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ALEXBLAKE GLOSSARY

Glossary

The glossary aims to include every hosiery related term that you might come across, on packets or elsewhere, and to explain clearly and simply what the benefits are and how it actually works.

The glossary is sorted alphabetically, so to find what you are looking for please press on the required tabs below. There are also links from every explanation to the relevant products on our website.

ABC DEF GHI JKL MNO PQR STU V-Z


ABC

Actifresh
Benefits: Keeps you feeling fresh, especially good in warm weather.
How it works: Actifresh helps ensure daylong freshness in all climates due to the application of a fragrant anti-perspirant.

Breathable silicone
Benefits: Used on hold ups to increase comfort, also less risk of skin irritation.
How it works : Band of silicone keeping up hold up stockings not completely solid. Silicone adhered to solid parts of lace but not to holes in the lace. Therefore allowing airflow through to leg reducing irritation of skin.

Bridal
How it works: White and cream hosiery, perfect for your wedding day.
Take a look at our full range of bridal hosiery.
Comfort Band
Benefits: Results in minimal marking on calves when wearing knee-highs and ankle highs.
How it works : Knee-highs and ankle-highs are kept up with an elasticated band. Comfort bands are designed to be wider than normal and generally have graduated tightness. This will result in the product feeling more comfortable and marking on the leg will be minimised.

Comfort Sole
Benefits : Mega comfortable feet. · Fantastic when standing all day.
How it works : Layer of ribbing on the sole, which gives extra support to the feet, which significantly increases comfort when standing all day.

Comfort waistband
Benefits : Reduced marking around waist. · More comfortable .
How it works : The waistband is constructed from a wider band, generally with more give, thereby spreading the pressure of the waistband. · This reduces the impact of the waistband of your tights digging in and rolling over which increases comfort and reduces marking on the body. · Similar idea to wide comfort band on knee and ankle highs.

Control Top
Benefits: Fantastic for wearing under slinky dresses as imperfections are evened out and the worry about wobbling is removed! · Control top tights are also good for everyday comfort.
How it works : Control is supplied by the relevant area being knitted from stronger (i.e. higher denier/thicker) elastane (frequently LYCRA® fiber), which increases the pressure on the strategic area. · Control top tights are designed to either hold in the tummy, or, push up your bottom, or both.
Take a look at our full range of control top tights and control top pantyhose.
Cotton gusset
Benefits: Extra comfort and hygiene.
How it works : A circle of cotton hosiery fabric inserted into tights to improve levels of fit, comfort and durability. It is made of cotton to add coolness and hygiene.

DEF
Decitex
Benefits : Techie term for how thick hosiery looks
How it works : In practical terms almost identical to denier. To be technical, decitex is the metric version of denier and 1 dtex means that 10,000 metres of yarn weighs 1gram.

Denier
Benefits : Techie term used on UK packaging for how thick hosiery is.
General Guidelines
Less than 10 denier = ultra sheer,
10-20 denier = sheer,
25-35 denier = semi-opaque,
40+den=opaque
Technically denier relates to the weight (i.e. thickness) of the yarn from which hosiery is woven, 1 denier means that 9,000 meters of yarn weighs 1 gram. Generally the lower the denier, the sheerer the appearance and the more fragile the product. Read our What Denier advice page for more information.

Denier Appearance
Benefits : Sheer appearance yet strong.
How it works : Recent developments in technology are such that certain products may have an appearance, which is lower than would be indicated by an accurate measurement of denier. In effect these tights, stockings or hold ups have strength over and above their appearance would indicate. In this situation products are frequently labelled denier appearance, and the use of the term denier is used to indicate cosmetic appearance.

Double Covered LYCRA® fiber
Benefits : Strong, soft & high quality.
How it works : LYCRA® fiber yarn is used as the core for all horizontal rows (i.e. every other row). Two layers of nylon thread are wound round the LYCRA® fiber core in alternate directions. (Single covered only has one layer of nylon). Nylon yarn frequently wound more tightly than on single covered, which also makes the product stronger. Double covered LYCRA® fiber products are generally softer than single covered LYCRA® fiber as a better quality of nylon yarn is used to cover the LYCRA® fiber. Products made with double covered LYCRA® fiber are generally softer than single covered LYCRA® fiber as a better quality of nylon yarn is used to cover the LYCRA® fiber.

