered/Mactex (Yarn)
The process of air entangling a false twist textured yarn around the extended core. This is accomplished by forcing compressed air into a jet device through which both the core and cover yarns travel, entangling or lacing the cover yarn around the core.
Alpaca
Extremely fine, soft, and costly yarn derived from the hair of a domesticated Peruvian llama.
Angora
A yarn made from the hair of the angora rabbit. It is prized for its soft feel and fluffy look, is often used in blends, and adds great warmth to socks. Angora is now often simulated by the use of speciality acrylic fibres.
Ankle Fit
“Fit at the Ankle” is one of the chief requirements in Women’s Stockings, and even the use of plastic yarn knitted on fine-gauge circular machines—the stockings shaped by pre-boarding—does not overcome the basis of the thigh, leg, ankle and foot of a seamless hose having the same number of needles as there are needles in the machine (the shaping being achieved by graduation of the stitches). The shape of a seamless stocking cannot, therefore, be induced in the same way as is that of a fully-fashioned hose, where the machine maintains a stitch regularity, the shape being worked into the fabric. The fully-fashioned hose also has the advantage in that the leg contour adjustments ensure a retaining of the shape when worn. This shape is never lost, in spite of prolonged wear and repeated laundering, whereas the seamless hose made from plastic yarn gets its shape from the pre-boarding thermal setting, and as the width of the ankle on the shape does not change, there can be little adjustment to accommodate women’s ankles of varying size.
Appliqué
Any pre-prepared fabric decoration which is sewn or ironed onto a hosiery product.
Argyle
Geometrically knit pattern that produces a balanced design of multicoloured diamond figures against a solid colour background.
Auto-Heeler
A. W. Eley Page 45
Balanced Stitch
This is a balanced construction of thread with the gauge of the machine, as a result of which the stitches are perfectly formed, fitting the needles, and sinkers within the frame-gauge. Without this special attention to stitch balance, sheerness is merely slack (loose) fabric.
Bember (aka Bemberg)
A lightweight, 100% rayon that is rich in feeling. Bember is reknowned for not creating static electricity like many synthetic products. See also A. W. Eley.
Bird's-eye
A small, evenly spaced pattern in a diamond design.
Blended
Textile materials made of a combination of two or more fibres, yarns or filaments.
Blends
The combination of two or more types of fibre in one yarn to achieve improved performance or styling effects.
Block Toe
A reinforcement in the centre of the toe portion of the hose, this being usually oblong in shape, and serving the purpose of strengthening that part which directly encounters the nails of the foot. (See A. W. Eley Fig. 43, No. 11)
Boarding — Socks:
In this operation the sock is stretched either dry or moist over flat metal or wooden forms conforming to the desired sock shape and size. It is then pressed between two heated surfaces. This gives the sock form a smooth appearance. It is a process similar to ironing.
Boarding — Sheers:
A full-shaped heat setting operation in which stockings are put on metal leg forms for a specific size and shape and then dried in a steam cabinet. The process is done after dyeing. The term "boarding" stems from the olden days when wooden boards were used to dry stockings. (See Pre-Boarding, Semi-Boarded, and the Intech Process. and A. W. Eley)
Boot
The portion of the stocking leg running from below stocking welt area to the toe.
Boot Fabric
The leg portion of fabric in hosiery.
Brand
The name used to identify a product, such as hosiery or fibre, which comes from a particular manufacturer.
a) Branded hosiery is that which is marketed and usually advertised nationally, under one name which guarantees the same quality regardless of where it is purchased. (See unbranded.)
b) Name used to identify fibre from which stockings are knit.
Bruised Fabric
Sheer nylons cannot stand coming in contact with any hard surface and contacted by another hard object. This action will bruise the fabric sufficiently to cause a rupture when placed under strain.
Bulk
This term is usually used when referring to textured multifilament yarn. Multifilament twisted yarn with low turns produces low bulk or lean yarn. High twist multifilament yarn produces high bulk yarn. The degree of bulk can be built into the yarn by the throwster as desired.
Bulk Yarn
Yarns which have been treated physically or chemically so as to have a notably greater "apparent volume". Bulk is usually obtained when using textured multifilament yarn.
Cable
A knitted pattern usually made up of two vertically intertwined bands.
Calf-High
The name used for short-length stockings that come up to the calf of the wearer.
Cashmere
Luxuriously soft, expensive yarn made from the undercoat of the Kashmir goat.
Cellulose
A. W. Eley Page 23
Chiffon
A. W. Eley Page 131
Circular Knit
The major knitting method in hosiery construction. Yarn is knitted into hose using a cylindrical tube. Toes are later sewn and a waistband added. See also A. W. Eley
Clock
A knitted or embroidered ornament on a stocking, usually running up the side. See also A. W. Eley
Colourfast
Fabric with dye retention such that no significant change in shade takes place during the normal life of the sock.
Combed Yarn
A. W. Eley Page 36
Comparison (Seamless v. Fully-Fashioned)
A. W. Eley Page 82
Compenzine (Compensene)
A. W. Eley Page 19
“Complet” v. Heel-less Machines
The “Complet” machine knits a fully-fashioned stocking complete, while the Heel-less machine knits a stocking-blank, the heel-tabs being attached afterwards. By each method, the leg, instep, and foot fabric is perfectly matched, there being no necessity to transfer the leg of a stocking-blank from the “legger” to the “footer” machine, this being necessary with the old type of two-machine system. (See A. W. Eley page 46) Undoubtedly, the advent of the “Complet” machine is one of the most important developments in the Fully-Fashioned hosiery field during the past twenty years, as when in the past, three or four-thread silk (sheer) stockings became the principal part of the industry’s total output, it was noticed that the “topping line” (see A. W. Eley Fig. 57) resulting from the transfer of the leg-blank to the “footer” machine was very strongly exaggerated. The “Complet” machine—in rendering the transfer redundant—was the answer to this difficulty.
Both the “Complet” and the Heel-less machines produce the popular French foot which, because of its superior appearance, comfort, and wearing quality, is recognised as the correct construction of foot for fully-fashioned stockings.
The “Complet” machine takes a long time to knit the heels, and is also a very complicated machine. The Heel-less machine, by omitting the heel-tabs, gives about 15% more production than the “Complet.” The heel-tabs are knitted on afterwards on a small High-speed “Heeler” operated by female labour. Both these systems have one disadvantage in that it is necessary to join on a linking machine the inner selvedges of the heel-tabs to the first course of the sole splicing, and the join corner of the heel/ankle gore can be very troublesome, ladders being very apt to commence there, and run up the leg. A modern improvement on this method is brought about by the “Auto-Heeler” machine, which removes the drawback of the side-linking of heel to sole by inter-knitting the two portions together while the heel is being made.
