Glossary of terms:
Glossary of Hosiery Terms in alphabetical order
Boarding - The process applied to hosiery to improve the final presentation. When the hosiery is still damp from dying it is pulled over a metal form and subject to pressure and heat. This sets the garment to its familiar leg and foot profile. (used only with non-stretch or polyamide products).
Bustier- Corset like garment but lighter in weight and without the heavy structure of a corset. Bustier's are usually shorter than corsets, ending at the waist, and are often worn on the outside rather than strictly as an undergarment. They usually come with four or six removable garters.
Circular Knit - Process in which modern seamless hosiery is made, which results in a tapered tube, which is then sewn closed at the toe.
Control Top -Pantyhose or Tights produced with the body section composed of a heavier lycra content and weight to act as a light control garment.
Cotton Gusset -Cotton or cotton compound fabric sewn into the gusset or crotch of pantyhose to allow them to “breathe”.(see Gusset)
Corset- A close fitting undergarment often tightened with laces and reinforced with stays. Most corsets extend from the breasts to the hips, and are constructed to enhance the figure by cinching the waist, thereby enhancing the bust and hips. Most corsets are fitted with four or more adjustable garter straps to support the stockings of your choice.
Cuban Heel -A rectangular designed reinforced heel, usually with a reinforced foot and backseam .Most Cuban heel stockings are also “Full Fashioned”.
Denier -Relates to the weight or fineness of the yarn, which in turn relates to the sheerness of the hosiery. The finer the yarn, the lower the denier. 30 denier is considered Opaque, 20 denier is sheer, 15 denier is ultra sheer, and 10 denier or less is the very sheerest. Sheerness varies with Lycra content. Generally the 100% nylon is the sheerest. A 15 deneir 100% nylon will be more sheer than a 10 deneir stretch stocking containg lycra.
European Heel -The European heel is similar to the Cuban heel but with a pointed design. It is also known as the French heel, or simply pointed heel.
Fancy Tights- Sometimes called Fashion Tights or Fashion Pantyhose. Usually consisting of a heavier denier and unusual design or knit pattern. They come in a vast array of designs, texture, and colors. Much more costly than regular tights or panty hose they are more durable and unique in nature.
Fiber Content - The composition of the yarn used in the garment. Most are 100% nylon or nylon-lycra blends for more memory and durability in the yarn.
Finishing Hole- The small opening in the back of fully-fashioned stockings where the stocking was folded over and sewn together. This detail allows the top welt to stretch for a more comfortable fit on the thigh, and is the unmistakable mark of the true full- fashioned stocking.
Flat Knit -The process used in making full-fashioned stockings, where the yarn is knitted flat on the machine and literally sewn together to form the backseam. The tops of the stocking are then folded over and sewn, forming the familiar double top welt and finishing hole in the back of the full-fashioned stocking.
Fence net -A very large net design similar to that of a chain link fence and used for stockings, hold-ups, and pantyhose.
Fishnet -A smaller net design, which is taken from the construction of a fisherman’s net, usually made of nylon or nylon-lycra blends. These come in seamless or seamed styles, with various designs of lace or silicone tops on the stockings and hold-ups. Also in tights or pantyhose which are very popular with dancers and for costumes.
French Heel -Original name for the pointed heel on seamed stockings, as opposed to the rectangular style of the Cuban Heel stocking. These have also become referred to as the European Heel or Pointed Heel.
Fully Fashioned Stockings - These are vintage style stockings of the 40’s and 50’s, made on the original flat knit machines, where the stocking is knitted flat and sewn together in the back. These stockings are usually knitted of 15 denier 100% nylon yarn, although some of the original vintage styles came on heavier 20 or 30 denier called “service weight” for everyday use. Authentic Fully-Fashioned stockings always have a top welt made by doubling over the top fabric and sewing it back unto itself. A “finishing hole” is always left in the seam in the middle of the top welt, which allows the stocking to fit better on the thigh. The design can be either of the “Cuban heel” or “Pointed French or European” style. If they are not flat knitted and sewn together with a finishing hole on the back, they are not authentic Full-Fashioned stockings but modern reproductions called Full Fashion or Full Fashioned style.
