Here at VienneMilano, we are passionate about all of the things related to stockings, which is why we are dedicated to creating fabulous content to help you learn more about the world of luxury hosiery. Get to know the A to Z of fashion vocabulary, mainly terms relevant to thigh highs. For example: What's the difference between sheen and sheer? What exactly is a denier?

What makes our Hosiery Glossary unique? Well, of course, ours is oh-so-fabulous! Whether you are a fashionista who wants to learn more about fashion, or a student working on a paper, our handy glossary is an excellent place to start.

Did we miss a fashion term? Let us know. We will be updating this glossary every so often, so feel free to contact us with suggestions. Want to learn more about thigh highs? Check out our Fashion Blog, and don't forget to treat yourself to a new pair of VienneMilano stockings!




Abrasion resistance: A term for fabric that can withstand wear and tear.

Absorption: The process in which material absorbs liquids and or gases.

Acelin: A manufacturing technique used for adding Lycra into hosiery. This is also known as Elastane.

Acid dyes: A type of coloring dye that is used on wool and other animal fibers.

Acidic: A type of material that is less than 7.0 on the pH level.

Acrylic: A type of synthetic material used to create fashion apparel.

Aesthetics: A term used to describe the texture of material.

Aftertreatment: A type of manufacturing process used to complete a final product.

Air jet method: Also known as “Air Texturizing”, a process that is used to change the structure of yarn, making it bulkier and stronger. In this process, yarn is fed through an air jet, which entangles the yarn.

Air permeability: How easily air goes through fabric. It is used to measure air or wind resistance.

Alginate fiber: A type of fiber created from a metallic salt.

All sheer: A type of hosiery that is sheer in appearance from top to bottom. Check out our product, ISABELLA.

All-in-one: A term for pantyhose that are created with panties sewn in.

Aniline dyes: A type of dye that is created from aniline or derivatives of coal.

Ankle highs: A type of hosiery that goes up to the ankle.

Anthraquinone dye: A type of dye that uses the chemical compound, anthraquinone as a base.

Antibacterial finish: A final treatment done on fabric to increase its resistance to bacterial growth.

Antistatic agent: An item that is added to fabric that could reduce and even prevent electric or static shocks created by some fabrics.

Art Deco: A distinguished architectural style prominent in the 1920’s to 1930’s. Check out our product, GIADA.

Azo: A type of chemical compound, which creates the vibrant red, orange, and yellow pigments in dyes.

Azo dyes: Synthetic dyes, which are pigmented with Azo.



Back panel gusset: Additional fabric that is added to hosiery, around the body, in order to increase its size.

Balanced twist: The arrangement of yarn that will not result in it becoming tangled when coiled.

Basic dyes: A common form of dye which is best suited for wool, silk, or cotton. However, these dyes hold color poorly.

Bicomponent yarn: A type of yarn or fiber with two different types of filament components. 

Bikini: Refers to the section of tights that is fitted to the brief line.

Biochemical oxygen demand: A test for level of water supply contamination.

Bleaching: The process that removes the natural or artificial dyes in fabrics and turns them completely white.

Bleeding: The loss of color in a fabric or yarn when washed, due to low-quality dyes or improper process of dyeing.

Blend: A process where yarn is obtained when two or more staple fibers are combined during production.

Blending: An even distribution of staple fibers when they are combined throughout the yarn.

Boarding: A type of process where stockings are heat-pressed into a specific size and shape. 

Body: The weight, size, or feeling of fabric.

Breaking load: A type of tension test that tests the maximum force of a specimen before it ruptures.

Breaking strength: The load necessary to rupture a specimen in a tensile test.

Bright: The term used to describe fibers that have not lost their luster due to a physical or chemical change.

Bulk development: A type of relaxation treatment using heat, lubrication, or movement that produces bulk in textured yarns or fabrics.

Bulked yarn: A term used to describe a textured yarn that develops more bulk than stretch.