Continuous Filament
A fibre produced in a single, uncut strand rather than cut into short fibres such as cotton or wool. Also used to describe yarns which are not spun.
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.
Cotton Fibre
A soft and heat-resistant vegetable fibre used in garments since 3,000 BC It absorbs and retains moisture, is readily washable, and is available in a wide variety of types and qualities. Long staple combed cotton is generally considered to provide the finest quality cotton yarn for socks. See also A. W. Eley
Cotton Sole
A cotton insert sewn or knit into the sole of the stocking.
Cotton's Patent
A. W. Eley Page 83
Course
A series of adjacent loops forming a horizontal line across the knitted fabric. Small horizontal stitches mean more yarn has been used, resulting in finer fabric, greater elasticity, and longer wear. See also A. W. Eley
Cradle Sole
A. W. Eley Fig. 44 (See type 23)
Crepe
A. W. Eley Page 19
Crochet
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.
Cuban Heel
A flat-topped (or squared-off) reinforced heel extending slightly up the back of the leg in a fully-fashioned stocking.
Cuprammonium
A. W. Eley Page 24
Decals
Designs printed on paper and transferred to the stocking by means of heat and pressure. The application of a design or logo to a stocking by transferring a design from specially printed paper to the fabric by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "Heat Transfers" and "Imprints".
Decitex
The metric measuring system used to indicate weight per unit length of yarns in Europe. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 10,000 metres of yarn.)
Defects (Welt, Leg and Foot)
A. W. Eley Page 132
Demi-Toe
Stocking with a nude, sheer heel and reinforced toe. A popular fashion with slingback shoes.
Denier
Denier is the weight-per-unit-length of the yarn. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 9,000 metres [5.59 miles] of yarn. Thus 9,000 metres [5.59 miles] of 15 denier nylon, used in nylon stockings, weighs 15g [0.5oz], and in this case the thickness of thread would be 0.00425 mm [0.0017in.]) 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. An average hair from the human head is about 50 denier. The lowest denier nylon ever produced for stockings was 6 denier which was exhibited at the Nylon Fair in London in 1956, although Pretty Polly manufactured and sold stockings in 5 denier yarn in 1989.
(See also illustrated vintage advert for Taylor Woods fully-fashioned stockings and A. W. Eley)
Deodorant
A chemical additive introduced to hosiery during the finishing process to control sock odour. Originally used in athletic hosiery. Deodorants control odour by inhibiting the growth of odour causing organisms.
Detailing
Any material applied to the sock body after manufacture, such as lace, stitched monograms or insignia, fringes, sewn-on cuffs, etc.
Double-Reinforcement
Two thread lines, usually nylon or polyester, knitted into portions of the stocking foot to achieve added abrasion resistance, most commonly at the heel and/or toe.
Drop Stitch
When a needle on a knitting machine does not form a knitted loop.
Dupont Nylon
Dupont were the original manufacturers of nylon for use in hosiery. A stocking bearing this on the imprint is likely to date to before the mid 1950's, and generally implies that the stocking was made in the United States.
Dyeing
The permanent application of colour to a yarn or fabric.
Elastic
A term which designates the ability of a yarn to return to its original size or shape after being stretched.
Elasticity
The ability of a strained material to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress that caused deformation.
Embroidery
The application of designs of decorative trim by machine or hand sewing.
English Foot
A. W. Eley Page 48
Ethnic
Usually sheer hosiery (knee-high,stockings) dyed in colours designed to compliment the natural skintones of various ethnic population groups.
Extra Long Stockings (1946)
All hosiery 33½" long or longer.
Fabric
Specifically in hosiery, the word is used to refer to that which is knitted on hosiery machines from fibre.
Fabric Stretch
The amount of stretch in fabric from the relaxed state to the fully-extended stretch.
Fabric Recovery
The ability of fabric to recover from the fully extended state to the original flat state before extending.
Fair Isle
Any nordic or snowflake patterning.
Fashion Marks
A. W. Eley Page 85
Fashioning Point
A. W. Eley Page 85
Faulty Fashionings
Ladders/runs sometimes commence to run from the fashioning stitches (see A. W. Eley photograph, Fig 65). This may be an imperfection in manufacture due to a defect in machinery or thread. In certain methods of manufacture, the point at the corner of the gore is not all manufacturers desire, and this point is frequently a starting point for ladders. A defect of this type would be a legitimate cause for complaint from a retail customer.
Faulty Seaming
Ladders/runs running from the back seam (see A. W. Eley photograph Fig. 67) are usually due to faulty seaming. Stockings are examined for defects, but sometimes this particular trouble would not show itself until the affected stocking was actually in wear. Should a complaint of this type be made—ladders starting in the fabric at the first wearing—it is fair to presume the customer has a just grievance, and the satisfaction of this particular customer should be made the first consideration.
Faulty Suspendering
Ladders/runs will be caused if stockings are too tightly suspendered (see A. W. Eley photograph Fig. 68) shows a hose suspender fixed in the shadow-welt (the portion below the welt). The suspender should be secured in the welt, not below it, the welt being that portion of the top of the stocking which is specially manufactured of heavier material in order to take the strain. Retail customers’ complaints due to faulty suspendering should be courteously, yet firmly, dealt with, and the sales staff should demonstrate the cause of any accident directly attributable to this, which in itself is sufficient ground for the refusing of consideration of compensation.
Faux Seam
A false (faux) seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking of circular knit hosiery. See also A. W. Eley
Feeds
This term is normally used in conjunction with circular knitting machines and literally means how many yarns are fed into a machine at each revolution to knit continuous rows of stitches.
Fibre
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 fibres to be spun into yarn include a length of at least 5 millimetres, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength. Other important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, and lustre.
Filament
The finished fibre used in sheer hosiery is called filament yarn. It is characterised by continuous length and is extruded either as monofilament yarns, which is composed of one single strand, or multifilament yarn which is made up of several filaments bundled together.
Filament Count
The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn. See also A. W. Eley
Filament Yarn
A yarn composed of long strands of synthetic fibres which continue the entire length of the yarn. The basic yarns used in ladies hosiery are all filament yarns. To describe the size of filament yarns, the term denier(weight-per-unit-length) is used.
Finishing
Includes all sock and sheer hosiery manufacturing steps excluding knitting and sewing. For socks, it includes bleaching, scouring and dyeing, boarding, pairing, ornamentation, folding and packaging. For sheers, it includes dyeing, boarding, pairing, and packaging. See also A. W. Eley
Fishmouth Toe
A method for closing a non-reciprocated toe in which the seam runs parallel to the bottom of the foot rather than across the top of the toe.
