What My Grandpa Thinks about Bare Legs in Winter

January 19, 2013 under Practical

woman walking in sheer pantyhose in the snow

Freezing my feet off in cold weather is a dangerous thing for me.  I know, if I prance around in some fancy summer heels and light pantyhose in winter, next day I’ll be down with some serious health problems in the private sector that may linger for a long time afterwards.

How do I know this if I never tried it?  Well, that’s what I’ve been told over and over when I was growing up by my Grandma.  As a child, I would come back from a walk outdoors in winter, she would take off my shoes and feel my feet.  If my feet were cold, she would panic.  She passed away last year and I miss her dearly, we were very close.

I called up my grandfather and decided to ask him about this.

 

Me: Grandpa, women here go with bare legs in winter. 

Grandpa: When I was little, we had neighbours who went practically barefoot.  They had a large family and no money to buy clothing.

Me: Well, the women here simply don’t want to bother to wear pantyhose.  I see them in dresses and bare legs on the subway.

Grandpa: I also recently saw a homeless guy in the subway with pants that had holes in them.  Really, these days people throw clothes in the dumpster.  Can’t he find pants without holes there? 

Me: Look, the women here just don’t want to wear anything on their legs.  They don’t think that it can affect their health.

Grandpa: Oh, common, they have plenty of clothes in North America!  Why would they go bare-legged if there is plenty of clothing?

 ***

No matter how I tried to explain that these women are making a conscious choice to go with bare legs, my grandpa couldn’t grasp this bizarre idea.  To him poverty was the only explanation to bare legs in cold weather.

 ***

Me: Grandpa, I remember Grandma used to tell me to keep my legs warm, especially everything below the knee.  She told me that if the feet get chilled, it will lead to gynaecological problems.

Grandpa: Not only!  It’s bad for both men and women.  Grandma knew everything about that.

Me: How do you know this?  Did you read this somewhere or is this some kind of wisdom passed down from the ancestors? 

Grandpa: It’s common knowledge that areas on your feet correspond to your other bodyparts like liver, kidneys, and so on.  Don’t you have Vietnamese people there in Vancouver?  Ask them, their Eastern Medicine is progressive.

 

There is a notion in some parts of Europe and some parts of Asia about the concept of feet being connected to other forms in a person’s body.  I guess that what you consider this to be depends on where you reside.

If you are North American, you may think of this as nonsense.  If you are in a place like Hungary, let’s say, you may think of this as common truth that everyone knows.

Thus, if you are from the States or Canada, just forget everything you read above.

Go ahead, start your day, but please wear your pantyhose anyway!

sheer pantyhose on the street with high heels

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.*