Hosiery Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S| T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

 

ABRASION RESISTANCE: The ability of a fiber or fabric to withstand surface wear and rubbing.

ABSORPTION: The process of gasses or liquids being absorbed into the pores of a fiber, yarn, or fabric.

ACIDIC: A term to describe a material having a pH of less than 7.0 in water.

ACRYLIC FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of acrylonitrile units (--CH --CH--) (FTC definition).

AESTHETICS: In textiles, properties perceived by touch and sight, such as the hand, color, luster, drape, and texture of fabrics or garments.

AFTERTREATMENT: A term which is normally used in relation to processes carried out after dyeing to improve fastness properties and/or to produce normal shades.

AIR PERMEABILITY: The porosity or the ease with which air passes through a fabric. Air permeability determines such factors as the wind-resistance of sailcloth, the air resistance of parachute cloth, and the efficacy of various types of air filters, and influences the warmth or coolness of a fabrics.

ALGINATE FIBER: Fiber formed from a metallic salt (normally calcium) of alginic acid, which is a natural polymer occurring in seaweed. Alginate fiber is soluble in water.

ALL-IN-ONE: A pantyhose garment which includes a true knitted-in panty, constructed of heavier weight nylon or cotton. Eliminates “panty lines” that can show through clingy knits or tight pants.

ANTIBACTERIAL FINISH: A treatment of textile material to make it resistant to, or to retard growth of, bacteria.

ANTISTATIC AGENT: A reagent capable of preventing, reducing, or dissipating static electrical charges that may otherwise be produced on textile materials.

Back to Top


B

BALANCED TWIST: In a plied yarn or cord, an arrangement of twist which will not cause the yarn or cord to twist on itself or kink when held in an loop.

BIOCOMPONENT YARNS: Spun or filament yarns of two generic fibers or two variants of the same generic fiber.

BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMAND (B.O.D.): A standard test for estimating the degree of contamination of water supplies. It is expressed as the quantity of dissolved oxygen (in mg/liter) required during stabilization of the decomposable organic matter by aerobic biochemical action.

BLEACHING: Any of several processes to remove the natural and artificial impurities in fabrics to obtain clear whites for finished fabric or in preparation for dyeing and finishing.

BLEEDING: Loss of color by a fabric or yarn when immersed in water, a solvent, or a similar liquid medium, as a result of improper dyeing or the use of dyes of poor quality. Fabrics that bleed cause staining of white or light shade fabrics in contact with them while wet.

BLEND: 1. A yarn obtained when two or more staple fibers are combined in the textile process for producing spun yarns (e.g., at opening or drawing). 2. A fabric that contains a blended yarn (of the same fiber content) in the warp and filling.

BLENDING: The combining of staple fibers of different physical characteristics to assure uniform distribution of these fibers throughout the yarn.

BOARDING: A heat setting operation in which stockings and pantyhose are put on metal leg forms for a specific size and shape and set under pressure. The term “boarding” stems from the olden days when wooden boards were used to dry stockings. See Pre-boarding.

BODY: The compact, solid, or firm feel of a fabric.

BREAKING LOAD: The maximum load (or force) applied to a specimen before rupture in a tensile test. It is commonly expressed in grams (kilograms) or in pounds. (Also see BREAKING STRENGTH.)

BREAKING STRENGTH: 1. General - In a tension test, the maximum resultant internal force that resists rupture. The expression breaking strength is not used in textiles for compression tests, bursting tests, or tear resistance tests. 2. Specific - The breaking load required to rupture a specimen in a specified tensile test.

BRIGHT: The term applied to fibers whose luster has not been reduced by physical or chemical means; the opposite of dull or matte.

BULK DEVELOPMENT: Any of various relaxation treatments to produce maximum bulk in textured or latent crimp yarns or in fabrics made therefrom. The essential conditions are heat, lubrication, movement, and the absence of tension. Bulk development may be accomplished during wet processing or may be a separate operation such as hot-air tumbling, steam-injection tumbling, or dry cleaning.

BURSTING STRENGTH: The ability of a fabric to resist rupture by pressure applied at right angles to the plane of the fabric under specified conditions, expressed as units of weight. It is a measure widely used for knit fabrics, formed fabrics, and felts where the constructions do not lend themselves to tensile tests. The two basic types of bursting tests are the inflated-diaphragm method and the ball-burst method.

Back to Top


C

CATIONIC DYEABLE VARIANTS: Polymers modified chemically to make them receptive to cationic dyes.

CAUSTIC SODA: The common name for sodium hydoxide.

COMBINATION YARN: A plied yarn composed of two or more yarns which vary in fiber composition, content, and/or twist level; or a plied yarn composed of both filament yarn and spun yarn.

COMBING: A step subsequent to carding in cotton and worsted system processing which straightens the fibers and extracts neps, foreign matter, and short fibers. Combing produces a stronger, more even, more compact, finer, smoother yarn.

COMFORT: Performance parameter of apparel referring to wearability. Encompasses such properties as wicking, stretch, hand, etc.

COMFORT TOP: A wide ribbed nylon band that holds sheer knee highs up without cramping the calf.

COMPOSITE FIBERS: Fibers composed of two or more polymer types in a sheath-core or side-by-side (bilateral) relation.

CONE: A conical package of yarn, usually wound on a disposable paper core.

CONTROL TOP: Pantyhose with spandex added to the panty portion, to flatten the tummy and control bulges. Control top pantyhose is available in several variations of firmness.

COTTON COUNT: The yarn numbering system based on length and weight originally used for cotton yarns and now employed for most staple yarns spun on the cotton, or short-staple, system. It is based on a unit length of 840 yards, and the count of the yarn is equal to the number of 840 yard skeins required to weigh 1 pound. Under this system, the higher the number, the finer the yarn. (Also see YARN NUMBER.)

COUNT: 1. A numerical designation of yarn size indicating the relationship of length to weight. (Also see YARN NUMBER)

COURSE: A length-wise row of stitches on a stocking. The larger the stitch, the fewer courses there are per inch. When a stocking combines both a high course count and a high gauge count it achieves both wearability and beauty.