Fishnet
Knitted stockings with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net. Very stylish and fashionable, but very porous providing little warmth or protection or cosmetic covering.
Fit
It is the combination of yarn and construction that determines the adaptability of hosiery and bodywear to the human form. Stretch and recovery of yarns and knit construction contribute to a garment's fit.
Flare
A. W. Eley Page 102
Flammability
The test to determine if fabric will ignite under controlled conditions.
Flat/Plain Knit
The second most widely used construction. Sock fabric knitted on a single cylinder machine and producing a fine, smooth surface with a jersey-like appearance. Used for casual socks of all types, some varieties of work socks, for children's hosiery, and in socks where the distinction is achieved by the yarn or by treatments such as embroidery, appliqués, or small neat patterns. See also A. W. Eley
Flat Yarn
This term is often used by knitters and coverers to indicate raw yarn they use. Flat yarns have no stretch unless they are textured. They are also used as the alternate course in many sheer spandex styles. (See Raw Yarn)
Float Loop
The needle is not raised and the yarn which should have been associated with the needle goes behind the needle and appears as a float. The spandex elastic in the waistband is floated into the garment.
Flocking
Design applied to a boot, usually soft and fuzzy in appearance.
Fluorescent Colours
(See A. W. Eley “Iridescent.”)
Folding (or Fellowing)
A. W. Eley Page 122
Foot Styles
A. W. Eley Page 89 (See Figs. 43 and 445)
Footer
A. W. Eley Page 44
French Foot
A. W Eley Pages 46 and 49
Full-Fashioned
Full-fashioned stockings are knitted flat, and the two sides are united afterwards by a seam up the back. As a result of decreasing stitches over the calf to make the hose narrower in the ankle, small "fashion markings" or loops are visible running parallel to either side of the seam. The popularity of the full fashioned stockings, at a peak immediately after World War II, has declined since the introduction of seamless hosiery. See also A. W. Eley
Fully-Fashioned
The British equivalent of Full-fashioned. See also A. W. Eley
Full-Length Hosiery
Hosiery designed to be worn with the welt above the knee. This is customary, but periodically a demand arises for a knee-high hose, in which the welt must necessarily be below the knee, and for the securing of which, a thread of lastex yarn is knitted into the fabric.
Gassed Yarn
A. W Eley Page 37
Gauge
The measurement of the distance between needles in a knitting machine. Two-thirds of the gauge equals the number of needles per inch. For example, on a 60 gauge machine there are 60 needles to 1.5 inches (37mm). Thus the lower the number, the looser the knit, and the stocking is likely to be more sheer. (See also illustrated vintage advert for Taylor Woods fully-fashioned stockings and A. W. Eley)
Georgette
This term is applied to stockings made from 4-thread silk, of crêpe construction and dull texture, having a sheer appearance.
Glimmer
This term refers to a light reflection from the yarn, mainly from a trilobal yarn which gives the glimmer effect by reflecting the light.
Gore
The centre of the heel or toe pocket, created in the knitting process, sometimes giving the appearance of a seam. See also A. W. Eley
Grain Texture
This is seen on that side of the stocking fabric which is usually worn next to the skin. The surface is smooth, even, and softly dull. Grain texture is made full use of in the knitting of a stocking inside-out (referred to as “Reverse-knit.”).
Grenadine
A. W. Eley Page 19
Graduation
The tapering of the leg from the top to the bottom by tightening the stitches to give a proper fit at the ankle, knee and thigh.
Greige
(pronounced "grey") Greige goods are any fabric as it comes off the knitting machine before bleaching, scouring, or dyeing. See also A. W. Eley
Gusset Square Heel
A. W. Eley Page 76
Gusset Toe
A. W. Eley Page 77
Hand
The tactile qualities of a fabric such as softness, elasticity, fineness and resilience.
Handle (Hand)
The reaction to the sense of touch when fabrics are grasped in hand. Many factors which give "character" combine in the judgement as to handle.
Heat Transfers
The application of a design or logo to a stocking by transferring a design from specially printed paper to the fabric by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "Decals" and "Imprints".
Heel (Round)
A. W. Eley Pages 66, 72 and 89
Heel (Universal)
A. W .Eley Page 91
Heel-less Machine
A. W. Eley Page 43
High-Bulk Yarn
Qualitative term to describe a highly-twisted textured yarn. A bulked yarn develops more bulk than stretch in the finished fabric.
High-Spliced Heel
The term “high-spliced” refers to that area at the back of the stocking which is immediately above the shoe, a splicing thread being inserted here. The following are variations on the splicing theme:-
The “French” Heel. This term is applied to any heel which is made in colour contrast to the remainder of the stocking.
The “Wigwam” Heel. This (as its name implies) is made in the shape of a wigwam, or inverted “V”.
The “Panel” Heel. This is usually used in the manufacture of lace stockings, and is a continuation of the heel proper, resulting in a panel of heel width up the back of the stocking.
The “Double V” Heel. This is in the form of an inverted “V” at each side of the stocking.
The “Pointex” Heel. This is graduated step by step, terminating in a point
High-tenacity Rayons
Considerable attention is being given to these by hosiery manufacturers, and rayons of this type will fill a very important role in the future of stocking making. The property of high tenacity is imparted during the spinning process, a special stretch technique being applied to the filaments while these are in a plastic state. By the use of this spinning under tension, exceptional fineness of filament denier yarn is obtained. To give an instance:- In the production of one type of yarn, 160 fine filaments are twisted together to form a 20 denier yarn of exceptional strength. High-tenacity rayons require special processing (part of their elasticity being lost) and experiments are already being made in the introducing of new features in the knitting of these yarns into stockings, such features being special twist, variation from the standard number of courses per inch, and the use of a type of fashioning which, employing fewer narrowings, results in an increased width. This additional width minimises the loss of elasticity, so that the hose does not suffer by comparison with ordinary hosiery, but has, indeed, the very considerable advantage of greatly increased strength.
High Twist
A yarn spinning process in which more twist is used than is needed for normal processing to provide desired aesthetic properties such as harshness, brightness, or to reduce hairiness on the yarn surface. See also A. W. Eley
Hole
Hosiery that has been ruptured by bruised, cut, burned, or a braided fabric to cause a hole to appear that will develop into a run.
Hosiery Lengths
A. W. Eley Page 124
Hosiery Standards (U.S.A.) c.1946
A. W. Eley Page 102
Human Foot Structure
A. W. Eley Page 87
Humidity
A. W. Eley Page 20
Imprint
The application of a design or logo to a stocking by transferring a design from specially printed paper to the fabric by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "Decals" and "Heat Transfers".
