Ankle socks Hosiery that covers the foot but only extends up the leg as far as the ankle.
Back panel gusset Fabric panel sewn into the body section of tights to increase their size and improve fit and comfort.
Boarding Process applied to hosiery to improve final presentation. It's usually carried out after dyeing when damp hosiery is pulled over metal forms (originally made of wood) and subjected to pressure and steam.
Comfort top When applied to a knee high this is a form of elasticated top, designed to spread the elastic over a deeper portion of the leg and avoid discomfort and excessive "marking" of the leg.
Control top Tights produced with a body section containing sufficient Lycra to provide comprehensive figure shaping in the waist, bottom or thigh area - or any combination of the three. The body section is often opaque in appearance.
Cuban heel Type of heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part is squared off above the back of the ankle, rather than tapering to a point.
Demi-toe Stockings which have a reinforced toe with half the coverage on top as on the bottom. This results in a reinforcement that covers only the tip of the toes as opposed to the whole toe. These can be with or without a reinforced heel.
Denier The term denier is often referred to as the thickness of hosiery but, to be more specific, denier refers to the weight of the yarn that was used to produce the item of hosiery. A higher denier of yarn results in a thicker pair of tights. Hosiery items range in denier from around 8 up to as high as 200 or more.
Diamond gusset Diamond shaped piece of fabric sewn into the crotch of tights. This is the original type of manual sewn gusset.
Fingerband A reinforced area below the waistband (often on sheer through styles) of tights, designed to give added strength in the area likely to be stressed during the fitting process. The band reduces the chance of the wearer's fingers damaging the hosiery during fitting.
Finishing loop The distinctive hole in the welt of a fully fashioned stocking. It's needed to allow the needle sewing the seam to be withdrawn.
Fishnet An open net structure produced on specialist "weft" knitting machines. Knitted stockings with a very wide open knit resembling a fishnet.
Fencenet Similar to fishnet, but with a much wider pattern. These are sometimes worn over another pair of stockings or pantyhose, such as matte or opaque, with a contrasting colour. Sometimes referred to as whalenets.
French heel / Point heel Heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part tapers off to a trangualr point, accentuating the length and shape of the leg.
Fully fashioned Fully fashioned stockings are knitted flat, the material is then cut and the two sides are then then sewn up the back with a genuine seam and finishing loop.
Garter belt / Suspender belt Belt which has straps to keep stockings in place. Common variants have four, six and eight straps, and sometimes even more.
Girdle Foundation wear garment that gives shape to the waist and bottom while at the same time holding up stockings.
Gusset Piece of fabric sewn into the body section of the tights to improve the levels of fit, comfort and durability.
Hosiery A knitted covering for the feet and legs.
Hosiery gloves Thin (often cotton) gloves which can be worn while putting on sheer hosiery to help reduce the risk of snags from rough skin on the hands.
Kite gusset A type of gusset sewn into the body section of tights to give greater extensibility in order to fit the larger hip sizes more comfortably.
Knee highs / Pop socks Hosiery which comes up to the knee.
Ladder A failure in the knitted fabric construction. A broken yarn or mis-formed stitch causes the loop to collapse into straight lengths of yarn running in a vertical line up and or down the garment.
Nylon Nylon is a polyamide yarn. It is a man-made fibre, made from basic ingredients originating from the petrochemical industry. Nylon is naturally bright but can also be de-lustred to give a duller appearance. It can also be produced in differing cross-sections which give different handles and appearances.
One piece Tights knitted as a complete garment to eliminate or reduce the seaming process required using traditional methods.
Opaque Garment made from higher denier yarns (typically 40 denier and above) to give opacity.
Opaque Hosiery Opaque hosiery is beautifully soft and extremely comforting. It makes the ideal hosiery selection for the autumn and winter months as the main benefit of opaques tights is their cosy, warming feel. (usually 40 denier and above)
Outsize/Oversize/Plus size Denotes stockings proportioned specifically for people whose legs are larger than the average person's.