Full Fashioned Style - A reproduction of Fully-Fashioned stockings made on modern circular knit machines, with a sewn on seam with “French or Cuban” style heel. These modern versions do not have the doubled over top welt or finishing hole like their original counterparts, but are substantially cheaper to produce.
Garters -The clips that attach to the top welt of the stockings are called garters. Generally they are attached to an adjustable elastic strap, which is in turn attached to the garment worn on the waist or body, these are called garter straps. Sometimes as in the case of girdles and panty girdles the clips are attached directly to the garment without straps, these are garter clips. Garters are commonly referred to as suspenders in England.
Garter Belt or garterbelts are sometimes called suspender belts in Europe. They are garments made for the express purpose of holding up stockings. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with four to twelve adjustable straps to hold up the stockings. The garter belt and the stockings should be considered a team. Stretch stockings usually require only a four-strap garterbelt to keep it in place. Non-stretch 100% nylons on the other hand require at least six straps to keep them from sagging. The height of the wearer is also an issue. Most garter belts have straps that are too long to properly support stockings unless the wearer is 5’8” or more. We sell garterbelts with much shorter straps, and even some models with extremely short straps for those who prefer the comfort of wearing their stockings very high. Also waist size is important. We sell many garter belts in sizes 38” to 50,” and for those more straps are necessary for proper support.
Garter hose -This refers to a garment where a waist band, garter straps and stocking legs are permanently attached in one piece, simulating the use of a garter belt and stockings, but in fact being a one piece garment.
Garter panty - A panty usually made of stretch fabric which contains garter straps or garter clips to hold up stockings without need for a garter belt, girdle or corset.
Girdle- These are stretch garments sold to control the mid-section, and hold stockings up high and tight.They come in open bottom styles and panty girdles. Open bottom or OBG’s are a step above a garter belt, when the wearer wants more support or control in the midsection. Panty girdles are basically a support panty with garters, as the name suggests.
Girdlette- A garment that is larger than a garter belt and smaller than a girdle.
Gossamer - The dictionary refers to gossamer as a light, thin, filmy like cloth. We see that filminess and sheen in the100% non-stretch nylons made famous by the artist Vargas, and the model Bettie Page.
Gusset- A triangular or diamond shaped piece inserted into a garment for structural value. Usually referred to as the piece inserted into the crotch area of pantyhose or tights.
Hold-Ups- Stockings that stay up without the need for garters. True hold-ups usually consist of a decorative stretch lace top, with a silicone band inside of the lace to help grip the leg.
Hosiery- General term meaning leg covering such as stockings, pantyhose, tights, or socks.
Lacetop Stockings - these are traditional stockings in that they need to be held up with garters, but they have a lace top sewn to the top for added detail.
Link-ups - This is a name trademarked by Pretty Polly of England, for their new stocking system that attaches them directly to a matching panty or thong, thus eliminating the need for garters. This is similar to the one-piece hose, but much better as the stocking legs can be interchanged separately.
Lycra- Lycra is a term trademarked by DuPont for a man made fiber that they developed, which can be produced in a range of types and deniers. It is most commonly combined with nylon for use in the hosiery industry.
Nylon - A man made fiber made from petroleum. It is noted for its strength, sheerness, and bright luster. Nylon can be produced in cross sections, altering its appearance and feel.
Nylons - A traditional term often used to describe the high gossamer stockings if the 50’s and 60’s, when stockings were all made of 100% non-stretch ultra-sheer nylon.
Opera hose - This item was very popular in the 50’s and 60’s but is not seen very often today. They are very long stockings, meant to be gartered, gut without the usual welt on the top. The garters are attached to a small band at the top of the stocking, giving a long un-interrupted look to the leg. These stockings require very short garters.
Opaque -The term given to stockings or tights when made of a higher denier yarn, making them less transparent and appear more dense than the lighter deniers.