Ingrain Yarn
Yarn that has been dyed before knitting, requiring no further dyeing. See also A. W. Eley
Inside-Out
(A. W. Eley “Reverse-knit”.)
Inspection Grades
A. W. Eley Page 126
Intarsia
A geometric pattern knitted-in either with a different stitch or a different colour from the background. In intarsia knitting, both sides of the fabric look alike.
Intech Process
This semi-boarded process is not subjected to a full heat setting operation. (See Semi-Boarded)
Inturned Welt
A. W. Eley Page 76
Iridescent or Fluorescent colours
“Iridescent” is not a definite colour name, but is applied to stockings which are dyed in such a way that a gentle shaded effect is achieved, the colour deepening evenly from a light tone at the front of the leg to a deep tone at the back, this creating a decided illusion of slenderness.
The stocking is first dyed and finished as usual, and colour is then sprayed on, this process—due to chemical compounds used—imparting to the stocking a many-coloured appearance, the shades changing under different lighting effects, and the varying angles from which they are viewed.
Irregulars
Hosiery that contains minor imperfections in dimensions, size, colour or knit but without obvious mends, runs/ladders, breaks or substantial damage to yarn or fabric. See also A. W. Eley
Jacquard
A. W. Eley Fig. 45
Joining
A. W. Eley Page 107
Knee-Highs
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.
Knee Warmers
Thigh high knitted garment generally of heavier fabric that usually has no knitted foot and extends from above the ankle or calf over the knee to approximately mid-thigh.
Knit Loop
This is the normal basic loop in knitting. See also A. W. Eley
Knitting
The art of constructing fabric on needles, by the interlooping of one or more yarns in several series of connected loops hanging on and supporting one another.
Knocking-Over
A. W. Eley Page 56
Lace
Ladies sheer hosiery knitted with a pattern resembling lace and/or hosiery with lace seamed to the top of the leg. See also A. W. Eley
Ladders
Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches. This is the term used in Britain, whilst the synonymous term ‘Runs’ is used in the U.S.A.
Lambswool
The first clip taken from a sheep up to seven months old, which explains its soft hand.
Landing
A. W. Eley Page 56
Lanolized
A finishing treatment applied to quality nylon stockings to enhance the silkiness of the feel of the stockings when new. Some stockings made in the early Dupont nylon were rather harsh to the touch, and this form of treatment improved the feel significantly.
Latch Needles
One type of needle used in hosiery machines. The needle performs the basic act of knitting, pulling one loop of yarn through another. See also A. W. Eley, Page 84 and Page 98
Laying the Thread
A. W. Eley Page 54
Leg Form
Form for displaying socks or sheer hosiery. Leg forms are weighted so that they are free-standing and can be designed to present one or a pair of stockings. The term, "leg form", may also describe the form used to pull a sock or sheer hosiery on for testing, and may designate the boarding forms used for shaping unboarded hosiery. May also be flat forms (e.g. NAHM forms for sizing).
Legger
           - and English Footer. A. W. Eley Page 48
           - and French Footer. A. W. Eley Page 46
           - Combined Legger and French Footer. A. W. Eley Page 49
Leg Length
The leg length is measured up the back of the stocking, from top of the welt to the point at which the heel turns from the foot to the leg when laid flat. Usually measured in inches. See also A. W. Eley
Lisle
Hosiery made of lisle yarn, which is a fine, hard-twisted, long-staple cotton yarn with two or more ply. See also A. W. Eley
Longfold
Step in hosiery production where merchandise is stored and prepared for final packaging.
Loop Forming
A. W. Eley Page 79 A. W. Eley Figs. 24 to 29 and Fig. 38
Looping
A. W. Eley Page 107.
Man-Made Fibre
A class name for various genera of fibres (including continuous filaments) produced from fibre-forming substances which may be:
1) polymers synthesised from chemical compounds, e.g. acrylics, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl fibres;
2) modified or transformed natural polymers, e.g., alginic and cellulose-based fibres such as acetates and rayons;
3) mineral, e.g., glass.
Marking Stitch
This is sometimes inserted in the welt portion of a fully-fashioned stocking to indicate the size of the hose, and takes the form of small holes, the numbers of these varying as follows:-
        One Hole .............. Size 8½"
        Two Holes .............    ''   9"
        Three   ''  .............    ''  9½"
        Four     ''   .............    ''  10"
This marking-stitch is achieved by the transfer of one-half of a knitted loop to an adjoining needle, so that this needle carries one-and-a-half stitches (its own and the half transferred from the next needle). By the variation of these openings, names, letters and figures can be produced, and these can be placed on the welt or on the sole near the heel. This stitch adjustment can also be used for ornamental purposes.
Marls
Multicoloured yarns in which each component strand is different colour.
Matte
Hosiery with a dull finish; minus a shine or lustre.
Measurement
A. W. Eley Page 124
Mercerised
A cotton yarn which has been treated with a solution of caustic under conditions of caustic concentration and temperature which effect a permanent or irreversible swelling of the cellulose. See also A. W. Eley
Merino
A fine grade of wool from sheep originating in Spain.
Mesh
An open knit used primarily to achieve a hand-knit, textured look. See also A. W. Eley
Mesh Knit
A hosiery fabric produced in a variety of tiny patterns. Upon close inspection it looks like lots of fine zigzag lines. Actually, the knit is a variety of tiny patterns with loops interlocked. This kind of construction helps prevent runs/ladders, but a snag in a mesh stocking will generally leave a hole. The runguard, however, does use the mesh stitch. See also A. W. Eley
Micro-Mesh (Micromesh)
A seamless mesh stocking where the loops are knotted in one direction only. Because of this the stocking can run/ladder in one direction—from the foot up towards the welt.
Mixture Yarns
These are made up of two or more dissimilar yarns of different fibres combined into one, such as Wool/Rayon, Cotton/Wool, Silk/Wool, etc. Each of the yarns used would contribute to the character of the hose, and the following effects can be arrived at, according to the method adopted:-
Blended Effect. Can be obtained by taking material of varying fibre, and spinning both into a yarn.
Twisted Effect. Achieved by the twisting together of yarns which have been individually spun. The number of turns or twists per inch given in preparing a yarn for hosiery purposes, can be varied, each variation being thrown-up in the final appearance of the fabric.

Mock Seams
A false (faux) seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking of circular knit hosiery.
Modulus of Elasticity
The determined ratio of stress versus strain that expresses the measure of elasticity in the hosiery fabric.
Monofilament Yarn
Yarn made of one single filament of fibre. We use this term to define a non-stretch nylon thread. (See Filament)
Monotop
This is a welt made of single fabric only, as opposed to a welt made of double fabric, although its weight equals that of the latter.