Elastane
Benefits: Strong fiber with stretch and recovery characteristics.
How it works : Generic name for man made elastic fiber which has strength and recovery properties. LYCRA®fiber is the registered brand name for the elastane fiber produced by INVISTA.

Finish, matte
Benefits: Completely flat look tights with no reflection. Smart without drawing attention to your legs.
How it works : Hosiery that is knitted in such a way that it is matte and flat giving no reflection at all. Generally constructed from multifilament yarns, which do not reflect light.

Finish, slight sheen
Benefits: Looks as though have got a touch of moisturiser on leg. Flattering as evens out appearance of leg. See [page advice/whatfinish] Choosing Hosiery - What Finish. [/page]
How it works : These ladies tights are knitted in such a way that slight reflection of light of the surface of the hosiery. Generally the more filaments used the less shiny and the softer a product is.

Finish, shiny
Benefits: Hosiery that has a shiny finish. See [page advice/whatfinish] Choosing Hosiery - What Finish [/page]
How it works : Shiny women's hosiery products are normally made from trilobal or flat yarns, which reflect the light. Very shiny hosiery will look like glass on your legs.
View all shiny hosiery products.

Flat seams
Benefits: Reduced marking on body.
How it works : Better quality women's hosiery products generally have flat seams which lie flat against the skin, as a result leave less of a mark on the body. Have less three-dimensional stretch. All flat seams are hand made.

Fully Fashioned Stockings
Benefits: Traditional Silky Stockings with a back seam
How it works : Fully fashioned seamed stockings are knitted flat and the two sides are then joined manually by hand with a fine seam up the back. Fully fashioned stockings are also tailored to the shape of your leg by decreasing and increasing the number of needles used for knitting. Take a look at our full range of stockings.

GHI

Graduated Compression
Benefits : Ideal when on feet all day, revitalises your legs. Reduces swelling in your ankles and your legs feel less tired
How it works : Due to how the product is woven the level of compression varies along the length of the leg, decreasing from the ankle to the thigh, giving additional support to ankles and knees. This minimises the blood falling to the ankles when standing all day, reducing the risk of ungainly swollen ankles. Products with graduated compression really are more comfortable to wear.
Take a look at our full range of support tights with graduated compression.

Gusset
Benefits : Increased comfort and hygiene.
How it works : Panel sewn in between the legs of tights which increases the level of comfort for the wearer as well as hygiene.

Hold Ups
Another name for thigh highs or stay up stockings

Hosiery
Benefits: Generic term to describe everything worn on the legs that has nylon as its core component. · Includes tights, hold ups, stockings, knee-highs and ankle highs.
How it works : Modern hosiery generally consists of two key components; elastane (e.g. LYCRA® fiber) and nylon.

JKL

Knee Highs
Benefits : Great with trousers
How it works : Hosiery that is designed to wear under trousers and stops just under the knee.
See our our full range of Knee Highs.

LYCRA® fiber
Benefits: Hosiery containing LYCRA® fiber is stronger, fits better, resulting in increased comfort.
How it works : LYCRA® fiber can stretch up to seven times its original length without breaking and subsequently recover its shape. This characteristic dramatically increases the fit and comfort of hosiery as well as its strength. The more rows in a hosiery product that contain LYCRA® fiber the better the result will be and the benefits of LYCRA® fiber will be maximised. LYCRA® fiber is INVISTA's registered brand name for its elastane fiber.

LYCRA® 3D hosiery
Benefits : Outstanding strength, stretch and recovery giving 'second skin' fit. Uniform appearance Generally very soft.
How it works: LYCRA® fiber in every knitting row, therefore every thread (both horizontal and vertical) has a LYCRA® fiber core (which can be single or double covered), giving stronger and better stretch and recovery characteristics. Due to all threads being identical in composition the appearance is more even. LYCRA® 3D hosiery products are generally softer to the touch as better quality nylon yarn is used to cover the LYCRA® fiber.

