Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hosiery[1]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Preamble
This is the fifty-third post in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth.

Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms
Units Used in Dyeing and Printing of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History of Color
The Nature of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming of Colors
The Munsell Color Classification System
Methuen Color Index and Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fabric Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Knitting
Hosiery
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave
Figured Fabrics
Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements
Crêpe Fabrics
Crêpe Effect Fabrics
Pile Fabrics - General
Woven Pile Fabrics
Chenille Yarn and Tufted Pile Fabrics

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff, A Fashion Data Base, Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins, Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns and Glossary of Art, Artists, Art Motifs and Art Movements have been updated in order to better inform your art practice.

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Introduction
A study of hosiery includes fiber content, yarns, knitting stitches and styles. Today’s post will cover all of these areas.

Leopard nylon stockings and tights legging pantyhose.


Hosiery
The table below shows the many variables to consider in buying hose.

Variables to consider in purchasing hosiery.

When nylon was introduced in 1939, women were wearing silk hosiery – 2 or 3 thread for dress and 6 or 8 thread for service. Silk hosiery was comfortable but not very durable. Hose was expensive and most women had to buy a new pair every week. Nylon was much superior to silk and it is estimated that today American women buy approximately 14 pairs per year.

Hanes silk pantyhose hosiery.

The first nylons were 30 denier. Denier refers to the size of the yarn. The higher the denier number the coarser the yarn. Finer yarns are used to make gossamer sheer hose. A 70 denier stocking is extremely heavy and durable, while a 7 denier one is sheer and fragile. Nylon yarns used in hose are 7, 10, 12 and 15 denier monofilaments and 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 70 multi-filaments.

Nylon is a synthetic fabric first developed in 1935 and revolutionized hosiery and clothing in general. In 1939 nylon stockings were shown at a fair creating excitement and changed the production of hosiery due to its popularity.

In 1955, double- and triple-loop hose was introduced. These are not ply yarns, but rather two or more filaments knitted as one. For example, a 7 denier and 10-denier yarn are knitted together on the same needle. The advantage of multiple loop is that when snagged, only one of the yarns will break.

Image is a 1955 CANNON hosiery stockings nylons advertisement.

The size of the knit stitch is referred to as gauge. It means the number of needles in 1.5 inches of a needle bar across the machine. The size of the stitch in circular knits is given as the number of needles in the circle of the knitting machine. The range is from 260 to 474.

Nylon knitting machine.

Nylon is made in a process known as "melt spinning." First, a syrupy polymer solution is produced and then extruded through a spinneret. As the nylon strings emerge, they are cooled by air and stretched over rollers to stabilize the molecular chains and strengthen the fibers. The yarn is then wound on spools. Next, the yarn is fed into a computer-controlled circular knitting machine, which uses its 300 to 420 needles to convert the nylon into a series of loops. It takes about 90 seconds to knit a full-length stocking leg, the feet and ankles. The stocking fabric was thinned at the bottom, although the fabric at the heel remained thick, for cushioning purposes. After it was removed from Cotton's machine, the fabric was manually shaped and seamed up the back to produce so-called full-fashioned stockings.

In 1949, the Federal Trade Commission (USA) permitted the use of gauge in descriptions of circular knit hose provided that the word is accompanied by the term “circular knit”, “seamless”, or “no-seam”. Gauges range from 42 to 90. A 474 needle circular knit is comparable to 60 gauge. The higher the gauge number, the smaller the knit stitch. High-gauge gives more elasticity to the stocking and increases its resistance to snagging. The most commonly used gauge is 51.

Size 11 Vintage garter stockings noon beige cuban heel back seam - 51 gauge 15 denier. All nylon sheer full fashioned 1950s seamed 31.

Hosiery is made of filling knit because it is very elastic, can be shaped and made more sheer than warp knit. Two types of hose are full-fashioned and circular. Full fashioned hose are knit flat and are shaped by dropping stitches (fashion marks) so that the hose is shaped like a leg.

These are the beautiful fully fashioned heel shapes. From left to right: Havana, Point, Cuban and Manhattan heels. Which ones would you choose?

Circular knit hose are also called seamless or no-seam. To give shape to these hose, the ankle is knitted with smaller needles. It is possible to decrease the size of the knit stitch 100 times from the top to the ankle without changing the number of stitches.

To make hose cling better and to present fewer sizes, bi-component nylon fibers (see below) and stretched yarns are used.

Nylon Cantrece. Left: Stretched as when worn. Right: Relaxed.

Support hose are worn by both man and women to prevent muscle fatigue; surgical hose are prescribed by doctors for leg disorders such as varicose veins and to prevent blood clotting.

Maternity support hose are also helpful during long distance travel no matter whether you are pregnant or not, they will be of great help for you.

Support hose are worn by people who are on their feet a lot and by pregnant women. They are available in 100% stretch nylon-covered spandex. They are made in a wide range of colors, full-fashioned or seamless, regular knit or mesh and in several deniers ranging from 30 to 70. Support hose for both men and women look like regular hose.

Support hose for men.

Surgical hose are much heavier than support hose. They may be purchased singly or in pairs, with or without heals and toes and in various lengths – ankle, knee or over the knee. It is very important to choose the correct size so support from the stocking is applied correctly. The yarns use rubber or spandex for the elastic core and cotton and nylon are used as warps. Surgical hose are quite expensive and can be made to order.

Surgical hosiery - weight knee high, open toe, 30-40 Mm Hg


Reference:
[1] N. Hollen and J. Saddler, Textiles, 3rd Edition, MacMillan Company, London (1968).

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