Multi-Feed Hosiery Machinery
A machine that is usually fed by two or more spools to knit stockings.
Multi-head Heeler
A. W. Eley Page 45
Multifilament Yarn
Yarn made of several filaments twisted or bundled together. (See Filament)
Narrowing
A. W. Eley Page 64
Natural fibres
Cotton, wool, or silk hosiery fibres.
Needle Bar
A. W. Eley Page 99
Needle (Bearded)
A. W. Eley Page 84
Needle Count
The total number of needles used in knitting a sock or sheer hosiery product. The higher the needle count the closer the stitches and the finer the fabric. 400 needles is the norm for Micromesh stockings, but, curiously, a stocking knitted with 200 needles would have a more sheer appearance because the stitches would be further apart. See also A. W. Eley
Needle Out
This type of stocking is made by removing certain needles (around the cylinder if seamless machines, or out of the needle-bed if fully-fashioned) this being done for the purpose of obtaining drop-stitches. A drop-stitch is a defect in the normal way of knitting, producing a ladder, and this can be formed systematically between every third needle, or as required to conform to whatever mock-rib effect is desired. The system of “needle out” on Seamless machines is used in the production of rayon mock-rib hose, and on 45gg. Fully-Fashioned machines in the use of two-fold 130s. lisle.
Non-Reciprocated
Socks or sheer hosiery knitted with no heel or toe pocket, e.g. tube socks.
Non-Run
Stockings with a special interlocking stitch that prevents runs/ladders (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 extra life. See also A. W. Eley
Non-Stretch
Garment manufactured without stretch yarns. Usually made of natural, ridged non-stretch fibres. 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.
Novelties
Women's non-basic styles characterised by unusual patterning and/or coloration.
Novelty Yarns
Yarns showing unusual and fancy effects.
Nude Heel
Stocking without reinforcement in the heel area. The exact same knitting is used as in the boot or leg of the stocking. Enjoys a popular appeal thanks to the open-heeled or sling-back shoe.
Nylon
Man-made fibre introduced in 1938. It is the first and the oldest of the true synthetics. Chemically, nylon is a man-made polyamide fibre derived from coal, air, and water. This fibre 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 a reinforcement with other fibres. Another use for nylon in socks is the stretch filament nylon plaited with other fibres to obtain multi-sizes. See also A. W. Eley
Odour Preventive
Hosiery treated to kill bacteria which grow under warm, moist conditions such as in shoes, socks, or on the feet. This bacteria generally is odourless, and the compounds the hosiery is treated with inhibit bacteria growth.
One Size
The term applied to stockings that fit most sizes from very small to large.
Opacity
Degree to which light passes through, not transparent.
Opaque
Stockings made of yarn which give them heavier appearance, usually 40 denier or greater in weight.
Open-End Spun Yarn
Yarn-making process in which fibres are twisted and wrapped around each other by the use of a rapidly rotating rotor. The process is much faster than ring-spinning.
Opera Length
This type of stocking is made over 40” in length, and has an extra wide top to accommodate the thigh.
Organzine
W. W. Eley Page 17
Outsize
Stockings proportioned to accommodate the heavier woman or the taller than average figure. (See Queen Size)
Pairing
The finishing operation in which individual stockings are inspected and made into pairs prior to folding and packaging. See also A. W. Eley
Panel
Sometimes referred to as the “Boot” or “Leg”, and is that part of the stocking which extends from the heel to the lower edge of the shadow-welt.
Pantyhose
A garment that combines both panty and stockings into a one piece waist-high garment that extends above the crotch, but not above the waist, to the toes.
Patterned
Socks or sheers having a design knitted into the garment or impressed on the side, front or over-all surface. (See Textures)
Picot
A picot course or lines of open-work stitches are frequently included in the making of the top of the stocking. A picot course at the junction of the welt and under-welt or between the under-welt and the leg panel of the stocking, does prevent a run/ladder from running up into the welt, but it does not stop a suspendered ladder from running down the stocking. This 'no-run course' has a very limited value and cannot be relied on to safeguard the life of the stocking. Some manufacturers build in to the stocking a number of picot courses in or just below the welt and these merely have a fashion value in most cases. Picot courses do, to a limited extent, assist in spreading the pull of the suspender more evenly around the top of the stocking.
Pilling
When a fibre exceeds its abrasion level and the fibres begin to break and form a small ball of fibre on the fabric surface.
Plain/Flat Knit
The most common knit in hosiery, similar to a jersey or hand-knit stitch. Plain knit gives a smooth, sheer surface. (See Mesh and See also A. W. Eley)
Plating
This is a knitting process in which two yarns of different quality are used, one showing on the outside face of the stocking, and the other on the inside (or back). It is possible to use this process in the reinforcement of the wearing parts of the stocking by using a splicing thread as an additional strengthener. Silk is usually plated on Cotton or Mercerised Lisle, the silk showing on the fabric face, for appearance. In order to obtain, say, Silk plated on Cotton, on a fully-fashioned machine, it is necessary to lay the inside thread exactly on top of the outer thread, because the outer side of the stocking (or that which is seen on the leg) is the inside (lying underneath) during the process of knitting the plated fabric, and receives the direct plating thread. In order to prevent any twisting or crossing of the two materials, the main carrier containing the silk underthread runs a certain distance ahead of the plating (or cotton) carrier, and the movement of the cotton carrier must follow almost simultaneously with the advance of the sinkers, so that the two threads will be in their relative positions when the sinkers push the yarns forward.
Plied Yarn
When strands of single yarns are combined, twisted together, or air entangled, resultant yarn is referred to as "plied". See also A. W. Eley
Pointelle
An open, lacy-look knit similar to crochet.
Popcorn Stitch
A pattern composed of a series of geometrically arranged round or lozenge-shaped raised areas; so-named because of their resemblance to popcorn.
Pouch Heel
A simulated or "false heel" in what is fundamentally a shaped tube sock. The heel effect is created in boarding. Unlike the tube, a pouch heel sock usually has a fishmouth toe.
POY (partially oriented yarns)
Nylon or polyester texturing feed yarns supplied by fibre producers to texturers for processing (texturing). Yarn is then sold to sheer hosiery, sock and half-hose knitters.
Pre-Boarding
After a stocking is knit, each stitch and loop is permanently set in place by an operation called "pre-boarding" or heat setting in a steam chamber. The stocking is placed on a metal leg form called a "board" and then given the steam treatment. Pre-boarding takes place prior to dyeing. (See Boarding and See also A. W. Eley)
Press-Off
Condition arising when hosiery presses off the machine and fails to knit, caused by slubs or knots in yarn, poorly wound cones, improper tension, machine in bad mechanical condition, etc.