COVER: 1) The degree of evenness of thread spacing. 2) The degree to which underlying structure is concealed by the surface material.

CREEL: 1) A framework arranged to hold slivers, rovings, or yarns so that many ends can be withdrawn smoothly and evenly without tangling. 2) A similar device used to aggregate sub-tows to tows in man-made staple processing, especially ployester.

CRIMP: 1) The waviness of a fiber expressed as crimps per unit length. 2) The difference in distance between two points on an unstretched fiber and the same two points when the fiber is straightened under specified tension. Crimp is expressed as a percentage of the unstretched length. 3) The difference in distance between two points on a yarn as it lies in a fabric and the same two points when the yarn has been removed from the fabric and straightened under specified tension, expressed as a percentage of the distance between the two points as the yarn lies in the fabric.

CRIMP AMPLITUDE: The height of displacement of the fiber from its uncrimped condition.

CRIMPING: The process of imparting crimp to tow or filament yarn.

CROSS SECTION: The shape of an individual filament when cut at right angles to its axis. Normal shapes for man-made fibers vary, e.g., round (nylon, polyester, polypropylene, some acrylics), serrated or crenular (viscose rayon, acetate, and triacetate), bean-shaped (some acrylics and modacrylics). The shapes of man-made fibers may be modified by changing the shape of the holes in the spinneret. Cross-sectional variants are produced intentionally in a wide variety of shapes for different physical effects such as change in luster or hand, improved resistance to soiling, etc. Examples are trilobal (T and Y) and other multilobal shapes (cruciform, K, X, pentalobal, star, etc.), I beam, ribbon, square, triangular, elliptical, hollow, and many others.

CUT AND SEWN: Bodywear items that are not knitted in one piece are usually cut from knitted fabric that is purchased by the hosiery manufacturer and sewn together.

Back to Top


D

DEFECTS: A general term that refers to some flaw in a textile product that will detract from either performance or appearance properties.

DEGRADATION: The loss of desirable physical properties by a textile material as a result of some process or physical/chemical phenomenon.

DEMI-TOE: Stocking or pantyhose with a nude, sheer heel and reinforced toe. A popular fashion with sling back shoes.

DENIER: A weight-per-unit-length measure of any linear material. Officially, it is the number of unit weights of 0.05 grams per 450-meter length. This is numerically equal to the weight in grams of 9,000 meters of the material. Denier is a direct numbering system in which the low numbers represent the finer sizes and the higher numbers the coarser sizes. In the U.S., the denier system is used for numbering filament yarns (except glass), man-made fiber staple (but not spun yarns), and tow. In most countries outside the U.S., the denier system has been replaced by the tex system. The following denier terms are in use:

DOUBLE-KNIT FABRIC: A circular-knit fabric with a double thickness produced by using a double stitch on machines employing two sets of needles (dial and cylinder).

DRAWDOWN: The amount by which man-made filaments are stretched following extrusion.

DRAWING: The hot or cold stretching of continuous filament yarn or tow to align and arrange the crystalline structure of the molecules in order to achieve improved tensile properties.

DRAW-TEXTURING: In the manufacture of thermoplastic fibers, the simultaneous process of drawing to increase molecular orientation and imparting crimp to increase bulk.

DULL: A term applied to man-made fibers that have been chemically or physical properties or appearance as a result of wear or dynamic operation.

DURABILITY: A relative term for the resistance of a material to loss of physical properties or appearance as a result of wear or dynamic operation.

DYEING: A process of coloring fibers, yarn, or fabrics with either natural or synthetic dyes.

DYES: Substances which add color to textiles by absorption into the fiber. Dyes differ in their resistance to sunlight, perspiration, washing, gas, alkalies, and other agents; their affinity for different fibers; their reaction to cleaning agents and methods; and their solubility and method of application. Various classes and types are listed below:

DYE SITES: Functional groups within a fiber which provide sites for chemical bonding with the dye molecule. Dye sites may be either in the polymer chain or in chemical additives included in the fiber.

 

Back to Top


E

ELASTICITY: The ability of a strained material to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress that causes deformation.

ELASTIC LIMIT: In strength and stretch testing, the load below which the specimen shows elasticity and above which it shows permanent deformation.

ELASTIC RECOVERY: The degree that a fiber, yarn, or cord will return to its original size and shape after deformation from stress.

ELASTOMERS: Synthetic polymers having properties of natural rubber such as high stretchability and recovery.

ELONGATION:The deformation in the direction of load caused by a tensile force. Elongation is measured in: (1) Units of length (e.g., centimeters, inches) or (2) Calculated as a percentage of the original specimen length. Elongation may be measured at any specified load or at the breaking load.

ELONGATION AT BREAK:The increase in length when the last component of the specimen breaks.

EXHAUSTION: During wet processing, the ration at any time between the amount of dye or substance taken up by the substrate and the amount originally available.

EXTENSIBILITY: The ability of a material to undergo elongation on the application of force. (Also see ELONGATION.)

 

Back to Top


F

FADE-OMETER:Laboratory device used to determine the fastness of a colored fabric to exposure to light. The test pieces are rotated around a light source simulating the sun’s rays at 45 N latitude in July between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Fabrics are rated by visual comparison with a gray scale according to degree of fading.

FASHIONING:The process of shaping a fabric during knitting by increasing or decreasing the number of needles in action. Fashioning is used in manufacturing hosiery, underwear, and sweaters.

FASTNESS:Resistance to facing; i.e., the property of a dye to retain its color when the dyed (or printed) textile material is exposed to conditions or agents such as light, perspiration, atmospheric gases, or washing that can remove or destroy the color. A dye may be reasonably fast to one agent and only moderately fast to another. Degree of fastness of color is tested by standard procedures. Textile materials often must meet certain fastness specifications for a particular use.

FILAMENT:A fiber of an indefinite or extreme length such as found naturally in silk. Man-made fibers are extruded into filaments which are converted into filament yarn, staple, or tow.

FILAMENT COUNT: The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn.