Bursting strength: A type of measurement that determines the ability of fabrics to rupture under specific conditions.

Business casual: A style of informal fashion that is worn by professionals in a business setting. See also Corporate casual.



Cationic dyeable variants: A chemically modified polymer that is receptive to cationic dyes.

Caustic soda:  Another term for sodium hydroxide.

Classic black (color): A shade of black that is timeless and elegant. Check out our product, ISABELLA Black.

Coil yarn: A type of textured yarn with a spiral configuration.

Combination yarn: A type of plied yarn made up of two or more yarns with varying fiber compositions and contents.

Combing: A type of process similar to carding cotton, where any foreign matter is extracted from fiber.

Comfort top: A type of nylon band that keeps knee highs up and keeps the calves from tightening up.

Comfort: The term used to describe wearability; common descriptions are wicking, stretch, hand, etc.

Composite fibers: A type of fiber composed of two or more polymer types.

Compression factor: The number used to indicate the compression strength of hosiery, especially around the ankles; the higher the number, the higher the strength.

Cone: A method for packaging yarn.

Control top:  A type of spandex added to the underwear lining in a pair of pantyhose, which flattens the stomach and reduces bulging at the waist.

Corporate casual: An informal style of fashion that is worn by professionals in a business setting. See also Business casual.

Cotton count: A numbering system that measures the length and weight of staple yarns.

Cotton gusset: A type of material used to enhance cleanliness in a gusset.

Count: A method used to measure the length and weight of yarn.

Course: The number of stitches per row of a stocking.

Cover: The level of evenness between threads.

Creel: A structure used to hold slivers, rovings, or yarns for smooth ends.

Crimp amplitude: The displacement height of fiber that is not compressed.

Crimp: A type of fiber that is wavy, compressed, and unstretched; it is measured in unit length.

Crimping: The process of compressing filament yarns.

Cross dyeing: The process of blending or combining fabrics of two or more colors with dyes of different chemical types.

Cross section: Shape of a filament when cut at right angles on an axis.

Cuban heel: A term for stockings sewn at the heel with a square pattern.

Cut and sewn: A type of knit that is not knitted in one piece, but rather cut, then sewn together with another piece of fabric.



Defects: A term used to describe products that are flawed.

Degradation: The process of textiles losing desirable qualities, due to an external chemical or physical cause.

Demi-toe: A term for stockings that are made with a nude-colored heel and reinforced toe.

Denier: A unit of measure for determining the weight of hosiery.

Denier appearance: A term used to describe hosiery that appears to look different from its actual denier/thickness.

Denier per filament (dpf): A type of unit of fineness for yarn; it is measured as yarn denier divided by the number of filaments in a fabric.

Diamond Gusset: A diamond-shaped fabric that is sewn into the crotch of hosiery.

Dip dyeing: A type of dyeing method for knit items and hosiery. Also known as “piece dyeing”.

Direct dyes: The types of dyes that are applied to the layers of an alkaline bath.

Disperse dyes: A type of dye used widely for synthetic fibers, which are mostly insoluble in water.

Double-knit fabric: A type of fabric that has double thickness due to the use of double stitching.

Draw-texturing: The process of increasing molecular orientation and bulk when drawing.

Drawdown: The process of stretching filaments with extrusion.

Drawing: The process of stretching hot or cold, continuous filaments in yarn, in order to increase tensile properties.

Dry Spinning: The process of extruding a substance into a heat chamber to remove solvents.

Dull: A term used to describe fabric that is non-reflective.

Durability: A material's ability to resist loss of physical appearance, no matter how often it is worn or washed.

Dye Affinity: The ability for fibers and fabrics to absorb dyes.

Dye sites: Groups within a fiber that allow for chemical bonding with dye molecules.

Dyeing: The process of coloring fabrics with natural or synthetic dyes.

Dyes: A type of substance that adds color to fabrics.