Printing
Method of producing patterns or designs on hosiery by depositing colour or other treating material and fixing with steam, heat, or chemicals. There are many different methods for printing.
Promotional Plan
Co-ordination of stockings with shoes, gloves, hats, and accessories, giving a general effect of harmony.
Proportioned Fit
Stockings specially designed to have different circumferences (foot, ankle, calf, and thigh) and lengths for each size wearer.
Pull Threads
A thread is snagged and pulled from the fabric causing tight stitches that rupture under strain to make holes and runs/ladders. The greatest hazard to sheer hosiery is a pulled thread. This accounts for approximately 80 percent of all ruined sheer hosiery products. See also A. W. Eley
Quarter-Splicing
A. W. Eley Fig. 43, Numbers 2 and 8
Queen Size
Stockings 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 (see Outsize and A. W. Eley).
Rag Sock
Recycled fibre spun into usable yarn count to create a casual look.
Raw Yarn
Filament yarn which has no stretch and is untextured.
Rayon
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. See also A. W. Eley
Reciprocated
In the usual knitting process, the sock is begun at the top and knitted toward the toe. Upon reaching the heel, the machine begins to move more slowly in a semicircular ("reciprocated") fashion to produce the heel pocket. It may be adjusted to reciprocate again at the toe to form a toe pocket. Not all socks have reciprocated toes and heels. For example, the basic tube styles have neither. The "fishmouth" toe closure is non-reciprocated but may be used on a stocking with a reciprocated heel.
Reinforced
The stress areas such as the toe or heel have been strengthened with yarns of heavier denier. The knit of reinforced areas of stockings is normally plain (flat) knit, as micromesh is more inclined to snag. See also A. W. Eley
Reverse-knit (or inside-out) Stockings
Owing to the demand for a stocking with a dull appearance, some women insist upon wearing their hose inside out, overlooking the fact that they are actually sacrificing a neat appearance in the leg seam, also the heel and foot. This dull appearance is due to the curved parts of the loops of both needles and sinkers not reflecting the light at the same angle as do the straight parts of the knitted loops, and here it might be stated that the order of manufacture is that the curved parts of the loops of a stocking lie next to the skin, while the side parts of the loops which connect the needles and sinkers, form that surface which is exposed to the view when the stocking is worn. (A. W. Eley Fig. 72) Manufacturers can, therefore—by reversing the order of manufacture—produce the coveted dull appearance, and in this case the argument against reversing a hose does not hold, the seam in this case being as normal, while the sole, toe and heel are knitted in the usual way. Both Rayon and Nylon yarns used in stockings are dulled by the producers prior to knitting, but even then, there is a section of the public which reverses its stockings in wear.
Ribbed
Vertical pattern of alternating ridges in socks and sheer hosiery. Design may be formed through differences in weight, in knit stitch or opacity.
Ringless Stockings (Three Carrier)
Unfortunately, owing to the natural irregularities caused by the silkworm, it is not possible to place a cone of silk on the knitting machine, and expect regular knitting from the commencement of yarn to the end of the cone. The cone may reel off for half the length of a stocking, then it may noticeably start to run coarser or thicker. The result of this would become apparent after the dyeing of the stocking—shadow bands or dark rings would appear in the fabric. The sheerer the stocking, the more these dark rings would show up, so device known as a “three-carrier construction” is used. By means of this attachment, three yarn carriers draw Silk alternately from three cones: one row of stitches draws from Cone No. 1, the second row of stitches from Cone No. 2, and the third row of stitches from Cone No. 3. By feeding the silk into the knitting machine this way, any possible variations in the size or diameter of the silk are diffused over the surface, thus covering up, any imperfections which may exist in the one cone. If any one strand runs coarse for a length, owing to the law of averages it will not all appear in the same place in the stocking; thus from the three cones used, a clear, ringless texture is obtained.
Genuine ringless stockings are only produced by means of this three-carrier system.

Ring Spinning
A system of spinning using a ring and traveller take-up wherein the drafting of the roving and the twisting and winding of the yarn on to the bobbin proceed simultaneously and continuously.
Ring-Spun Yarn
Yarn prepared by drafting and twisting together individual fibres with the use of rings to achieve a desired yarn size.
Ring Toe
A. W. Eley Fig. No. 43, No. 12
Round Heel (by Carriers)
A. W. Eley Page 66
Round Heel (by Points)
A. W. Eley Page 72
Run-Resistant
Stockings knit with micromesh or tuck stitch patterns that resist runs/ladders in an upward direction.
Runguard
Acts as a deterrent to runs/ladders from the foot into the leg, or from the welt into the leg. It can be made of heavier yarn, or can be a change of stitch from plain to mesh. See also A. W. Eley
Runs
Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches. This is the term used in the U.S.A, whilst the synonymous term ‘Ladders’ is used in Britain.
“S” Twist
(A. W. Eley See illustration Fig. 73.)
This twist can be applied to any fibre used in the construction of a stocking. Taking nylon as an example. “S” twist is used on the yarn for the manufacture of seamless hose. This is in contrast to “Z” twist, which is used for fully-fashioned hose.
Sandal Heel
Stocking without reinforcement in the heel area. The exact same knitting is used as in the boot or leg of the stocking. Enjoys a popular appeal thanks to the open-heeled or sling-back shoe.
Sandalfoot Hosiery
This is a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn in the toe than is in the leg.
Scouring
A process (soap bath) that removes chemicals, tints, impurities and foreign matter from socks during finishing.
Scroop Finish
This is a characteristic associated with silk. The word, “scroop,” is the term for that process which imparts the “swish and rustic” to silk. This charming property is not shared by any other fibre, and it docs not appear to be inherent in the silk fibre itself, but seems to be the outcome of the working of the silk fibre in an acidic solution. The aim of the finisher of stockings is to make them more pleasing to the touch without destroying the softness of the fabric. Although mercerised cotton can be made to acquire an effect similar to silk (from a handling point of view) there is, actually, a great disparity between the two mediums. Experiments are now being made to impart silk-like scroop to rayon and nylon stockings.
Seamed
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.
Seamless
Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back. (See Full Fashioned and See also A. W. Eley)
Seconds
Stockings with major imperfections which make them unsuitable for sale even as irregulars. The US Federal Trade Commission defines seconds as all hosiery which is not of first quality, does not qualify as "irregulars" and which contains runs, obvious mends, irregularities, substantial imperfections, or defects in material, construction or finish. See also A. W. Eley
Semi-Boarded
These garments are not subjected to a full heat setting operation. In appearance they are slightly wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body. This operation is sometimes called the Intech Process.