Pantyhose -A one piece hosiery garment consisting of two sheer legs connected to a panty and waistband. Pantyhose are usually of a 15 or 20 denier yarn and transparent, as opposed to tights, which are usually constructed of 30 denier yarn and are usually more opaque to solid in color than pantyhose.
Polyamide - The European term for nylon yarn.
Pointed Heel - A pointed reinforcement on the back of seamed hosiery which is also known as a“French or European” heel.
Pyramid Heel -A heel similar to a pointed heel, but which reaches the point in a series of steps like a pyramid.
RHT - Or Reinforced Heel and Toe stockings as they are properly called, became popular in the 1960’s, right after the advent of the circular knit machines. This allowed the manufacture of seamless stockings for the first time. These stockings have a darker reinforcement on the toe and the reciprocal heel to prevent runs, and they have become a nostalgic retro item throughout the years much like the Fully-Fashioned stockings of the 40’s and 50’s.
Reinforced - The sections of a garment that have been strengthened by double knitting to provide additional durability.This usually resulted in a darkening of the area, which is then considered a design feature. This is exemplified in the top welt of the stocking by the reinforcements of the full fashions and the RHT’s.
Semi-opaque - This is a term to describe hosiery that is slightly translucent but not totally non transparent. It is usually of a lighter denier tight, or a heavier denier stocking of hold-up.
Sandal Foot -Also known as sandal-toe, they are called sandlefoot because they can be worn with open toe or open sandal style shoes, and give the appearance of a nude foot. They are always seamless, and usually made of a light denier yarn.
Seamed- This term applies to all hosiery, no matter what style, which has a back seam on it. This can be a sewn on backseam or an actual sewn in back seam like fully-fashioned stockings and some fishnets.
Shadow toe - This refers to a slightly reinforced toe sometimes called a run-guard toe. It is barely seen, and gives the protection of the reinforced toe, without the noticeable darkening detail.
Sheen -This is a term, sometimes called gossamer given to the shininess or glitter like appearance of the stockings. 100% nylon non-stretch stockings and nylon-lycra blends have a very high sheen, which is their trademark.
Sheer - Sheerness is a function of light denier and full transparency. It is usually meant to reveal the lightness and filminess of the garment.
Silicone- A rubber like polymer, which maintains its elasticity over a wide range of temperatures. Used inside the lace top ofhold-up stockings to cling to the skin and keep the stocking up without garters.
Stockings -Although the popular use of this word has come to be anything worn on the legs (i.e. pantyhose, hold-ups or tights) we will stick with the more traditional definition. Stockings, as referred to on this web site, are the traditional style that are put on individually and attached to a garter at the top for support. These can come in plain top, satin top, or lace top, but should not be confused with hold-ups, which stay up by themselves.
Suspender belt - The European term for garter belt.
Suspender hose -Commonly used term in Europe for a type of hose that are similar to panty hose but have no panty. The nylon leg runs all the way to the waistband, but the panty portion has been eliminated.
Stretch sheer - Stretch sheer usually refers to the use 15 denier or less for use in hosiery. The material can be stretch nylon yarn, or nylon-lycra stretch yarn.
Tights - These are pantyhose made of a heavier denier in opaque or semi-opaque yarns. They are dyed usually in deep colors, and they are more sporty and durable than pantyhose.
Ultra sheer - This term refers to the very light deniers, of very light transparency and high sheen. Usually of 100% non-stretch nylon.Some lycra /nylon yarns of less than 8 denier can be ultra-sheer.
Victorian- This style is articulated in its unique details, and ornate patterns, originating in the Victorian era of England in the late 18th century.
Waist Cinch - A structured garment similar to a corset, but starting below the bosom.
Welt - This is the top most portion of the stocking where the garter clips attach. This portion is always reinforced by double stitching, and sometimes folded over and sewn onto itself as in fully-fashioned stockings. The portion where most manufacturers leave their mark, a distinct design stitched into the welt that is unique to themselves, or that style of stocking is called an underwelt.
