Hosiery Glossary


Abrasion Resistance -The degree to which a fabric is able to withstand rubbing and chafing within the shoe. Many socks and sheer hosiery products are reinforced, usually with nylon to lengthen durability.
Absorbency -The ability of a substance to take in and incorporate another material; in the case of hosiery, moisture.
Acrylic Fiber -A man-made fiber that is generally warm and lightweight and is used in casual, dress and athletic socks. Acrylic keeps its shape and properties including resilience, softness, easy care, low-shrinkage, rich colorations and wisking.
Active Sport Sock - Styles specifically designed for active sports participation. These socks differ from ordinary "athletic socks" in that they offer high performance features like special fibers, triple layer construction or pads to provide protection against abrasion and blisters.
Aeration - A knitting operation that allows fabrics to breathe, often utilized in pantyhose for cotton crotch panels or cotton soles.
Afterwelt - The area of knitted fabric just below the double turned fabric in stockings. It is usually made of the same yarn as the welt and is only one layer in thickness.
Air-Covered/Mactex (Yarn) - The process of air entangling a false twist textured yarn around the extended core. This is accomplished by forcing compressed air into a jet device through which both the core and cover yarns travel, entangling or tacing the cover yarn around the core.
Air Jet Textured with Lycra (Yarn) - The spandex and cover yarn are run through the air texturing jet with no heat applied.
All-In-One Pantyhose - 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.
Alpaca - Extremely fine, soft, and costly yarn derived from the hair of a domesticated Peruvian llama.
Ample - A term used to indicate pantyhose for the queen-size or outsize wearer.
Angora - A yarn made from the hair of the angora rabbit. It is prized for its soft feel and fluffy look, is often used in blends, and adds great warmth to socks. Angora is now often simulated by the use of specialty acrylic fibers.
Anklets - Hosiery with a top designed to cover the ankle bone and extending less than one-third of the way up the largest part of the calf.
Anti Embolism - A therapeutically designed hosiery product that has graduated compression to aid blood flow and prevent clotting in the lower torso.
Antron Nylon - A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for trilobal nylon. Antron combines lustre, strength, and coloration properties and is most commonly used in the panty of some pantyhose styles to give sheen.
Applique - Any pre-prepared fabric decoration which is sewn or ironed onto a hosiery product.
Argyle - Geometrically knit pattern that produces a balanced design of multi-colored diamond figures against a solid color background.
Athletic Socks - Hosiery designed for active sports, often having a ribbed striped top and plain foot construction. Usually knit of acrylic cotton, wool, or combinations thereof.
Autoclaving - This process involves placing bagged greige blanks in a large cylindrical steam chamber that can be hermetically sealed. Once sealed, a vacuum system is utilized to evacuate the air in the chamber. This in turn allows subsequent attainment of steam pressure much higher than possible at atmospheric conditions. The net result is that the undeveloped yarn in the greige leg blanks permanently shrinks and that the knitted stitches are "set". The fabric is thus much less likely to snag in succeeding operations. The shorter, tighter fabric can be handled and sewn with less labor and off-quality costs.


Band - A paper construction used to package half-hose; usually coated with special pressure-sensitive textile adhesive.
Bare Spandex - Spandex that has not been wrapped with another fiber.
Basics - Traditional or classic styles which vary seasonally only in color. Basics form the bulk of the sock and sheer hosiery business. For men, the basics are crew-length casual and both crew-length and over-the-calf dress styles. For women, the basics are knee-highs, anklets and pantyhose in neutral colors. Children's basics are flat knit anklets, crews, and bobbies.
Bed - Lightweight, loose fitting sock designed to be worn overnight in bed to keep the feet warm.
Bird's-eye - A small, evenly spaced pattern in a diamond design.
Bikini Pantyhose - A style of pantyhose with a sheer leg that extends to the hip for wear with shorter hem-lines, short pants and deep side-slit fashions.