Semi-Service
A. W. Eley Pages 135 and 136
Service Weight
Generally considered to be a heavier weight garment for professional use such as nurses. Could be interchanged with opaques and are designed to provide longer wear life as compared to sheers. See also A. W. Eley
Sheers
Dress sheers are hosiery fashioned generally of 15 or 20 denier yarn—to be worn for daytime glamour. Evening sheers are hosiery fashioned of wisp-weight 10,12, or 15 denier yarn—to be worn for special occasions. See also A. W. Eley
Shetland
Originally a soft, warm shaggy yarn made only from wool of Shetland sheep. Now often used to describe yarns that offer Shetland characteristics.
Shrinkage
A reduction in size that takes place when a fabric is washed and dried, or when hosiery is finished.
Silk
The filaments obtained from the cocoons of various types of silkworms. See also A. W. Eley
Silk de-gumming
Raw silk, as spun by the silkworm, consists of two single filaments of fibroin, surrounded by a layer of sericin, or “gum”. This gum must be removed prior to the dyeing and finishing, and the process known as de-gumming consists in treating the silk with an alkaline solution at or near the boil, but de-gumming should not be allowed to continue beyond the point of the complete removal of the gum, as [he exposing of the fibroin to boiling alkali results in loss of silk fibre strength. On the other hand, this discharging or de-gumming must essentially be complete, or the presence of residual gum-spots will give rise to uneven dye effects.
Silk Floss
A. W. Eley Page 10
Silk (Mussel or fish silk)
This is found in certain parts of the Mediterranean and is one of the most beautiful, as well as one of the strongest materials known. The mussel shells are about seven inches long by three inches broad, and each contains a hank or byssus of fibre filament. When the shells are harvested from the sea, the fibres are removed from these, and are washed, combed, and spun like cotton. The resultant yarn is extremely lustrous, and the natural shades vary from golden brown to olive green,therefore, deftness in colour grading is necessary, as stockings made from the yarn are ingrain, no dyeing operation being required. The stockings are used for evening wear, and are in shades of brown and olive which tone with gowns, accordingly.
Single Covered (Yarn)
The process of wrapping one non-elastic filament or spun yarn around the extended core. Single cover yarn has torque.
Sinker
The sinkers are steel elements that are located between the needles. The sinker holds the previously knitted fabric and prevents the loop from rising up the needle and interfering with the knitting action. It also helps support the old loop for the needle to pull the new loop through. See also A. W. Eley
Size
Foot size; length from back of heel to tip of toe. Usually measured in inches. See also A. W. Eley
Skein-Relaxed
A method of applying bulk to a yarn by the controlled application of heat. This softens yarn texture and hand.
Sliver
A loose, soft, untwisted strand or rope of fibres used in making yarn. In diameter about the size of a man's thumb.
Slub Yarns
Any yarn made in an irregular diameter to achieve a nubby or knotted effect.
Snag
Same as pulled thread. (See Pull Threads.)
Sole-Slicing
This in a stocking is very important, not only from the strengthening of that area of wear by the introduction of a splicing thread for extra reinforcement, but also from the point of view of warmth, some degree of which is thus contributed to the foot tread. This is especially important when nylon is used, this being cold to the foot, and the addition of a thread of another fibre—usually cotton—helps in this respect. The sole portion of a hose made on a 340 needle machine having a diameter of 31", using 30D. nylon, could be plated with the nylon showing on the face of the fabric, while the cotton (usually one thread of 120s. Mercerised) would be next to the foot tread. For wear with the sandal-type shoe, where a greater area of stocking is exposed to view, a 30D. nylon thread could be plated on a 30D. nylon thread, resulting, of course, in loss of warmth, but achieving an attractive appearance. In the production of the feet of seamless hose, it is difficult to plate the foot bottom when a high-twisted yarn is used.
Spinneret (Rayon)
A. W. Eley Page 24
Spinneret (Silkworm)
A. W. Eley Page 13
Splice
Knit-in reinforcement for areas of stress. Particularly effective in the panty of all nude garments. See also A. W. Eley
Split Sole
The foot of a stocking made from two different materials. See also A. W. Eley
Spun Yarns
Short lengths of fibre, of various lengths, are twisted together to form spun yarns. These yarns are more bulky than continuous filaments yarns, and are thus used in hosiery manufacturing of knee-highs and socks where a soft, fuzzy texture is desired.
Staple
Short lengths of fibre that are spun together to form yarn.
Stitch
A stitch is the basic repeating unit of the yarn pattern in forming a knitted fabric, consisting of the needle loop and sinker loop.
Stocking
A knitted, close-fitting covering for the foot and leg.
Straight-bar Knitting Machines
A. W. Eley Page 83.
Strand
A single filament of fibre.
Stretch Yarns
Continuous filament yarns (e.g. nylon) that have been textured to give them elasticity.
Sueding
This is done by applying abrasive-covered rolls to the face of the stocking fabric. This breaks up the surface, and enhances the softness. This suede finish is usually given to medium-gauge lisle hose.
Super Toe
A construction in which the fabric in the toe has considerably more density than normal. The addition of density in the forward part of the foot is so gradual that no change in appearance is visible. The wear life achieved is significantly improved over the normal nude toe.
Suspender blocks
Some stockings are manufactured with these special blocks, constituting a reinforcement in those areas where the suspenders are attached, such areas being in the back and front portions of the welt. Four of these blocks are used, two being at the front and two at the back, and they extend the full length of the welt (not including the shadow-welt).
Tartan
Any traditional plaid design.
Tensile Strength
The ability of fabric or yarn to resist breaking by tension.
Terry
A looped pile construction used inside most athletic socks and some work socks.
Textured Yarns
Yarns modified so they have desirable properties such as "hand" (feel), increased softness, and greater fit latitude. (Same as stretch yarns).
Textures
A general term that includes all knitted-in patterns. Typical textures include cable, herringbone, basketweave, fisherman and pointelle.
Texturizing
A method of processing continuous filament yarns using heat and twist to give them bulk, elasticity, and/or better recoverability or "memory".
Thigh-Highs
Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastomer bands.
Thread Weight
The number of threads of silk twisted together and used in a stocking. The nylon and rayon denier equivalents (to the nearest commercially produced denier) are as follow:-
Silk Thread123456789101112
Nylon (Denier)1015203045 70 
Rayon (Denier) 4555657590100125135150
(See A. W. Eley Chapter “Sheerness: Denier v. Gauge” for fuller explanation of this.)
Three-Carrier
(See A. W. Eley “Ringless”.)
Throwing
Term used to describe the twisting of rayon, nylon, or silk yarns.
Throwster
A. W. Eley Page 17
Tinted Hosiery
Hosiery dyed to fashion shades. It is created to blend with and enhance costume and shoe ensembles and to lend more grace and beauty to the leg.