FINISH:

  1. A substance or mixture of substances added to textile materials to impart desired properties.
  2. A process, physical or chemical, applied to textile materials to produce a desired effect.
  3. A property, such as smoothness, drape, luster, water repellency, flame retardancy, or crease resistance which is produced by 1 and/or 2 above.
  4. The state of a textile material as it leaves a process. (Also see FINISHING).

FINISHING:All the processes through which fabric is passed after bleaching, dyeing, or printing in preparation for the market or use. Finishing includes such operations as heat-setting, napping, embossing, pressing, calendering, and the application of chemicals which change the character of the fabric. The term finishing is also sometimes used to refer collectively to all processing operations above, including bleaching, dyeing, printing, etc.

FIXATION:The process of setting a dye after dyeing or printing, usually by steaming or other heat treatment.

FLAME RESISTANT:A term used to describe a material that burns slowly or is self-extinguishing after removal of an external source of ignition. (Also see FLAME RETARDANT).

FLAME RETARDANT: A chemical compound which can be incorporated into a textile fiber during manufacture or applied to a fiber, fabric, or other textile item during processing or use to reduce its flammability. (Also see FLAME RESISTANT).

FLEXIBILITY: 1) The ability to be flexed or bowed repeatedly without rupturing. 2) A term relating to the hand of fabric, referring to ease of bending and ranging from pliable (high) to stiff (low).

FLOAT: 1) The portion of a warp or filling yarn that extends over two or more adjacent filling picks or warp ends in weaving for the purpose of forming certain designs. 2) In a knit fabric, a portion of yarn which extends for some length without being knitted in.

FULL FASHION: A term applied to fabrics produced on a flat-knitting machine, such as hosiery, sweaters, underwear, which have been shaped by adding or reducing stitches.

Back to Top


G

GAUGE: 1) A generic term for various measurement instruments such as pressure or thickness gauges.  2) The number of needles per given distance in a knitting machine.  3) The thickness of the knitting needle in the shank and the hook. 4) The number of wales per inch in a knit fabric.  5) On spinning or twisting frames, the distance from the center of one spindle to the center of the next spindle in the same row.

GREIGE FABRIC:A fabric just off the loom or knitting machine, i.e., in an unfinished state.

 

Back to Top


H

HAND: The tactile qualities of a fabric, e.g., softness, firmness, elasticity, fineness, resilience, and other qualities perceived by touch.

HEAT-SETTING:The process of conferring dimensional stability and often other desirable properties such as wrinkle resistance and improved heat resistance to man-made fibers, yarns, and fabrics by means of either moist or dry heat.

HIGH MODULUS: A term which refers to a material with a higher than normal resistance to deformation.

HIGH TENACILTY: A term to describe a material with a higher than normal tensile strength. (Also see TENACITY).

HYDROLYSIS: A double decomposition reaction involving the addition of the elements of water and the formation of an acid and a base, an acid and an alcohol, or an acid and phenol.

HYDROPHILIC:Having strong affinity for or the ability to absorb water.

HYDROPHOBIC: Lacking affinity for or the ability to absorb water.

HYDROSCOPIC: Having the ability to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. All fibers have this property in varying degrees.

HYSTERESIS: 1) In tire cord, a measurement of work lost through heat during dynamic operation.  2) In tensile testing, loss of linear recovery following repeated loading and relaxation.

 

Back to Top


I

IMBIBITION:A measure of the liquid water-holding capacity of a textile material.

INITIAL MODULUS:In a stress-strain curve, the slope of the initial straight portion of the curve. Mathematically, the modulus is the ratio of the change in stress, expressed in grams per tex or grams per denier, to the change in strain, expressed as a fraction of the original length.

IN-LINE: Method of hosiery display used in mass-merchandising outlets where national brands and private label merchandise are displayed along the same wall. Many mass-merchants now use an in-line system, as opposed to free-standing “boutique” displays.

INSPECTION: The process of examining textiles for defects at any stage of manufacturing and finishing.

INSTRON TENSILE TESTER: A high precision electronic test instrument designed for testing a variety of materials under a broad range of test conditions. It is used to measure and chart the load-elongation properties of fibers, yarns, fabrics, webbings, plastics, films, rubber, leather, paper, etc. May also be used to measure such properties as tear resistance and resistance to compression.

INTERNATIONAL GRAY SCALE: Ascale distributed through AATCC which is used as a comparison standard to rate degrees of fading from 5 (negligible or no change) to 1 (severe change). The term is sometimes applied to any scale of quality in which 5 is excellent and 1 is poor.

 

Back to Top


J

 

JERSEY: 1) A circular knit or flat-knit fabric made with a plain stitch.

 

Back to Top


K

KNEEHIGH: Stockings or socks that come just below the knee. They are styled with elastic tops and stay up without the help of garters.

KNITTING: A method of constructing fabric by interlocking series of loops of one or more yarns. The two major classes of knitting are warp knitting and weft knitting, as follows:

  1. Warp Knitting: A type of knitting in which the yarns generally run lengthwise in the fabric. The yarns are prepared as warps on beams with one or more yarns for each needle. Examples of this type of knitting are tricot, milanese, and raschel knitting.

    Milanese Knitting: A type of run-resistant warp knitting with a diagonal rib effect using several sets of yarns.

    Raschel Knitting: A versatile type of warp knitting made in plain and jacquard patterns; the latter can be made with intricate eyelet and lacy patterns and is often used for underwear fabrics. Raschel fabrics are coarser than other warp knit fabrics, but a wide range of fabrics can be made. Raschel knitting machines have one or two sets of latch needles and up to thirty sets of guides.

    Tricot Knitting: A run-resistant type of warp knitting in which either single or double sets of yarn are used. (Also see TRICOT).
     
  2. Weft Knitting: A common type of knitting, in which one continuous thread runs crosswise in the fabric making all of the loops in one course. Weft knitting types are circular and flat knitting.. Circular Knitting: The fabric is produced on the knitting machine in the form of a tube, the threads running continuously around the fabric. Most hosiery machines are in this category. . Flat Knitting: The fabric is produced on the knitting machine in flat form, the threads alternating back and forth across the fabric. The fabric can be given shape in the knitting process by increasing or decreasing loops. Full-fashioned garments are made on a flat knitting machine.