Blanks - Unfinished socks as they come off the knitting machine or individual legs of pantyhose before they are sewn together.
Bleaching - An oxidizing process that removes color from a fabric or sock, leaving it white.
Blended - Textile materials made of a combination of two or more fibers, yarns or filaments.
Blends - The combination of two or more types of fiber in one yarn to achieve improved performance or styling effects.
Boarding - Socks: In this operation the sock is stretched either dry or moist over flat metal or wooden forms conforming to the desired sock shape and size. It is then pressed between two heated surfaces. This gives the sock form a smooth appearance. It is a process similar to ironing. Sheers: A full-shaped heat setting operation in which stockings and pantyhose are put on metal leg forms for a specific size and shape and then dried in a steam cabinet. The process is done after dyeing. The term "boarding" stems from the olden days when wooden boards were used to dry stockings.
Bobby Sox - A heavy cuffed anklet that was predominantly a girl's fashion of the '40's and which enjoys period revival.
Body Shapers - Term used to describe sheer hosiery providing more support and control in the panty and thigh portion of the garment.
Body Stocking - A body stocking, leotard or jumpsuit is a garment that covers the torso and may extend to the toe. Initially designed as cosmetic covering in flesh tones and sheer texture, the garment is now widely interpreted in design but still retains its body clinging quality.
Body Suit - A one-piece leotard, usually knit of nylon or nylon/spandex, that covers the body from the shoulder area to and including the crotch.
Boot - The portion of the pantyhose leg running from the thigh area to the toe, or below stocking welt or panty.
Boot Fabric - The leg portion of fabric in hosiery or pantyhose.
Boot Liner - A thin gauge jersey or flat knit men's or women's sock designed to provide a comfort layer between the leg and the sock.
Boot Topper - Knee-length men's or women's socks designed to be worn folded over the boot top.
Booties - Soft, fluffy knitted foot coverings for infants. Designed for children of pre-walking age.
Brand - The name used to identify a product, such as hosiery or fiber, which comes from a particular manufacturer.a) Branded hosiery is that which is marketed and usually advertised nationally, under one name which guarantees the same quality regardless of where it is purchased.
Bruised Fabric - Sheer nylons cannot stand coming in contract with any hard surface and contacted by another hard object. This action will bruise the fabric sufficiently to cause a rupture when placed under strain.
Brushed - Brushes used to produce a napped surface in socks.
Bulk - This term is usually used when referring to textured multifilament yarn. Multifilament twisted yarn with low turns produces low bulk or lean yarn. High twist multifilament yarn produces high bulk yarn. The degree of bulk can be built into the yarn by the throwster as desired.
Bulk Yarn - Yarns which have been treated physically or chemically so as to have a notably greater "apparent volume". Bulk is usually obtained when using textured multifilament yarn.
Bundle Goods - Work socks, skating and ski socks, and other heavy socks weighing not less than one pound per dozen pairs and packed and sold in bundles.
Business Sheer - Moderately sheer pantyhose designed for durability.


Cable - A knitted pattern usually made up of two vertically intertwined bands.
Calf-High - The name used for short-length stockings that come up to the calf of the wearer.
Cashmere - Luxuriously soft, expensive yarn made from the undercoat of the Kashmir goat.
Casuals - A broad hosiery term used to describe all women's sock and any men's socks with the exception of dress, athletic, and work styles.
Circular Knit - The major knitting method in hosiery construction. Yarn is knitted into hose using a cylindrical tube. Toes are later sewn and a waistband added.
Cleerspan - A registered trademark for spandex by Globe Manufacturing Company. Used in hosiery for its better fit and shape retention, comfort, and/or support.
Clock - A knitted or embroidered ornament on a sock, stocking or pantyhose, usually running up the side.
Colorfast - Fabric with dye retention such that no significant change in shade takes place during the normal life of the sock.
Combed Cotton - Cotton which has been processed through a "comber" which removes short fibers and trash components to achieve higher uniformity and tenacity.