LYCRA® Leg Care hosiery
Benefits: Effectively massages and revitalises the legs. Particularly fantastic when standing for long periods. Reduces swelling of ankles. Legs feel less tired
How it works : Modern hosiery which takes care of your legs designed in the laboratory to give a gradual massaging action. Same principal as Support Tights, with level of compression decreasing from the ankle to the thigh. However the manufacturing process has passed the control tests to qualify as LYCRA® Leg Care hosiery and to ensure very high quality. Decreasing compression in effect massages the legs thereby reducing leg fatigue and alleviating swelling - offering performance as well as aesthetic benefits. The variance in pressure level along the leg can be felt as you put on the product.

LYCRA® Soft Comfort fiber Benefits: Less marking on body when used in the top band of knee-highs. More comfort and fits better.
How it works : LYCRA® fiber which has a very soft stretch, ideal for the top of knee highs as it results in a reduction in marking. The term does not refer to the softness of the product - this is determined by the covering nylon yarn.

MNO

Maternity
Benefits: Comfortable hosiery to wear in advanced stages of pregnancy.
How it works : For the early months of pregnancy normal products can be worn, towards confinement, these become increasingly uncomfortable and restrictive. Maternity hosiery has additional panels/material in the brief area in conjunction with regular leg sizes and lengths. Maternity hosiery will generally also have graduated compression to give light support to your legs.
Take a look at our our full range of Maternity hosiery.

Matte Finish
Benefits: Completely flat look with no reflection. Smart without drawing attention to your legs.
How it works : Hosiery that is knitted in such a way that it is matte and flat giving no reflection at all. Generally constructed from multifilament yarns, which do not reflect light.
Meryl
Benefits: Soft to touch
How it works : Type of nylon fiber that is soft.

Microfiber
Benefits: Extra soft to the touch.
How it works : The term microfiber is used to describe a nylon yarn that consist of a multitude of very fine filaments twisted to make a single yarn. The result is extremely soft to the touch. Generally speaking the more filaments used the softer the product. Products made from microfibers are generally matte. Shiny products however are normally made from trilobal or flat yarns which by their nature are harder to the touch. Softness and shininess are at opposite ends of spectrum

Moisturising
Benefits : Keep legs soft and skin smooth.
How it works : Products that are manufactured with microcapsules incorporated in the hosiery. When worn, the microcapsules in the tights release the moisturising formula onto the skin throughout the day, helping to reduce dryness and keeping legs soft to the touch.

Nylon yarn
Benefits : Core component to hosiery that impacts the look and feel.
How it works: Modern hosiery generally consists of two key components; elastane (e.g. LYCRA® fiber) and nylon. It is the nylon yarn that determines the touch and finish of a product. A nylon yarn can consist of one, several, multi or micro filaments, the more filaments a yarn has the softer it will be. Conversely shiny yarns consist of one (flat) yarn or trilobal yarn as the shininess is achieved by how the light reflects of the yarn, multi and microfibers produce a dull finish. Softness and shininess are at opposite ends of spectrum.

Opaques
Benefits : Thick hosiery that is warm and extremely durable. Generally 40 denier and over. Great for everyday and winter wear.
How it works : The thickness of hosiery and how it appears on your legs can be described either in terms of denier or, equally in terms of how sheer it is. The appearance of a pair of tights is dependent on the weight (i.e. thickness) of the yarn.
Take a look at our full range of opaque tights.
PQR
Polyamide
Benefits: The main fiber of hosiery, usually known as nylon.

Reinforced Toe
Benefits: Extra strong toe area, which reduces laddering.
How it works : 30% of first day hosiery failures are caused by toes pushing through the toe area. Reinforcement extends the life of a product. Reinforcement is achieved by using a heavier yarn and often a different knit construction on a band around the toe area.

RHT Stockings
Benefits : RHT = Reinforced Heel and Toe
How it works : The term RHT is used for stockings that have a reinforced heel and toe in a similar manner to traditional fully fashioned stockings in that the heel is knitted in them during the construction process, RHT's do not however have a back seam.
View all stockings.

Run/Snag resistant
Benefits : Long lasting
How it works : Hosiery that has been knitted in a special way to help prevent damage to the tights resulting in laddering or snagging. Inclined to be coarser to look at and rougher to the touch, however the latest innovation in hosiery fibers has led to LYCRA® Fusion fiber, which has enabled the manufacture of garments that help prevent ladders without compromising on comfort or aesthetics.

