Lurex Hosiery – What is Lurex Material?

May 24, 2013 under Style

LUREX MATERIAL

Lurex tights by Fiore – available at the shop section

Hosiery decorated with metallic yarn, or Lurex, is a common sight these days, especially around the holiday time when people want to put on every sparkling garment they possibly can.  But have you ever wondered, how did it come to be that metal became part of our garments?  I looked up some information that may help to understand what it really is.

 

Lurex material was invented in the 1940s and it is simply a combination of several types of synthetic yarns woven together with aluminium.  It is a thread like a thin strip of a shiny film of metal-like appearance.  In some dictionaries it says that the word Lurex can refer to the shiny material that consists of such threads.  Such yarn is added to the weave to create an effect of metallic shine.  But it is never used on its own because of its roughness and lack of durability.

 

Lurex is a trade mark of such metallic yarn.  It is produced in many countries and it is obtained from aluminium foil coated with a film or an emulsion to avoid oxidation.  In order to obtain different colours, a pigment is added.

 

DISCO DECADES OF LUREX

Such clothing, containing Lurex, was unusually popular during the disco decades of 1970s and 1980s.  The first one to demonstrate tops with addition of Lurex yarn was a designer Bill Gibb in 1970s.  In 1980s this yarn was a top fashion hit and such synthetic shine is the characteristic became associated with that time.

 

Lurex pantyhose may have it all over, or just a side pattern somewhere that sparkles and creates a certain party spirit.  If you decided to buy such pantyhose, it’s best to give some thought as to where you’ll wear it.  Perhaps it’s best to save for a disco outing.

 

LUREX DECORATED PANTYHOSE

Kasima pantyhose with lurex by FiorePerhaps it’s important to say that Lurex is not meant for not for indecisive and shy women or fans of minimalism in fashion.  This is a material that draws attention to the wearer and highlights the figure.

 

Also, it is interesting to note that Lurex is not a word that is strictly associated with female wardrobe.  Some Italian stylists offer a shiny sweater and classic cut pants as an evening outfit for men.  We’ll keep you posted if Italian machos will follow stylists’ recommendations.

 

The fashion of shiny garments seems to come back every now and then, so such clothing may very well be tomorrow’s new trend again.  It’s something that today we regularly see in evening dresses, scarves, hats, stockings, and so on.  Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Diane Von Furstenberg, Max Mara, Salvatore Ferragamo, Oscar de La Renta are just some of the designers who periodically demonstrate Lurex-decorated collections.

SUPER SHINY LUREX TIGHTS

Modeled by Thomas, a big hosiery fan from Austria.  His ultra-shiny pantyhose is beautiful, but he admits that he needs to wear another sheer pair underneath because otherwise it’s just too itchy.

Lurex pantyhose Lurex pantyhose 2

Run Resistant Hosiery

October 23, 2012 under Practical

Some Styles of Run Resistant Hosiery are Available at the Shop Section!

This article is by T. Gallagher from USA, an industry expert and a person with great knowledge about different types of run resistant hosiery.  We express such gratitude to him for taking the time to write for Fantasy Stockings blog and share his knowledge.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

This is a package of Brooke’s run resistant pantyhose.

See if you can relate to this story. Its Monday morning, you hit the snooze on your alarm clock one too many times, and now you are running late for work. You are in a full blown frenzy desperately trying to get out the door. You rush to brush your teeth, shower, get dressed, do your hair, and get your makeup just right. You open a new package of your favorite pantyhose. You slip your feet in, gently slide the hose up your legs, tuck yourself in, only to realize that you have a huge run up the back of your leg.

Seriously, what business professional wants to be in the middle of a presentation and realize she has a glaring unsightly run up the side of her leg for all to see?  For that matter, who wants to be at an elegant dinner party or wedding and discover a snag has opened up into an unsightly hole or ladder? Ladders, rips, runs, and snags are often cited by women as the main reason they don’t wear or stopped wearing hosiery including pantyhose stockings and tights.

There is a solution: Run resistant hosiery technology. Run resistant hosiery technology does exist and has been around for decades. When manufactured correctly, hosiery that utilizes run-resistant technology is not only more durable it actually increases the appeal and experience of wearing hosiery. Run-resistant hosiery technology is relatively inexpensive to incorporate in the manufacturing process.

For years, the hosiery industry chose to shelve run-resistant technology. Hosiery manufacturers were slow to embrace and invest in new advances in sewing and textile equipment and processes.
They were content with the status quo and followed the short sighted logic that they would lose business and profit if they made hosiery that was durable. "Sell more to make more profit" was the prevailing thought process of most hosiery manufacturers. Instead of making a product that would last, they chose to make a product that was prone to fail. Had the manufacturers incorporated run resistant technology when it first became available, one could argue more women would still be wearing hosiery today.

buy run resistant hosiery

Run resistant technology for hosiery involves a two-step process.

The first step in producing run resistant hosiery involves changing how the fibers and threads forming the hosiery are stitched, machined, or woven together. In regular hosiery (prone to ladders, runs, rips, and snags) the fibers and threads are plain stitched together which is a looser weave or stitch process. In run-resistant hosiery, the weave or stitch is tightened up. Tightening the weave is referred to as the knotting process or lock stitching. In some hosiery, the knotting process or lock stitching is focused on key areas prone to runs including the waistband, panty, crotch, gusset, heel, toes, and the transition point between the panty and leg. In true run resistant hosiery, the knotting process or lock stitching is incorporated throughout the entire product from waistband to toe.