Hosiery - Here, you will find our Full Fashioned Stockings, Ultra Sheer Stockings which are 100% non stretch nylon,Seamed Stockings with provocative seams up the back, Seamless Stockings which have no seams and are usually called a sandalfoot, Reinforced Heel and Toe Stockings, or RHT as they are sometimes called,Fishnet Hosiery containing fishnet stockings, pantyhose, suspender hose, and thigh highs, Lace-Top Stockings and Hold-Up Stockings which many times have lace-top welts with silicone grippers. We also carry a great variety of Pantyhose and Fancy Tights,
Bridal- You will find a unique collection of stockings, hold-ups, pantyhose bridal garters, and garter belts in our new Bridal Section. All Featured in Bridal White or Ivory for that Special Day.
Plus Sizes-There is a very complete selection ofPlus Sizes for the fuller figured person. We have stockings, pantyhose,and hold-ups up to size 7X. We feature garter belts, girdlesand corsets to size 50.
Garter Belts, Girdles & Corsets- You can also check out our Garter Belt section which is the largest assortment of Garter Belts you will see anywhere at one location and then our Girdles and Corsets which includes our famous multi-gartered waist cinchers.
Heels-To complete the variety, we carry a line of High Heeled Shoes and Boots. Classic high heel pumps, in towering 5" or 6" heels are featured with or without ankle straps. We also have classic lace ups, and thigh high boots to designed to compliment your legs and coordinate with your favorite hosiery selections.
Briefs and Thongs- We are ever increasing our Briefs and Thongs category which will have Bikini bottoms, Thongs, G-Strings, and T-Strings. Many of there items are matches to some of our colorful garter belts, so that a complete matching set may sometimes be purchased.
Glossary- Most categories are self explanatory, but if you need some help on definitions used to describe certain styles, or the meaning of various terms used in our product descriptions, go to the glossary where you will find an explanation in plain English. We have made an effort to try and keep the technical lingo used to an absolute minimum.
Brands - Below the categories is the drop-menu link for all the different brand names that we carry, showing the foreign manufacturers and from which country they are made including Gio, Cervin, Aristoc, Pretty Polly, Isabella, Rago, Cette, Levante, and more. Below that is a search bar which will work for style descriptions or our style numbers...something you may really use as you become more familiar with our site.
Company Information- Across the top in red are the links for company information, contact info, policies, shipping rates, glossary of terms, sizing, customer login, and shopping cart. We really do try to inform you and answer any questions you may have. We realize that not everyone is an expert on hosiery like we are. Our staff is "hands-on" and a fairly knowledgeable group. After all, we've been doing this since 1988. Please be aware that each category has a number of choices. When you find one you may like, click on it and it will show you a larger image and a brief description telling you about the product, colors it comes in, and sizes available. This image and the previous smaller one are presented to you in a "gif" file format so that our website will load faster for your convenience. If you want a more crystal clear image of the product, click on the magnifying glass or the blue "click to view more images" line under the enlarged image and a separate window will come up with the enlarged image in a clean "jpeg" file.
Specials! During the year we have many specials,some for significant holidays, some due to special buys that we have made, some may be a discontinued style by a manufacturer, and some are just priced at a special price all the time. But always, our specials will save you money. Right now you can click here on specials and take a look at our current specially priced collection. One new special that you'll notice is our "three-for" discount price on a 3-piece assortment of the famous Hanky Panky brand thongs. The fastest selling thong in the land called the most comfortable thongs made... "like wearing laced butter", as reported in a "Wall Street Journal" news article this past summer.
You are very important to us ! Without you, we would not be here. We would like you to be our customer for a long time, keep coming back, and telling your friends. We will try our best to satisfy all of your needs for our product lines. Our huge assortment of styles and brands makes us your "one stop shop" for fashion hosiery. New styles are added constantly as our buyers try to stay ahead of the trends. So...if for some reason you do not see what you are looking for, send us an email email@example.com give us a call at1-800-724-9670, and please come back and visit us again. You may find something you've never seen before.