Torque
A term used in the hosiery industry for defining a monofilament or multifilament yarn that has been textured to give residual stitch deformation in knitted hosiery, resulting in high sheerness.
Tram
A. W. Eley Page 17
Trilobal Yarn
Contrary to a round cross section of yarn, trilobal yarn is a cross-section with three lobes. It reflects light and gives the finished product a glimmer or brilliance.
Trimming
A. W. Eley Page 118
Tube Socks
Hosiery knit in the shape of a tube, usually on multi-feed machines. Tube socks are non-reciprocated—without a knit-in heel—and are primarily used as men's and boy's spectator athletic socks.
Tuck Loop
A tuck loop is formed by only partially raising the needle so the old loop does not clear, but rises sufficiently for feeding a new yarn into the hook. The old loop which did not clear is the held loop and the new yarn forms the tuck loop. When the needle is cleared on a subsequent course, the knit loop formed is pulled through the tuck loop in addition to the held loop. Tuck loops are used for runguards, in the band area, and some places in the panty. The tuck loops are also used to put in sewing marks and machine identification marks.
Turbo
A process in which large bundles of continuous filament fibres, called tow are stretched randomly, broken and drafted into sliver form. This sliver, with high shrinkage potential, is blended (or combined) with sliver having low shrinkage potential. After spinning this blend into yarn, the yarn is subjected to steam, and the resultant strains force the low shrinkage fibres to yarn surface as loops. This produces a yarn (and sock) with high bulk, softness and loft.
Turning-Off
A. W. Eley Page 107
Twist
The number of turns about its axis per unit of length of a yarn. Normally, no more twist is placed in a yarn than is needed for strength and abrasion resistance. (See also "High Twist" and See also A. W. Eley)
Ultra Sheer
A fine denier fibre which gives the ultimate in sheerness. It is usually 20 denier or less and a low filament count.
Unboarded
Hosiery not subjected to pre-boarding or boarding operations in its manufacture. In appearance it is wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body.
Unbranded
Applied to hosiery that is not marketed throughout the country under a recognisable name. Usually not nationally advertised.
Underwelt
A fabric knitted hem at the top of a stocking leg knit in heavier denier yarn between the welt and the leg of the stocking. Generally this is about half the weight of the welt, but in some cases (e.g. micromesh stockings) the knit is different and generally of a greater gauge. This is also sometimes known as the 'Afterwelt'
Utility Weight
A heavier weight ladies hosiery product generally designed for professionals such as nurses. Designed to provide longer wear life than sheer garments, but provide little leg flattering characteristics. Are synonymous with service weight hosiery.
Velon
This is an entirely new plastic fibre (1946) which is coming to the front. It has a high tensile strength as a yarn, and in some respects compares favourably with nylon. Stockings made from this yarn are non-porous, and all soil marks, are, therefore, confined to the surface of the hose. This means that the hose can be easily cleaned by the application of soap and water, and—also due to the non-porous nature of the yarn—they will dry very quickly. Actually, however, it is this very quality of non-porosity which makes the future of velon as a hose yarn very questionable, as—for health reasons alone—it is advisable for hose yarns to be of a porous nature.
Another further point arising from the non-porosity of the yarn is that the stockings cannot be dyed, and it is, therefore, necessary for velon to be colour-pigmented with the fashionable ruling colours during the actual manufacture of the yarn. This means that velon yarn will be what is known in the Trade as an “Ingrain” yarn. Velon is a multi-filament yarn, and can be made as fine as 20 denier—already hose have been knitted from 40 denier velon. Because of the difficulty of splitting the filaments of which the yarn is composed, the stocking has good snag-resistance, and great abrasion strength.
Vinyon
This yarn has properties which may make it a strong competitor of nylon (1946). The fibre is produced from a heat-resistant resin, and the yarn has a high wet and dry strength, is quick drying, and does not lose any elasticity when wet. There is a hope that vinyon stockings may not require pre-boarding. Already, experiments in the manufacture of 30 and 40 denier stockings have been successful. Its high heat-resistance enables dyes to be applied under boiling heat with a minimum shrinkage—this is news of great importance to the Industry.
Viscose
A. W. Eley Page 24
Wales
Vertical rows of stitches in a knitted construction. See also A. W. Eley
Washing
A. W. Eley Page 147
Welt
A fabric knitted separately and machine-sewn to the top of the sock, or hem at the top of a stocking knit in heavier denier yarn and folded double to give strength for supporter fastening. See also A. W. Eley
Wicking
The capacity of a fibre to transport moisture away from itself.
Widening (by Carriers)
A. W. Eley Page 66
Widening (by Points)
A. W. Eley Page 72
Without Guarantee
In the selling of all types of stockings, whatever the price, the rule is to give no guarantee, as Hosiery comes into the category of those goods which cannot be guaranteed. Yet, in spite of this, it is good policy to show consideration to customers, and to be prepared to make restitution for goods returned with legitimate cause for complaint.
Wool
Wool is the soft, curly hair of a sheep which is spun into yarn. The wool family includes Shetland(Scottish) and Merino (Spanish) wool which are soft and of high quality. But most woollen yarn used in socks is made from standard grades produced in the US, Australia, and elsewhere. (Alpaca and cashmere are animal hairs but are not properly called wool.) Wool is warm, sturdy, and durable. It has a crisp, resilient hand and has excellent insulating properties.
Wool-lined
A. W. Eley Page 39
Woollen
Yarns produced by the woollen system of spinning. Generally containing very short fibres, unevenly distributed and not parallel to each other.
Woollen Cut Count
An indirect yarn numbering system based on the number of 300 yd. lengths per pound.
Woollen Run Count
An indirect numbering system generally used for yarn spun on the woollen system; the numbered 1600 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Worsted
Yarns produced by the worsted system of spinning. Generally contain long fibres arranged in parallel and well-distributed order.
Worsted Count
An indirect numbering system generally used for yarns spun on the worsted system; the number of 560 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Wrapped Yarn
A yarn composed of one fiber as a core, wrapped with a filament or spun yarn of another. For example, spandex is frequently wrapped with nylon to improve strength and durability.
Yarn
A generic term for an assemblage of fibres or filaments, either natural or manufactured, twisted or laid together to form a continuous strand suitable for use in producing fibres.
Yarn Count
A numerical designation expressing relationship of length to weight. (See also Denier)
“Z” Twist
(See illustration A. W. Eley Fig. 73)
This twist can be applied to any fibre used in the construction of a stocking. Taking nylon as an example, “Z” twist is used on the yarn for the manufacture of fully-fashioned hose. This is in contrast to “S” twist, which is used for seamless hose.