 

Back to Top


L

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:One of the two types of knitting machine needles. The latch needle has a small terminal hook with a latch which pivots automatically in knitting to close the hook. The fabric loop is cast off. The latch then opens, allowing a new loop to be formed by the hook, and loop-forming and casting-off proceed simultaneously.

LATENT CRIMP: Crimp in fibers that can be developed by a specific treatment. Fibers are prepared specially to crimp when subjected to specific conditions, e.g., tumbling in a heated chamber or wet processing.

LATEX: A milky fluid found in certain cells of some families of seed plants. Latex is the raw material from which rubber is made.

LEG WARMER:Originally popular with dancers, leg warmers have become a fashion item. Knitted from wool or acrylics, leg warmers are long socks, often without feet, that can reach above the knee or higher up the thigh. Bold geometric patterns and colorful stripes are often used.

LEOTARD: A one-piece nylon garment originally worn by dancers, that covers the torso. Today’s leotards often double as swimsuits or fashion accessories and are available in a variety of styles and designs.

LEVELING:Migration leading to uniform distribution of dye in a dyed material. Leveling may be a property of the dye or it may require chemical assistance.

LIGHTFASTNESS: The degree of resistance of dyed textile materials to the color-destroying influence of sunlight. Two methods of testing are in use: (1) exposure to sunlight, either directly or under glass, and (2) accelerated testing in a laboratory apparatus equipped with any of several types of artificial light sources.

LIQUOR RATIO:In wet processing the ratio of the weight of liquid used to the weight of goods treated.

LONGFOLD:Step in hosiery production where merchandise is folded and prepared for final packaging.

LONG STAPLE:A long fiber. In reference to cotton, long staple indicates a fiber length of not less than 1 1/8 inches. In reference to wool, the term indicates fiber 3 to 4 inches long suitable for combing.

LUBRICANT: An oil or emulsion finish applied to fibers to prevent damage during textile processing or to knitting yarns to make them more pliable.

LUSTER: The quality of shining with reflected light. With reference to textile materials, the term is frequently associated with the adjectives bright or dull to distinguish between varieties of man-made fibers.

Back to Top


M

MAN-MADE FIBER: A class name for various genera of fibers (including filaments) produced from fiber-forming substances which may be: (1) polymers synthesized from chemical compounds, e.g., acrylic, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, polyurethane, and polyvinyl fibers: (2) modified or transformed natural polymers, e.g., alginic and cellulose-based fibers such as acetates and rayons; or (3). mineral, e.g., glass. The term man-made usually refers to all chemically produced fibers to distinguish them from the truly natural fibers such as cotton, wool, silk, flax, etc.

MATTE: Hosiery with a dull finish; minus a shine or luster.

MERCERIZATION: A treatment of cotton yarn or fabric to increase its luster and affinity for dyes. The material is immersed under tension in a cold sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) solution in warp or skein form or in the piece, and is later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber and thus increases its luster.

MERGE: A group to which fiber production is assigned based on properties and dyeability. All fibers within a merge can be expected to behave uniformly, and for this reason, can be mixed or used interchanageably.

METAMERIC COLOR MATCH: A color match between two materials in which the colors are identical under some lighting conditions but not under others. Metameric color matches are common when different pigments or dyestuffs are used to color the two materials.

METRIC COUNT: The number of kilometers per kilogram of yarn.

MIGRATION: 1) Movement of dye from one area of dyed fabric to another. Includes movement of color from the dyed area to the undyed area of cloth. 2) Movement of fibers which go from the center to the outside surface of yarn and back again periodically.

MILDEW: A whitish growth caused by spore-forming fungi which grow in a warm, moist, confined atmosphere. The formation of mildew may cause discoloration, tendering, or variation in dyeing properties in cellulosic fibers.

MINIMUM CARE: A term describing home laundering methods. Minimum care fabrics, garments, and household textile articles can be washed satisfactorily by normal home laundering methods and can be used or worn after light ironing. Light ironing denotes ironing without starching or dampening and with a relatively small expenditure of physical effort.

MISS-STITCH:A knitting construction formed when the needle holds the old loop and does not receive new yarn. It connects two loops of the same course that are not in adjacent wales. Also known as float-stitch.

MOCK-RIB - A surface texture variation used in flat knit socks to simulate the look of a rib.

MODACRYLIC FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed of less than 85% but at least 35% by weight of acrylonitrile units (FTC definition). Both wet and dry spinning are used.

MODULUS: The ratio of change in stress to change in strain following the removal of crimp from the material being tested; i.e., the ratio of the stress expressed either in force per unit linear density or force per unit area of the original specimen, and the strain expressed either as a fraction of the original length or as percentage elongation.

MOIRE: A wavy or watered effect on a textile fabric.

MOISTURE PROPERTIES: All fibers when exposed to the atmosphere pick up some moisture; the quantity varies with the fiber type, temperature, and relative humidity. Measurements are generally made at standard conditions, which are fixed at 65% RH and 70 F. Moisture content of a fiber or yarn is usually expressed in terms of percentage regain after partial drying.

MOISTURE REGAIN: The percentage of moisture in a textile material brought into equilibrium with a standard atmosphere after partial drying, calculated as a percentage of the moisture-free weight.

MONOFILAMENT: Any single filament of a man-made fiber, usually of a denier higher than 15. Instead of a group of filaments being extruded through a spinneret to form a yarn, monofilaments generally are spun individually. Monofilaments ENGTH: An instrumental method which measures the ability of a fabric to resist rupture by pressure exerted by an inflated diaphragm.

MULTIFLAMENT: A yarn consisting of many continuous filaments or strands, as opposed to monofilament which is one strand. Most textile filament yarns are multifilament.

Back to Top


N

NARROW FABRIC: Any nonelastic woven fabric, 12 inches or less in width, having a selvage on either side, except ribbon and seam binding.

NATURAL FIBER: A class name for various genera of fibers (including filaments) of: (1) animal, (2) mineral, or (3) vegetable origin. For example: (1) silk and wool, (2) asbestors, and (3) cotton, flax, jute, and ramie.

