As a staple item in the wardrobe of ladies for many years, the introduction of Lycra to hosiery is more recent. So has it been a change for the better?
Hosiery of the past was also known as “tights”, but neither did it provide the comfort nor the support that we have become accustomed to in the present day and age.
The chief content of hosiery in the early 1900s was silk or rayon; by the 1940s, nylon took centre-stage. The commercial use of tights and pantyhose only began in the 1950s, and even then it was due to necessity.
The invention of Lycra in the 1960s brought the elastic property to stockings, tights and pantyhose, making them more comfortable and easier to wear, as well as improving the support that they provided or meant to provide.
But has hosiery become better? Most users will definitely say yes, since Lycra has increased comfort to the point of making hosiery a daily wear item, essential to various outfits and purposes.
One would wonder why Lycra has brought on this comfort. It is the elasticity that Lycra possesses, giving hosiery the stretch and cling which ends up as support and comfort for the legs, becoming an appealing piece of clothing. With the ability to hold themselves up and stay up, the days of tights and stockings falling down are long gone.
There is more definition and a sleeker outlook with a comfortable hold for the legs, with many men preferring women’s legs in stockings than without.
So, in terms of making hosiery better, there is bound to be a triumphant “yes” for the addition of Lycra. Giving comfort, support and shape to all forms of hosiery, and resulting in a nicer appearance, the experience of wearing this form of garment is now more enjoyable the world over.
The invention of Lycra brought a revolution into women’s hosiery, ensuring its use in the production process since.
The early nylon versions of hosiery provided neither the comfort nor the support that has become the norm of today. Due to a lack of stretching property, the nylon tights and stockings had to be made in large numbers in various sizes. Even then, there were problems faced by women to keep the stocking in place.
The market revolution caused by the development of Lycra by DuPont in 1959 brought a stretchy material that could be used in numerous ways, including clothing, especially hosiery.
The comfort and support brought about by Lycra tights and stockings, as well as the ability to stretch and fit the entire leg, made women enjoy wearing these items.
Additionally, there was marked improvement in the appearance, and Lycra helped in stopping the occurrences of tights and stockings falling down or crumpling.
The sleek and sexy look given by the wearing of hosiery has made them a preferable option in men’s minds, when looking at women’s legs.
With extra support provided through the presence of Lycra, tights have entered the medical arena to help with problems like varicose veins and blood circulation. Referred to as “support “ types, the extra pressure helps in reducing pain, by keeping the connective tissues around the veins in their place.
A staple for every wardrobe, Lycra made it possible for tights to become a fashion accessory available in different colours, styles and designs, with countless purposes along a variety of dresses.
A better fit and an improvement in the overall appeal, Lycra has revolutionised hosiery for women, which was often regarded as annoying. By providing more comfort, Lycra has made it a pleasure for women around the world to wear hosiery.
Tights, commonly known as leggings, are clothes that are fitted to cover the legs to the ankles. Initially there was separate legging for each leg. In the contemporary world of fashion, tights are clothes or garments made to fit the body form. Their form is that of trousers. They cover the body from the waist to the ankles. Unlike in the past when tights were worn for protection and warmth, today they are worn as casual wear.
Tights are made from Lycra. Lycra is a type of fabric. This fabric is renowned for its ability to stretch in either one or two directions. This is important as it gives the wearer freedom of movement. For the blends that are used for sports, this becomes paramount because there has to be ultimate freedom to allow for body flexibility. The leggings are made from a specific blend of Lycra.
The most common blends that are used to make Lycra tights are cotton, nylon and polyester. The nylon lycra blend has ninety percent nylon and ten percent Lycra. These were traditionally worn when one was going for exercise. However later in the 1980s, women wore them for fashion. The nylon Lycra leggings are also known as bicycle tights or running tights. The reference is due to the purpose for which they are made. These tights have a shiny appearance compared to the other blends. In their differentiation as sports or athletic wear, they have patterns that are reflexive. In addition, they have stripes common to racing sports.
The other blends of Lycra, polyester Lycra and cotton Lycra are made for purposes of fashion. Cotton Lycra tights come in a diversity of colours. Colours that most people prefer include navy, black and many shades of gray. There are children Lycra tights as well as adult ones.