Ebony Black (color): A shade of black, which resembles a type of tropical tree. Check out a few of our products, GIORGIA, ALESSIA, and ROSARIA.

Edge crimping method: A type of texturing process where thermoplastic yarns are heated and stretched by a crimping edge.

Elastic limit: The maximum amount a fiber may be stretched without any permanent, physical alterations.

Elastic recovery: A fiber's limit of returning to its original size and shape after it has been altered from stress.

Elasticity: The process in which a stretched material can recover to its original shape and size.

Elastomer: A type of polymer that is highly stretchable and has a high recovery, like a natural rubber.

Elongation at break: The ratio between the changed length and the initial length of a specimen after it breaks.

Elongation: The lengthening of a fabric or specimen.

Entangled yarn: A type of yarn that develops bulk through air-jet texturing, also known as air-jet method.

Exhaustion: A wet process where the amount of dye in a fabric is soaked by an underlying layer.

Extensibility: The process through which a material undergoes elongation after force is applied.



Fabric: Material made from woven or knitted fibers, used in making hosiery and apparel, among other things.

Fade-ometer: A device used to measure how easily fabric colors fade when exposed to light.

False-twist method: The process of simultaneously twisting, heat setting, and untwisting textured yarns.

Fashioning: The process of shaping a fabric through knitting.

Fastness: The ability for fabrics to hold their color through light exposure and washing.

Fiber content: The declaration of fibers used in the making of a garment.

Filament: A long fiber.

Filament count: The filaments that compose yarn or thread.

Filament Yarn: The result of putting fiber-forming substances through a spinneret and then winding them onto a bobbin.

Fingerband: The strengthened area by the waist of hosiery, to prevent damage when one is fitting.

Finish: The final treatment of chemicals on textiles to improve their properties.

Finishing: All the processes that fabric is passed through after bleaching, dyeing, and printing.

Finishing loop: A distinctive hole in a fully fashioned stocking.

Fishnet: A style of stockings that resembles fishing nets.

Fixation: A term referring to setting the dye used on fabrics.

Flame resistant: A term referring to fabrics when they burn at a slow rate, after being ignited.

Flame retardant: A chemical added to fabrics to reduce the rate at which it burns.

Flexibility: A term referring to how a piece of fabric bends.

Float: An extended portion of yarn or knit fabric that isn't knitted in for the purpose of shaping a design.

French heel: A type of curved heel where the breast of the heel is curved into the shank of the foot.

Full fashion: Fabrics that are produced on a flat knitting machine and have been shaped through addition or subtraction of stitching.

Fully fashioned: A process where stockings are knitted flat, and then sewn up the back.



Garter Belt: A type of belt that keeps stockings up; it is typically used with lingerie.

Gauge: A term that describes the thickness of a knitting needle.

Gear crimping: A method of texturing yarn, where it is fed through gears to create a gear tooth pattern.

Girdle: An undergarment used to shape the body, as well as hold up stockings.

Graduated Compression: The proper amount of compressed support along the length of the leg of hosiery.

Greige fabric: Fabric that has not undergone any form of processing or transformation.

Gusset: In pantyhose, the center piece of fabric which holds the two legs together.



Hand: Properties of materials that can be determined by touch.

Havana Heel: Similar to Cuban heels, this style of stockings features a taller and broader motif at the heels.

Heat-setting: The process to improve stability of desirable properties.

Herringbone: A type of pattern, which resembles the bones of a herring. Usually, this pattern consists of columns and short parallel lines.

High modulus: When materials have an above normal resistance to deformation.

High tenacity: When materials have an above normal ability to stretch.

Hold ups: A term for thigh high stockings.

Hosiery gloves: A type of glove used to put on sheer stockings.

Hosiery: A type of apparel that covers legs and feet.

Hydrolysis: The decomposition reaction that results when water is added and an acid is formed along with an alcohol, phenol, or base.