The second step in run-resistant hosiery involves blending the original nylon fiber with another synthetic or natural fiber. Some examples include acrylic, acetates, cotton, lycra/spandex, polyesters, polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl, rayon, silk, and wool fibers. The most common blend in hosiery is to combine nylon with lycra/spandex. By increasing the amount of lycra/spandex content, the more run-resistant the hosiery becomes. For example, a pair of pantyhose with a 80% nylon and 20% lycra/spandex blend is going to be more run resistant or more durable than a pair with a 90% nylon and 10% lycra/spandex blend. One drawback to incorporating more Lycra/Spandex into the blend is the denier or thickness of the hosiery increases. A true sheer pantyhose blend would have a 86% Nylon and 14% Lycra/Spandex content. Anything more would result in a heavier denier or thicker ‘tights like’ hosiery product.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

run resistant hosiery won’t snag easily

A shortcut would be to stop at the stitching process. However, the finished product would be rougher and uncomfortable to wear. Likewise, blending nylon with lycra/spandex fibers alone would still lead to ladders, rips, runs, and snags. To achieve wearable run-resistant hosiery both steps must be utilized.

 

An early example of a run resistant hosiery brand that I remember was the Brooke Shields Forever Sheer Non-Run Pantyhose. Brooke would sell her brand of hosiery on infomercials only. During her half hour commercial she would take knives, forks, staples, scissors, and other sharp objects to her hose and show they would not snag or run. The visual demonstrations were quite effective and consumer response was strong.

More recently, Microfiber technology has been incorporated in the manufacturing of hosiery as a way to increase run resistance. Microfiber technology is also a process of blending fibers. Microfibers are more commonly synthetic fibers although some natural fibers have been incorporated in the process. The shape, size and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including: softness, durability, breathability, thermal regulating, and wicking properties. Microfiber is also very elastic, making it ideal for hosiery. Microfibers allow for stronger more durable hosiery at lower denier or thickness. Not only does microfiber technology enhance run-resistance… Microfiber technology increases overall comfort, durability, fit, and feel of hosiery. Have you ever felt hot or tend to perspire wearing hosiery? How about a binding sensation or itchy feeling from a pair of pantyhose? Ever have a pair of pantyhose or tights lose their shape, sag, or bunch up/wrinkle at the ankle? Thanks to the incorporation of microfibers into hosiery those problems can also be a thing of the past.

buy run resistant hosiery for better performance

Example of a hole in run resistant hosiery. This specific one is from Forte run resistant tights by Fiore.

High end manufacturers of hosiery in Europe were the first to incorporate run-resistant technology including the use of microfibers in their hosiery products. Brands like Wolford, Falke, Kunert, Gypsy, Gerbe, Filodoro, Elbeo, Cette, Pretty Polly, and Transparenze all have incorporated run resistant technology and the use of microfibers into their product lines. United States brands like Hanes, Berkshire, Just My Size, Leggs, No-Nonsense and Silkies were soon to follow. They all have released run-resistant hosiery in their product lines. Asian manufacturers have also started producing lines of run resistant hosiery.

One can only hope that hosiery manufacturers have learned from their mistakes of the past… opting for the wise choice to embrace improved processes and technology that lead to better products for their customers.

 

Have you tried or do you have a favorite brand of run resistant hosiery? Tell us about it and share your story below.

 

Vintage Youtube videos for Other Run Resistant Pantyhose

1990 Run Free Pantyhose commercial

K-tel “Perfect Pantyhose” commercial

*Friends, please check out the shop section, this is what funds this blog. At the moment Gatta and Fiore run resistant hosiery is available to buy.*

What is this little hole for in the welt of the vintage backseam stockings?

August 3, 2012 under Vintage

What is this small hole (keyhole) for in the welt of the vintage backseam stockings?

Answer by StockingsHQ on twitter:

“That’s the finishing loop and it is needed so the needle doing the seam can be withdrawn.  It’s the mark of a genuine fully fashioned stocking as opposed to something with just a cosmetic seam.”

Real 100% nylon stockings with a keyhole in the welt – exactly the way it was in the past when ladies would stand in lines for hours to buy some.  There are only a few factories in the world that are capable of producing such vintage-like hosiery.

The thought of fully fashioned stockings and suspender belt. makes me a little bit nostalgic because there is not much of this around.  Valentine’s or your own wedding… that’s when women might give it a try.

Why is Cuban Heel so hard to find?

June 28, 2012 under Vintage

Such stockings with a Cuban Heel can be still purchased from several brands offered on StockingsHQ website.

Do you ever wonder the same thing, how come this practical and beautiful feature became almost obsolete?  Throughout my life I wore probably thousands pairs of pantyhose and stockings, but I only had one pair of pantyhose with a Cuban heel by Pierre Cardin.  I decided to ask StockingsHQ about the Cuban heel on Twitter.  To my surprise, I’ve got a very informative response.

Question:  Why do you think Cuban heel became so rare?  It increases durability.

Answer by StockingsHQ:  These machines are all now very old and very difficult to maintain, and production is a very painstaking process.  It is therefore very hard to make them at a reasonable cost for the mass market.  Hence all the big companies have stopped  production and the only machines still running are in the care of smaller specialist companies like Gio, Eleganti and Cervin.  Even then parts are hard to come by and it’s very hard to recruit the specialist staff required.  Thankfully, though, they do persist against all the odds and I’m grateful for that every day!!

www.stockingshq.com 

*Friends, the only funding for this blog is from sponsor advertisement from Google.  If you see advertisement on this blog, please remember this and what they have to offer.*