STU

Sandal Toe
Benefits : Barely visible reinforcement of toes, therefore possible to wear with sandals. Best in pale colors.
How it works: Reinforced toes, although more durable are unattractive if worn with open toed shoes. Sandal toes have minimal reinforcement around the toe, principally supplied by a slightly different knit construction, but in a similar denier and once on it is nearly impossible to see any difference, especially in skin tone colors. Also called shadow, nude or invisible toe. (In the USA the term sandal toe is used for MyTights.com definition of sheer toe).

Semi-Opaque
Benefits : Hosiery that is slightly heavier and more durable than sheers, whilst still being able to see your leg through the weave. Great for everyday, also elegant for evening. Generally associated with 25-35 denier.
How it works: The thickness of hosiery and how it appears on your legs can be described either in terms of denier or, equally in terms of how sheer it is. The appearance is dependent on the weight (i.e. thickness) of the yarn.

Sheer Hosiery
Benefits : Term commonly used to describe fine hosiery. Most popular - 79% of hosiery purchased (by volume). Very versatile, great for everyday and evening. Generally 10-20 denier. See our denier advice page.
How it works: The thickness of hosiery and how it appears on your legs can be described either in terms of denier or, equally in terms of how sheer it is. The appearance is dependent on the weight (i.e. thickness) of the yarn.
View all sheer pantyhose.


Sheer to Waist
Benefits : Completely sheer tights with no brief knitted from heavier (therefore darker) fibers.
How it works: Tights knitted without any reinforcement in brief area, which would give a darker appearance. Increased risk of putting fingers through brief area when putting on.

Sheer Toe
Benefits : Completely sheer toe, seamless with leg.
How it works: When there is no differentiation between the sheer leg of a product and the area of the toe. These are the most attractive to wear with sandals, however the risk of laddering is increased.

Slight Sheen Finish
Benefits : Looks as though you have got a touch of moisturiser on your legs. Flattering as evens out appearance of leg.
How it works: Knitted in such a way that slight reflection of light of the surface of the hosiery. Generally the more filaments used the less shiny and the softer a product is.


Shiny Finish
Benefits : Hosiery that has a shiny finish. See }Choosing Hosiery - What Finish
How it works: Shiny products are normally made from trilobal or flat yarns, which reflect the light.


Single Covered LYCRA® fiber
Benefits : Strong and comfortable. Good quality
How it works: Single (and double) covered LYCRA® fiber products have LYCRA® fiber yarn as the base for all horizontal rows (i.e. every other course/row). The LYCRA® fiber threads are covered by one layer of nylon wound round the core of LYCRA® fiber.

Spandex
Benefits : Extra strength, stretch and recovery.
How it works: USA and Canadian generic term for elastane, does not necessarily refer to LYCRA® fiber which is only made by INVISTA.

Stockings
Benefits:Traditional hosiery that consists of two separate legs. Kept in place by a suspender belt. Read more about the history of nylons
or view all stockings.

Support Tights
Benefits : Great for making legs feel more comfortable. Particularly beneficial for those prone to varicose veins.
How it works: Same principles as for graduated compression. Hosiery that has passed British Industry Standards (no:BS6612.85). Factor 6 = light support, Factor 8 = medium support, Factor 10 = firm support Factor 12 = extra firm support. Traditionally support tights have been associated with dowdy products. Now the healthcare and general comfort benefits are more widely recognised and utilised, as is illustrated by the development of elegant everyday products using graduated compression with with LYCRA® fiber, which look fantastic as well as leaving your legs feeling revitalised at the end of the day.
View all support tights.

Tactel
Benefits : Extra soft to the touch
How it works: The softness of Tactel is due to the low denier per filament making up the yarn Tactel is the trade name for a range of nylon yarns now owned by Invista.

Thigh Highs
Benefits: Sexiness of stockings but without the inconvenience of a suspender belt. Easier to wear under close fitting clothes than stockings. Cool in summer
How it works : Hold ups have a band of silicone and elastic sewn to the top, the combination of elasticity and the friction of the silicone against the skin ensure that they stay in place. The silicone will not work if creams are applied to the leg prior to wearing hold up stockings.
See our our full range of Hold Ups.

V-Z



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