Comfort Top - A wide ribbed nylon band that holds sheer knee highs up without cramping the calf.
Continuous Filament - A fiber produced in a single, uncut strand rather than cut into short fibers such as cotton or wool. Also used to describe yarns which are not spun.
Control Top - Pantyhose with spandex in the top for soft girdle or "control" effect.
Core-Spun Yarn - A yarn made by spinning fibers around a filament of a previously spun yarn, thus concealing the core. Core yarns are used in sewing thread, blankets, and socks and to obtain novelty effects in fabrics.
Cotton Count - An indirect yarn numbering system generally used for yarns spun on the cotton system; the number of 840 yd. lengths of yarn per round.
Cotton Crotch - A cotton panel sewn into the crotch area of pantyhose.
Cotton Fiber - A soft and heat-resistant vegetable fiber used in garments since 3,000 B.C. It absorbs and retains moisture, is readily washable, and is available in a wide variety of types and qualities. Long staple combed cotton is generally considered to provide the finest quality cotton yarn for socks.
Cotton Sole - A cotton insert sewn or knit into the sole of the stocking or pantyhose.
Course - A series of adjacent loops forming a horizontal line across the knitted fabric. Small horizontal stitches mean more yarn has been used, resulting in finer fabric, greater elasticity, and longer wear.
Covered Yarn - A core usually composed of one spandex or rubber fiber, wrapped with a filament or spun yarn.
Creslan - An American Cyanamid registered trademark for an acrylic fiber. Used in manufacturing of sport and casual socks. Noted for fast dye absorption due to round cross section.
Crew Socks - A designator of length, synonymous with "mid-calf" in men's socks. One of the most popular men's styles, available in wide ranges of colors and patterns.
Crochet - A knitting process that creates a fabric by a series of interlocking loops rather than rows of stitches. Needlework that is used to form an ornamented design on the hose whether it is sheer or "wool-like" in texture.
Cuffed - Socks folded over at the top, usually just above the ankle.
Cushioned - Any construction with a terry pile surface on one side and a ribbed or plain knit surface on the other. In most cushioned athletic socks, the terry forms the inside of the foot portion of the sock. Some of more complex constructions feature added layers of cushioning under certain areas of the foot, depending upon the sports activity for which the socks are intended. Cushion constructions are used in men's and women's athletic and casual socks of all types. While terry cushioning normally fulfills a functional purpose of reducing shock of running or jumping, the same terry-knitting procedure is followed in producing novelty socks with a terry or velour outer surface.
Cushioning - The padding ability of a terry-surfaced sock, paired against a ribbed or plain surface.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.
Cycling - Sport or athletic sock designed specifically for cycling enthusiasts. Generally has a heavy knitted pad in the arch of the foot where the pedal makes contact with the foot.


Daytime or Dress Sheers - Pantyhose of 15 or 20 denier yarn for a dressy daytime look.
Decals - Designs printed on paper and transferred to the sock by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "heat transfer".
Decitex - The metric measuring system used to indicate weight per unit length of yarns in Europe. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 10,000 meters of yarn.)
Demi-Toe - Stocking or pantyhose with a nude, sheer heel and reinforced toe. A popular fashion with sling back shoes.
Denier - Denier is the weight-per-unit-length of the yarn. (It is numerically equal to the weight, in grams, of 9,000 meters of yarn.) The lower the denier, the lighter and finer the yarn, and the sheerer the garment. Hose knit of higher denier yarns tend to be more durable.
Deodorant - A chemical additive introduced to hosiery during the finishing process to control sock odor. Originally used in athletic hosiery. Deodorants control odor by inhibiting the growth of odor causing organisms.
Detailing - Any material applied to the sock body after manufacture, such as lace, stitched monograms or insignia, fringes, sewn-on cuffs, etc.
Diabetic/Arthritic Sock - Heavy elastic used to help make a support sock.
Double Covered Spandex - Spandex that had been wrapped in both directions with nylon or polyester continuous filament yarn or other textile fibers.