Pantyhose A sheer nylon tight.
Reciprocated (heel) / Reinforced heel Applied to the system for knitting a pouch or shaped heel on a circular knitting machine. Whilst knitting the heel the normal rotary motion of the machine converts to a forwards, backwards repetitive motion - hence the name. Unique to vintage stockings.
RHT - Reinforced heel and toe Stockings that have a reinforced (reciprocated) heel and toe, providing added durability. Classic RHTs are the most reminiscent of the golden era of the 1950s.
Run resist Hosiery fabric incorporating a multiplicity of tuck stitches. The tuck stitches impact constrictions in the loop structure and damage to the fabric does not normally result in laddering. This construction uses more yarn, give a less sheer appearance and a relatively harsh handle.Sandal toe /Sandal foot Stockings with a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn in the toe than is in the leg. They are intended to be worn with sandal or open-toe shoes.
Seam effect / Mock seam A false seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking.
Seamed Stockings manufactured in the old Full-Fashioned manner with a seam running up the back of the leg. In the past they were manufactured by cutting the fabric and then sewing it together.
Seamless Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back.
Semi boarded A process in the manufacturing sequence that improves the presentation of the finished product. The dyed garment is processed on semi automated equipment in which the garment is pulled over a former and subjected to heat.
Semi opaque A description given to hosiery styles which have evolved into position between sheer and opaque styles, typically from 25-35 denier.
Semi sheer / Semi opaque Semi sheer / opaque hosiery can be anything between 30 and 50 denier.
Shadow toe A reinforcement of the fabric at the toe. PResults in a less severe difference in fabric density from the full reinforced toe, while providing durability in a high stress area.
Sheen Surface appearance demonstrating a slight lustre. Usually the property of a component yarn within the knitted construction.
Sheer A widely used, but undefined term, commonly used to describe hosiery which can be seen through - ie the opposite end of the denier spectrum to opaque. The lower the denier, the sheerer the stocking.
Silicone top Modern hold-ups have an elastic band sewn to the top which has silicone on its inner surface. The stocking stays in position by a combination of elasticity (in the band) and the friction of the silicone against the skin.
Stay-ups Another term for hold-ups
Stockings Thigh-length hosiery in which each leg is separate, thereby requiring a suspender belt or similar to hold in place. In some countries, the word stockings is used as a generic term for hosiery. This is very wrong. Do not encourage it!Support Hosiery designed to improve the condition of your legs by improving your circulation. The strength of the effect depends on the compression factor (see above).
Tectured / Tecturized A stage in the processing of certain nylon yarns. The raw nylon yarn is subjected to a combined process of twisting and heating to create a yarn with greater bulk and properties of stretch and recovery. The texturising process converts a flat filament, to a textured yarn with high bulk. Basic nylon styles such as 15 denier smooth knit etc, are made with extruded textured yarns.
Thigh highs / Hold Ups Stockings that end at the thigh.
Tights One piece hosiery in which the two legs are joined at the top via a kind of built-in brief section. In the USA, tights are called pantyhose, while the term tights is reserved for something altogether more opaque.Torque / Voile A term applied to a type of nylon yarn which has been through processing to introduce a high level of twist. This creates a yarn with some recovery but without "bulk" associated with texturised yarns. The fabrics made from Torque yarns have excellent sheerness for a given denier and bright surface appearance. The overall cling properties in wear are limited and multiple sizes are needed to get a good fit.
U seam A description given to the simplest possible body seam to produce a pair of tights. The letter "U" simply describes the shape of the seam.Ultra sheer Very fine hosiery, generally of less than 10 denier.
Under welt The band of fabric sometimes found knitted beneath the double fabric of the stocking top.
Waist cincher Somewhere between a girdle and very deep garter/suspender belt with excellent waist-shaping properties.
Welt The double thickness at the stocking top used to take the suspender button/clasp.