NEEDLE: The portion of a knitting machine used for intermeshing the loops.

NUDE HEEL: Stocking without reinforcement in heel area. The exact same knitting is used as in the boot or leg of the stocking or pantyhose. Enjoys a popular appeal thanks to the open-heeled or sling-back shoe.

NYLON FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polyamide having recurring amide groups (-NH-CO-) as an integral part of the polymer chain (FTC definition). The two principal nylons are nylon 66, which is polyhexamethyl-enediamine adipamide, and nylon 6, which is polycaprolactam.

Back to Top


O

OLEFIN FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of ethylene, propylene, or other olefin units. Olefin fibers combine light weight with high strength and abrasion resistance, and are currently being used in rope, indoor-outdoor carpets, and lawn furniture upholstery.

OPEN-END SPINNING: The production of yarns directly from sliver or roving by opening the silver or roving and then reassembling it in a spinning element to form the yarn in a single continuous operation.

OPTICAL BRIGHTENER: The colorless compound which, when applied to fabric, absorbs the ultraviolet rays in light and emits them in the visible spectrum.

OPTIMUM TWIST: In spun yarns, a term to describe the amount of twist which gives the maximum breaking strength or the maximum bulk at strength levels acceptable for weaving or knitting.

ORIENTATION: In linear polymeric structures, the degree of parallelism of the chain molecules.

Back to Top


P

PACK: The complete assembly of filters and spinneret through which polymer flows during extrusion.

PACKAGE BUILD: A general term that applies to the shape, angles, tension, etc., of a yarn package during winding. Package build affects performance during subsequent processing.

PADDLE DYEING MACHINE: A machine used for dyeing garments, hosiery, and other small pieces which are packaged loosely in mesh bags. The unit consists of an open tank and revolving paddles that circulate the bags in the dyebath.

PARTIALLY DRAWN YARNS: Filament yarns in which the draw ratio is less than normal resulting in only partial longitudinal orientation of the polymer molecules.

pH: Value indicating the acidity or alkalinity of a material. It is the negative logarithm of the effective hydrogen ion concentration. A pH of 7.0 is neutral; less than 7.0 is acidic; and more than 7.0 is basic.

PICOT: A run-resistant loop usually found at the top of hosiery.

PIGMENT: An insoluble, finely divided substance, such as titanium dioxide, used to deluster or color fibers, yarns, or fabrics.

PIGMENTED YARN: A dull or colored yarn spun from a solution or melt containing a pigment.

PILL: A small accumulation of fibers on the surface of a fabric. Pills can develop during wear, are held to the fabric by an entanglement with the surface fibers of the material, and are usually composed of the same fibers from which the fabric is made.

PIRN: 1) A wood, paper, or plastic support, cylindrical or slightly tapered, with or without a conical base, on which yarn is wound. 2) The double-tapered take-up yarn package from drawtwisting of nylon, polyester, and other melt spun yarns.

PLAIN KNIT: The most common knit in hosiery, similar to a jersey or handknit stitch. Plain knit gives a smooth, sheer surface.

PLATED: A term to describe a fabric that is produced from two yarns of different colors, characters, or qualities, one of which appears on the face and the other on the back.

PLIED YARN: A yarn formed by twisting together two or more single yarns in one operation.

PLY: 1) The number of single yarns twisted together to form a plied yarn, or the number of plied yarns twisted together to form cord. a. An individual yarn in a plied yarn or cord.

PLYING: Twisting together two or more single yarns or ply yarns to form, respectively, ply yarn or cord.

POLYESTER FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of an ester of dihydric alcohol and terephthalic acid (FTC definition). The polymer is produced by the reaction of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid or its derivatives. Fiber forms produced are filament, staple, and tow. The process of production resembles that of nylon. Polymerization is accomplished at a high temperature, using a vacuum. The glycol and ester reaction forms a polymer chain, releasing methanol. As with nylon, the filaments are spun in a melt-spinning process, then stretched several times their original length, which orients the long-chain molecules and gives the fiber strength.

POLYMER: A high molecular chain-like structure from which man-made fibers are derived; produced by linking together molecular units called monomers.

POLYPROPYLENE FIBER: An olefin fiber made from polymers or copolymers of propylene. Polypropylene fiber is produced by melt spinning the molten polymer, followed by stretching to orient the fiber molecules.

PRE-BOARDING: After a stocking or pantyhose is knit, each stitch and loop is permanently set in place by an operation called “preboarding” or heat setting in a steam chamber. The stocking is placed on a metal leg form called a “board” and then given the steam treatment. Preboarding takes place prior to dyeing.

PRIMARY COLORS: Red, yellow, and blue. These colors may be mixed to make all other colors.

PRIVATE LABEL: Merchandising hosiery products under the name of a retail operation, as opposed to manufacturer’s brand names. Private label programs, women’s pantyhose, stockings or socks.

PRODUCER-TEXTURED YARNS: Continuous filament yarns which have been bulked during manufacturing by the fiber producer.

PRODUCER TWIST: Small amounts of twist, usually 1/2 turn per inch or less, applied to yarns by the manufacturer to provide cohesion of filaments for further processing.

Back to Top


R

RAYON FIBER: A manufactured fiber composed of regenerated cellulose, as well as manufactured fibers composed of regenerated cellulose in which substituents have replaced not more than 15% of the hydrogens of the hydroxyl groups (FTC definition). Rayon fibers include yarns and fibers made by the viscose process, the cuprammonium process, and the now obsolete nitrocellulose and saponified acetate processes. Generally, in the manufacture of rayon, cellulose derived from wood pulp, cotton linters, or other vegetable matter is dissolved into a viscose spinning solution. The solution is extruded into an acid-salt coagulating bath and drawn into continuous filaments. Groups of these filaments may be made in the form of yarns or cut into staple.

RECIPROCATED: The term applied to seamless hosiery, pantyhose or stockings made on machines which knit in a heel pocket, either reinforced or sheer.

REINFORCED: The stress areas such as the toe, heel, afterwelt, and panty portion of pantyhose are strengthened with yarns of heavier denier.