Hydrophilic: The ability of material to absorb water.

Hydrophobic: The process where materials are not able to absorb water.

Hydroscopic: The process where materials are able to absorb moisture from air.



Imbibitio: Measures the water capacity of textiles.

In-line: A method of presenting hosiery in retail stores, where products are displayed on the same wall.

Ingrain: The process of dyeing yarns in multiple colors before being knitted.

Initial modulus: Refers to a curve's initial straight portion slope.

Inspection: An essential part in the making of products involving the review of fabrics for defects.

Instep: The bottom part of the foot that is located between the toes and ankles.

Instron Tensile Tester: A type of precision test instrument used to test a variety of materials under many different conditions, such as elongation.

International Gray Scale: A type of scale used to compare the degree of fading, from 5 (no change) to 1 (severe change).


Italian Hosiery: Hosiery that are crafted exclusively in Italy.



Jet Black (color): A shade of black, which resembles coal. Check out our product, CLAUDIA.



Kite Gusset: A type of gusset sewn into the body section of thigh highs that gives more stretch, in order to fit larger sized hips.

Knee highs (or knee high socks): A type of hosiery that comes up to the knee. Also known as pop socks.

Knit-de-knit Method: A type of method that knits yarn into a 2-inch diameter leg.

Knitting: The process of intertwining yarn together to form fabric.



Ladder: When yarn is torn, causing straight vertical runs along a garment.

Laid-in Fabric: A knit fabric in which an effect yarn is tucked in, not knitted in, the fabric structure. The laid-in yarns are held in position by the knitted yarns.

Latch needle: A type of knitting needle with a hook and a closable latch.

Latent crimp: The process of crimping fabric under certain conditions, such as tumbling in a heated chamber.

Latex: A natural material used to make rubber.

Leg warmer: Long socks without feet for legs.

Leotard: A dancer's nylon, torso-length one piece.

Leveling: A term referring to how evenly distributed dye is.

Lightfastness: The amount of resistance that a textile material can withstand from direct sunlight.

Lingerie: A term to describe women’s undergarment, including hosiery.

Liquor Ratio: The ratio of the weight of liquid used to the weight of goods treated.

Long-fold: The process of folding and preparing merchandise for packaging.

Long Staple: A type of long fiber; different lengths apply for cotton and wool.

Lubricant: A type of finish applied to fibers to prevent damaging during the textile process.

Lurex: A type of material that is made from metallic thread. Check out our product, GIADA.

Luster: A term describing the shine of a material.

Lycra: A type of synthetic fiber that is very elastic.

Lycra 3D: A form of Lycra that is often used in hosiery.



Made In Italy: Items that are produced in Italy.

Manhattan Heel: This style of stockings feature an intricate design that combines both the French and Cuban heel.

Man-made fiber: A term used for synthetic material that is not made from natural fibers.

Mass-colored: A type of man-made fiber that has been colored by insoluble dyes prior to extrusion of the fiber.

Matte: A term to describe a dull finish on fabric. Check out our product, CLAUDIA.

Melt Spinning: The process of changing a fiber-forming substance into a liquid in order to turn it into a solid or gas.

Mercerization: The process where yarn is treated to have a greater shine or dye affinity.

Merge: A term that refers to a group of fibers sharing the same qualities.

Metalized dyes: Dyes that contain metal.

Metametric color match: When different materials match in color under specific lighting, but not in others.

Metric count: For yarn, the measure of kilometers for each kilogram.

Mesh: A term for material that is woven in an interlaced style.

Microfiber: A type of fabric that is made from synthetic material.

Micromesh: Knit construction that uses diagonal tuck stitching to improve durability.

Migration: Movement of fibers or dye from one area or surface to another.

Milanese Knitting: Warp knitting that uses a rib effect diagonally consisting of many sets of yarn.

Mildew: Fungi growth which causes discoloration to garments.

Minimum care: When very little effort is required to launder garments.

