What Are Nylon Stockings?
I've heard from hosiery experts that the best stockings are made with Spandex and nylon. I found this interesting since people typically refer to stockings as nylons. So, what is the reason for using nylon and Spandex blend rather than 100% nylon? What kind of materials does VienneMilano use?
- Susan R.
Hi Susan! Thanks so much for your message. While it's true, in America, nylons are synonymous with pantyhose, and the reality is that this term is misleading.
In the 1930s, the DuPont Company invented nylon, a synthetic and durable material that would retain its shape after multiple uses. For a long time, nylon (also known as polyamide) was used to produce sheer stockings, which is why stockings are often referred to as Nylons.
However, during WWII, nylon became a precious commodity as the material was in high demand to create uniforms. During the 1940s, stockings were a luxury item where very few women could afford. While nylon is fabulous, today, other fibers and materials are available, such as Spandex (also known as Lycra and elastane) to create tight-fitting clothing. Spandex is another type of synthetic fiber that is also very resilient. The difference between nylon and Spandex is that nylon tends to be more rigid as a material.
While it is possible to find stockings today that are made from nylon (see fully fashioned stockings), the result of hosiery that is made from nylon is that they tend to be less comfortable as the material is stiff, and therefore hosiery that is made from nylon also tend to cost less.
We've put together an infographic for you to elaborate on the differences between these two types of material. Additionally, we've included microfiber - which is another commonly used material for constructing hosiery.
For us at VienneMilano, most of our thigh highs are made from a combination of elastane (Spandex) and polyamide (nylon). We do this because while nylon is a durable material, Spandex allows our stockings to be soft and smooth. This provides our stockings with a greater level of comfort, durability, and style. For this reason, VienneMilano stockings are more luxurious!
Buying hosiery can be a little daunting, which is why we try our best to help you make an informed decision. Contact us to learn how you can add quality thigh highs to your wardrobe.