RESIDUAL SHRINKAGE: A term describing the amount of shrinkage remaining in a fabric after finishing, expressed as a percentage of the dimensions before finishing.

RIB KNIT: Knit fabric with lengthwise ribs formed by wales alternating between the right and wrong sides of the fabric. If every other wale alternates, it is called 1 and 1 (or English) rib. If two wales alternate, it is called 2 and 2 (or Swiss) rib. A rib knit fabric is more elastic than plain knit and therefore has form-fitting characteristics.

RIBBED: Vertical pattern of alternating ridges in pantyhose or stocking. Design may be formed through differences in weight, in knit stitch or opacity.

RING: A narrow band around hosiery appearing different from the rest of the hose. Principal causes: variation in yarn size, dye absorption, or luster.

RUNNER: A break in the yarn of a knit fabric which causes the stitch to “run” along the needle line (wale) in a vertical direction.

RUN-PROOF: A knitted construction in which the loops are locked to prevent runs.

RUN-RESISTANT: A type of knitting stitch which reduces runs.

Back to Top


S

SANDALFOOT: Hosiery with invisible heel and toe reinforcement for wear with open shoes and sandals. Not as strong as hose with conventional reinforcement.

SEAMLESS: Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back.

SECONDARY COLORS: Green, orange, and violet, each of which is obtained by mixing two primary colors.

SECONDS: Imperfect knitted fabrics containing flaws in the knit finish, or dyeing, and sold as “seconds.”

SEQUESTRANT: Any compound that will inactivate a metallic ion by forming a water-soluble complex in which the metal is held in a nonionizable form. This results in prevention of the usual precipitation reactions of the metal.

SHEER-TO-THE-WAIST: Pantyhose without visible panty line or reinforcement in the panty portion. An all sheer garment from waist to toe for the same next-to-the-skin coloring.

SHEER SUPPORT: A term often used when describing today’s support pantyhose, which are condsiderably more sheer than the original support garments, due to improvements in yarns and manufacturing techniques.

SHRINKAGE: Widthwise or lengthwise contraction of a fiber, yarn, or fabric, usually after wetting and redrying or on exposure to elevated temperature.

SINGLE KNIT FABRICS: Also called plain knit, a fabric constructed with one needle bed and one set of needles.

SLUB: A yarn defect consisting of a lump or thick place on the yarn caused by lint or small lengths of yarn adhering to it. Generally, in filament yarn, a slub is the result of broken filaments which have stripped back from the end to which they are attached.

SOFTENER: 1) A product designed to impart a soft mellowness to the fabric. Examples are glucose, glycerine, tallow, or any one of a number of quaternary ammonium compounds. 2) A substance that reduces the hardness of water by removing or sequestering the calcium and magnesium ions. 3) A substance used to reduce friction during mixing and processing when dry powders are added to polymers.

SOLUBLE: Capable of being dissolved, i.e., passing into solution.

SPANDEX FIBER: A manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is a long chain synthetic polymer comprised of at least 83% of a segmented polyurethane.

SPINDLE: A slender upright rotating rod on a spinning frame, roving-frame, twister, or similar machine. A bobbin is placed on the spindle to receive the yarn as the spindle is rotated at high speed, inserting twist into yarn.

SPINNERET: A metal disc containing numerous minute holes used in yarn extrusion. A spinning solution or melted polymer is forced through the holes to form the yarn filaments.

SPINNING: The process or processes used in the production of single yarns.

FILAMENT YARN: In the spinning of man-made filaments, fiber-forming substances in the plastic or molten state, or in solution, are forced through the fine orifices in a metallic plate called a spinneret, or jet, at a controlled rate. The solidified filaments are drawn off by rotating rolls, or godets, and wound onto bobbins or pirns. There are several methods of spinning man-made filaments:

DRY SPINNING: The process in which a solution of the fiber-forming substance is extruded into a heated chamber to remove the solvent leaving the solid filament, as in the manufacture of acetate.

MELT SPINNING: The process in which the fiber-forming substance is melted and extruded into air or other gas, or into a suitable liquid where it is cooled and solidified, as in the manufacture of nylon or glass.

SPLIT END: 1) A defect in fabric caused by breakage of some of the singles yarns in a plied warp yarn. 2) A defect in man-made filament yarn caused by breakage of some of the filaments.

SPUN YARNS: Short lengths of fibers, of various lengths, are twisted together to form spun yarns. These yarns are more bulky than continuous filament yarns, and are thus used in hosiery manufacturing of knee highs and socks where a soft, fuzzy texture is desired.

STAINING: The undesired pickup of color by a fabric: (1) when immersed in water, dry-cleaning solvent, or similar liquid medium that contains dyestuffs or coloring material not intended for coloring the fabrics, or (2) by direct contact with other dyed material from which color is transferred by bleeding or sublimation.

STANDARD ATMOSPHERE: Air maintained at 70 F (21 C) and 65% relative humidity. When international testing is involved, a standard temperature of 20 C or, by agreement, 27 C may be used. Special humidity and temperature conditions are sometimes prescribed for the testing of certain textiles for specific service predictions, resistance to water or biological action, etc.

STAPLE: Natural fibers or cut lengths from filaments. The staple length of natural fibers varies from less than 1 inch as with some cotton fibers to several feet for some hard fibers. Man-made staple fibers are cut to a definite length, from 8 inches down to about 1 1/2 inches (occasionally down to 1 inch), so that they can be processed on cotton, woolen, or worsted yarn spinning systems. The term staple (fiber) is used in the textile industry to distinguish natural or cut length man-made fibers from filament.

STATIC: An accumulation of negative or positive electricity on the surface of fibers or fabrics because of inadequate electrical dissipation during processing. Static results in an electrical attraction or repulsion of the fibers relative to themselves, to machine parts, or to other materials, preventing the fiber from traveling in a normal path in the process.

STRAND: A single fiber, filament, or monofilament.

STREAK: A walewise deformation of a stitch or group of stitches that is out of proportion in size (smaller or larger) than those to either side of it so much so that it can be seen when looking down the length of the stocking. Commonly caused by damaged sinkers, bad needle latches or broken needlehooks.