Miss-stitch: Or a "float-stitch," formed when a needle holding an old loop does not receive new yarn.

Modacrylic fiber: A man-made fiber consisting of synthetic polymers that are made of at least 35% but less than 85% by weight of acrylonitrile units.

Modified stretch yarn: An unusually bulky stretch yarn that's less bulky than the bulked yarn found in a finished fabric.

Mock rib: The surface of knitted items that resembles a rib cage.

Moiré: A silk fabric that has been given a ripple appearance.



Nude (color): A shade of beige or tan, which can resemble the color of human flesh. Check out our product, ISABELLA Nude.

Nude Heel: A term for back-seam stockings with no designs or motifs around the heel.



Onyx Black (Color): A shade of black inspired by the semiprecious stone, onyx. Check out our product, GIADA.

Opaque: A term for fabric that is not see-through. Check out our products ANDREA Black and ANDREA Brown.

Over the knee socks: A type of hosiery that goes above the knees.



Pantyhose: A type of sheer hosiery that covers the body from the waist down. Also known as sheer tights.

Power of Hydrogen (pH): A unit of measure to indicate the acidity or alkalinity of a material.

Picot: A loop that can be found on stockings

Plain knit: A type of technique used for stitching. This is also known as the Jersey Stitch, Flat Stitch, and Stockinette Stitch.

Pop socks: A type of stocking that sits below the knee. These are also known as knee highs.

Primary colors: The three basic colors that are used to create other colors by mixing. These colors are red, yellow, and blue.

Private label: A term used to describe products that are labeled under the name of a retail business and or operation.



Reinforced heel and toe: A term used to describe stockings that are sewn together with a denser weave. As a result, this style of hosiery has a darkened toe area.

Retro: A type of style used to imitate the past.

RHT: An acronym for reinforced heel and toe. 



Semi opaque: A term used to describe hosiery that is between 30 – 50 denier in weight. As a result, the appearance is between sheer and opaque.

Shadow toe: A term used for stockings that are reinforced by fabric at the toe. Unlike a reinforced toe, a shadow toe uses fabrics that are lighter in color.

Sheen: A description used for fabric that slightly shimmers.

Sheer: A term used for stockings that are transparent, and are between 7 – 20 denier in weight.

Sheer support: A type of pantyhose that offers support.

Sheer-to-the-waist: A type of pantyhose that is sheer from the waist down.

Silicone: A type of material used on thigh highs, hold ups and stay ups so that the hosiery stays up on the leg.

Silicone top: A term used to describe thigh highs (also known as stay ups and hold ups) that use silicone at the top of the stockings, so that the hosiery stays in place.

Slub: A type of yarn that is inconsistent in its diameter, thus producing a lump in the thread.

Stay ups: Another term used for thigh high stockings, also known as hold ups.

Stockings: A type of garment that covers the foot to the upper thigh.

Strand: A term used for one string of fiber.



Thigh highs: A type of stocking that goes all the way up the leg.

Tights: A type of one-piece garment that covers the leg. Normally, tights are at least 40 denier in weight.

Tube socks: A type of hosiery that is made in the form of a tube.

Tube: An item used for packaging yarn.



Ultra sheer: A type of hosiery that is usually less than 10 denier. As a result, the appearance is very sheer and potentially shiny.

Uneven yarn: A type of yarn that has an inconsistent diameter.



Velvet: A luxurious fabric that is often associated with royalty, and traditionally made with silk.

VienneMilano: A brand of luxury hosiery dedicated to thigh high stockings, knee highs socks and over the knee socks.

Voile: A type of sheer fabric.



Worsted: A type of yarn made from wool.

Worsted count: A unit of measure for worsted.



Yarn: A term used to describe a continuous strand of fibers.

Yarn denier: The unit of measure for determining the weight of yarn.



Zokki: A Japanese term used to describe stockings that are made with elastane.