Double Covered (Yarn) - The process of wrapping two non-elastic filament or spun yarn around the extended core, the bottom cover yarn controls the stretch, while the top cover serves to balance and provide a smooth appearance.
Double-Reinforcement - Two thread lines, usually nylon or polyester, knitted into portions of the sock foot to achieve added abrasion resistance,most commonly at the heel and/or toe.
Dress Socks - Light to medium weight men's and boy's styles. Lengths may vary from mid- to over-the-calf.
Drop Stitch - When a needle on a knitting machine does not form a knitted loop.
Dyeing - The permanent application of color to a yarn or fabric.


Elastic - A term which designates the ability of a yarn to return to its original size or shape after being stretched.
Elasticity - The ability of a strained material to recover its original size and shape immediately after removal of the stress that caused deformation.
Elasticized - Fabrics which have elastic threads running through them, or which have been treated to give them elastic qualities.
Elastomer - Elastic fibers such as rubber or spandex that have physical stretch properties.
Electronic Patterning - Use of an electronic device to control certain needles in knitting to create a pattern.
Embroidery - The application of designs of decorative trim by machine or hand sewing.
Ethnic - Usually sheer hosiery (knee-high, stockings or pantyhose) dyed in colors designed to compliment the natural skin tones of various ethnic population groups.
Extra Long Length - Pantyhose knitted with a slightly extra long length and or slash panty to accomodate taller consumers.
Evening Sheers - Pantyhose made of 10 to 15 denier yarn. Worn for special occasions, they often have a satin finish.
Executive Length - Men's over-the-calf dress styles.


Fabric - Specifically in hosiery, the word is used to refer to that which is knitted on hosiery machines from fiber.
Fabric Stretch - The amount of stretch in fabric from the relaxed state to the fully extended stretch.
Fabric Recovery - The ability of fabric to recover from the fully extended state to the original flat state before extending.
Fair Isle - Any nordic or snowflake patterning.
False Twist Covering (Yarn) - The spandex and cover yarn are run through the texturing spindle with heat applied.
Fancies - Men's socks of any length bearing multicolor designs such as stripes, herringbones, argyles and other fashion styles.
Feeds - This term is normally used in conjunction with circular knitting machines and literally means how many yarns are fed into a machine at each revolution to knit continuous rows of stitches.
Fiber - Natural or man-made units of matter which can be spun into a yarn or made into a fabric by various methods including weaving, knitting, braiding, felting and twisting. The essential properties for fibers to be spun into yarn include a length of at least 5 millimeters, flexibility, cohesiveness, and sufficient strength. Other important properties include elasticity, fineness, uniformity, durability, and luster.
Filament - The finished fiber used in sheer hosiery is called filament yarn. It is characterized by continuous length and is extruded either as monofilament yarns, which is composed of one single strand, or multifilament yarn which is made up of several filaments bundled together.
Filament Count - The number of individual filaments that make up a thread or yarn.
Filament Socks - Sheer, dark-toned men's dress or formal hosiery made usually of filament yarns.
Filament Yarn - A yarn composed of long strands of synthetic fibers which continue the entire length of the yarn. The basic yarns used in ladies hosiery are all filament yarns. To describe the size of filament yarns, the term denier (weight-per-unit-length) is used.
Finger Band - A reinforcement just under the waistband of all nude pantyhose to give protection against fingernail punctures when pulling up the pantyhose.
Finishing - Includes all sock and sheer hosiery manufacturing steps excluding knitting and sewing. For socks, it includes bleaching, scouring and dyeing, boarding, pairing, ornamentation, folding and packaging. For sheers, it includes dyeing, boarding, pairing, and packaging.
Firm Support - Support pantyhose that give more support because heavier weights (usually 70) of spandex are used.
Fishmouth Toe - A method for closing a non-reciprocated toe in which the seam runs parallel to the bottom of the foot rather than across the top of the toe.