STRESS-STRAIN CURVE: A graphical representation, showing the relationship between the change in dimension (in 17 the direction of the applied stress) of the specimen from the application of an external stress, and the magnitude of that stress. In tension tests of textile materials, the stress may be expressed either in: (l) units of force per unit cross-sectional area, or in (2) force per unit linear density of the original specimen, and the strain may be expressed either as a fraction or as a percentage of the original specimen length.

SWATCH: A small piece of fabric used as a representative sample of any fabric.

Back to Top


T

TARE: The weight of all external and internal packing material (including bobbins, tubes, etc.) of a case, bale, or other type of container.

TENACITY: The tensile stress when expressed as force per unit linear density of the unstrained specimen (e.g., grams per tex or grams per denier).

TENSILE HYSTERESIS CURVE: A complex load-elongation, or stress-strain, curve obtained (1) when a specimen is successively subjected to the application of a load or stress less than that causing rupture and to the removal of the load or stress according to a predetermined procedure, or (2) when a specimen is stretched less than the breaking elongation and allowed to relax by removal of the strain according to a predetermined procedure.

TERRY FABRIC: Fabric having uncut loops on one or both sides.

TERTIARY COLORS: Shades which are obtained by mixing the three primary colors or by mixing one or more of the secondary colors with grey or black.

TEXTURE: A term describing the surface effect of a fabric such as dull, lustrous, wooly, stiff, soft, fine, coarse, open or closely woven; the structural quality of a fabric.

TEXTURED: an adjective used to describe continuous filament man-made yarns (and woven and knit fabrics made therefrom) which have been crimped or have had random loops imparted, or which have been otherwise modified to create a different surface texture.

TEXTURED YARNS: Yarns which develop stretch and bulk on subsequent processing. When woven or knitted into fabric, the cover, hand and other aesthetics of the finished fabric better resemble the properties of a fabric constructed from spun yarn.

  1. BULKED YARN: Qualitative term to describe a textured yarn. A bulked yarn develops more bulk than stretch in the finished fabric.
  2. COIL YARN: A textured yarn which takes on a coil or spiral configuration when further processed. A coil yarn can be either a torque yarn or a nontorque yarn. A coil yarn can be formed by the false twist or edge crimp methods. Some bilateral fibers become coiled on further processing.
  3. ENTANGLED YARN: A textured yarn of one variant which develops bulk by the air-jet texturing method.
  4. MODIFIED STRETCH YARN: A stretch yarn which develops more bulk than usual but less bulk than a bulked yarn in the finished fabric.
  5. NONTORQUE YARN: A yarn which does not rotate or kink when permitted to hang freely. A nontorque yarn may be he result of plying two equal but opposite torque yarns.
  6. SET YARN: A textured yarn which is heat relaxed to reduce torque. Set yarns are not stretch yarns.
  7. STRETCH YARN: Qualitative term to describe a textured yarn. A stretch yarn develops more stretch than bulk in the finished fabric.
  8. TORQUE YARN: When a torque yarn is permitted to hang freely, it rotates or kinks to relieve the torque introduced into the yarn during texturing.

TEXTURING: The process of crimping, imparting random loops, or otherwise modifying continuous filament yarn to increase cover, resilience, abrasion resistance, warmth, insulation, and moisture absorption or to provide a different surface texture. Texturing methods can be placed roughly into six groups.

  1. AIR JET METHOD: In this method of texturing, yarn is fed through the turbulent region of an air jet at a rate faster than it is drawn off on the far side of the jet. In the jet, the yarn structure is opened, loops are formed, and the structure is closed again. Some loops are locked inside and others are locked on the surface of the yarn. An example of this method is the Taslan process.
  2. EDGE CRIMPING METHOD: In this method of texturing, thermoplastic yarns in a heated and stretched condition are drawn over a crimping edge and cooled. Edge-crimping machines are used to make Agilon yarns.
  3. FALSE-TWIST METHOD: This continuous method for producing textured yarns utilizes simultaneous twisting, heat setting, and untwisting. The yarn is taken from the supply package and fed at controlled tension through the heating unit, through the false-twist spindle, through a set of take-up rolls, and onto a take-up package. The twist is set into the yarn by the action of the heater tube and subsequently is removed above the spindle, resulting in a group of filaments with the potential to form helical springs. Both stretch and bulked yarns are produced by false-twisting. Examples of false-twist textured yarns are Superloft, Fluflon, and Helenca.
  4. GEAR CRIMPING METHOD: In this texturing method, yarn is fed through the meshing teeth of two gears. The yarn takes on the shape of the gear teeth.
  5. KNIT-DE-KNIT METHOD: In this method of texturing, the yarn is knit into a 2-inch diameter hoseleg, heat-set in an autoclave, and then unraveled and wound onto a final package. This texturing method produces a crinkle yarn.
  6. STUFFER BOX METHOD: The crimping unit consists of two feed rolls and a brass tube stuffer box. By compressing the yarn into the heated stuffer box, the individual filaments are caused to fold or bend at a sharp angle, while being simultaneously set by a heating device.

THERMOPLASTIC: A term used to describe a plastic material which is permanently fusible. The term applied to true manmade fibers describes their tendency to soften at higher temperatures.

THREAD COUNT: 1) The number of ends and picks per inch in a woven cloth. 2) The number of wales and courses per inch in a knit fabric

THREADUP: The process of directing or threading fiber or fabric through all machine positions to start or restart a process, or the configuration resulting therefrom.

THROWSTER: A company that specializes in putting additional twist in yarn. The term also applies to a company which specialized in texturing yarns.

TIGHTS: One-piece garment from hip to toe. Distinguished from pantyhose in that it is usually a garment made with 40 denier yarn and over. Sometimes made of yarn other than nylon.

TINT: Coloration which produces a very pale shade. A tint usually represents the minimum amount of color which will give perceptible appearance of coloration. In yarn processing, fugitive tints are used for identification, then removed in wet processing.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE: A compound (Ti0 ) that occurs naturally in three different forms (rutile, anatase, and brookite). It is used chiefly as a pigment or delusterant in paint or yarn.

TOE CLOSING: In knitting hosiery this term refers to closing the toe opening. It may be knit closed, or in tube hosiery, sewn closed.

TORQUE: A force or a combination of forces that produces or tends to produce a twisting or rotating motion. In reference to yarn, torque refers to the yarn’s tendency to turn on itself, or kink, as a result of twisting.

TOUGHNESS: That property of a material by virtue of which it can endure large permanent deformation without rupture.

TRANSFER TAIL: A long end of yarn wound at the base of a package which permits increased warping or transfer efficiency by providing an easily accessible connecting point for the succeeding package.

TRICOT: A generic term for the most common type of warp-knit fabric. It has fine wales on the face and coursewise ribs on the back. It can be made in a plain jersey construction or in meshes, stripes, and many other designs. Tricot is usually made of nylon, acetate, polyester, or rayon.

TUBE: 1) A cylindrical holder or bobbin used as a core for a cylindrical yarn package. 2) A cylindrical yarn package.

TUBE SOCKS: Hosiery knit in the shape of a tube, usually on multifeed machines. Tube socks are nonreciprocated-without a knit in heel and are often used as sport socks.

TUBULAR FABRIC: A fabric woven or knit in a tube form with no seams, most knit underwear fabrics, and seamless hosiery.

TWIST: The number of turns about its axis per unit of length of a yarn or other textile strand. Twist may be expressed as turns per inch (tpi), turns per meter (tpm), or turns per centimeter (tpcm).

TWIST, DIRECTION OF: The direction of twist in yarns and other textile strands is indicated by the capital letters S and Z. Yarn has S-twist if when it is held vertically, the spirals around its central axis slope in the same direction as the middle portion of the letter S, and Z-twist if they slope in the same direction as the central portion of the letter Z. When two or more yarns, either single or plied, are twisted together, the letters S and Z are used in a similar manner to indicate the direction of the last twist inserted.

TWISTING: 1) The process of combining filaments into yarn by twisting them together or combining two or more parallel single yarns (spun or filament) into plied yarns or cords. Cables are made by twisting plied yarns or cords. Twisting is also employed to increase strength, smoothness, and uniformity, or to obtain novelty effects in yarn. 2)A very high level of twist is added to single or plied yarns to make crepe yarns. This operation generally is called creping or throwing. 3)The process of adding twist to a filament yarn to hold the filaments together for ease in subsequent textile processing, etc.

Back to Top


U

UNBOARDED: Hosiery not subjected to preboarding or boarding operations in its manufacture. In appearance it is wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body.

UNDRAWN YARN: Extruded yarn (filaments), the component molecules of which are substantially unoriented. Undrawn yarn exhibits predominantly plastic flow in the initial stages of stretching and represents an intermediate stage in the production of a man-made yarn.

UNEVEN DYEING: A fabric dyeing which shows variations in shade resulting from incorrect textile processing or dyeing methods or from use of faulty materials.

UNEVEN YARN: A yarn that varies in diameter to an abnormal degree.

URETHANE: The name of a group of organic chemical compounds or resins built from isocyanate, a very reactive material which liberates gas during reaction to produce foams of various types. Two types of compounds which react with isocyanate to form foam are polyesters and polyethers. Polyurethanes are used for foams and in other compounds in fiber form. The polyester variety should not be confused with polyester fibers.

USTER TESTER: An instrument which provides a continuous measurement of the variation in weight per unit length of sliver, roving, and yarn.

Back to Top


V

 

VENTILATION: A knitting operation that allows fabrics to breath. Often utilized in pantyhose for cotton crotch panels or cotton soles.

 

Back to Top


W

WAISTBAND: An elastic band either knitted into or sewn onto the top portion of pantyhose, to hug the waist and hold the garment up.

WALE: 1) In knit fabrics, a column of loops lying lengthwise in the fabric. The number of wales per inch is a measure of the fineness of the fabric. 2) In woven fabrics, one of a series of ribs, cords, etc., running either warpwise or fillingwise.

WASHFASTNESS: The resistance of a dyed fabric to loss of color or change in properties during home or commercial laundering.

WEAVING: The method or process of interlacing two yarns of similar materials so that they cross each other at right angles to produce woven fabric. The warp yarns, or ends, run lengthwise in the fabric, and the filling threads (weft), or picks, run from side to side. Weaving may be done on a power or hand loom or by several hand methods.

WELT: 1) A finished edge on knit goods, especially hosiery. In women’s stockings, it is a wide band knitted from heavier yarn than the leg and folded on itself. 2) A small cord covered with fabric double, generally over a cord, and sewing it. 3) A term sometimes used for pique.

WET STRENGTH: The measurement of the strength of a material when it is saturated with water, normally relative to the dry strength.

WICKING: Dispersing or spreading of moisture or liquid through a given area, vertically or horizontally; capillary action in material.

WINDING: The transfer of a yarn or thread from one type of package to another. (e.g., from cakes to cones).

WOOLEN COUNT: The two systems used to determine woolen yarn counts in the U. S. are the run system and the cut system. The run system has a standard to 1600 yards per hank, while the cut system is based on 300 yards per hank.

WORSTED: A general term applied to fabrics and yarns from combed wool. Worsted yarn is smooth-surfaced, and spun from long-staple, evenly combed wool.. Worsted fabric is made from worsted yarns and is tightly woven with a smooth, “hard” surface. Gabardine and serge are examples of worsted fabrics.

WORSTED COUNT: A woolen yarn measure. Al’s worsted yarn has 560 yards in one pound of yarn.

Back to Top


Y

 

YARN: A generic term for a continuous strand of textile fibers, filaments, or material in a form suitable for knitting, weaving, or otherwise intertwining to form a textile fabric. Yarn occurs in the following forms: (1) a number of fibers twisted together (spun yarn), (2) a number of filaments laid together without twist (a zero-twist yarn), (3) a number of filaments laid together with a degree of twist, (4) a single filament with or without twist (a monofilament), or (5) a narrow strip of material, such as paper, plastic film, or metal foil, with or without twist, intended for use in a textile construction.