Fishnet - Knitted knee-highs, stockings or pantyhose with a very wide open knit resembling a fish net. Very stylish and fashionable, but very porous providing little warmth or protection or cosmetic covering.
Fit - It is the combination of yarn and construction that determines the adaptability of hosiery and bodywear to the human form. Stretch and recovery of yarns and knit construction contribute to a garment's fit.
Five-Eighths Hose - Hosiery which reach five-eighths of the way from the ankle to the knee. (Also called golf socks).
Flammability - The test to determine if fabric will ignite under controlled conditions.
Flat Knit - The second most widely used construction. Sock fabric knitted on a single cylinder machine and producing a fine, smooth surface with a jersey-like appearance. Used for casual socks of all types, some varieties of work socks, for children's hosiery, and in socks where the distinction is achieved by the yarn or by treatments such as embroidery, appliques, or small neat patterns.
Flat Yarn - This term is often used by knitters and coverers to indicate raw yarn they use. Flat yarns have no stretch unless they are textured. They are also used as the alternate course in many sheer spandex styles. (See Raw Yarn)
Float Loop - The needle is not raised and the yarn which should have been associated with the needle goes behind the needle and appears as a float. The spandex elastic in the waistband is floated into the garment.
Flocking - Design applied to a boot, usually soft and fuzzy in appearance.
Footsocks - Hosiery with a top which does not extend above the ankle bone. Also known as "footies".
Footed Sock - A sock knitted to conform to foot shape - as contrasted with a tube sock.
Footies - Short, below the ankle bone hosiery of varying weight and fiber content. Often called slipper socks and have varying uses such as athletic wear, casual wear, and come in different sizes for all age groups.
Full-Fashioned - Full-fashioned stockings are knitted flat, and the two sides are united afterwards by a seam up the back. As a result of decreasing stitches over the calf to make the hose narrower in the ankle, small "fashion markings" or loops are visible running parallel to either side of the seam. The popularity of the full fashioned stockings, at a peak immediately after World War II, has declined since the introduction of seamless hosiery.


Gauge - The measurement of the distance between needles in a knitting machine. Two- thirds of the gauge equals the number of needles per inch. For example, on a 60 gauge machine there are 60 needles to 1-1/2 inches.
General Athletic - Many sport athletic socks today are designed for specific uses. A general or basic athletic sock is multi-purposed without a specific athletic sport in mind.
Girdle Top - Pantyhose with a sewn-on girdle, for the firmest possible tummy control.
Glimmer - This term refers to a light reflection from the yarn, mainly from a trilobal yarn which gives the glimmer effect by reflecting the light.
Glospan - A registered trademark for spandex by Globe Manufacturing Company. Used in hosiery for its better fit and shape retention, comfort, and/or support.
Golf - A sock designed specifically for use by golfers, particularly during hot weather. Generally has cushioning and is generally short and below the ankle bone.
Gondola - Display module with shelves or slots to hold hosiery or other merchandise.
Gore - The center of the heel or toe pocket, created in the knitting process, sometimes giving the appearance of a seam.
Graduated Support - This type of support hosiery is more comfortable because there are no sudden changes in the tightness of the spandex going up and down the leg.
Graduation - The tapering of the leg from the top to the bottom by tightening the stitches to give a proper fit at the ankle, knee, thigh, and the top of the panty.
Greige - (pronounced "gray") Greige goods are any fabric as it comes off the knitting machine before bleaching, scouring, or dyeing.
Gussett - A term that means crotch panel in pantyhose. The "gussett" can be all nylon, or can be cotton/nylon. It can be any shape from diamond to full back panel, but always means there is an extra piece sewn in at the crotch area.


Half-Hose - Short hosiery of a length to cover from the ankle halfway between the ankle and the knee, with rib cuff and plain leg and foot; standard for men.
Hand - The tactile qualities of a fabric such as softness, elasticity, fineness and resilience.
Handle (Hand) - The reaction to the sense of touch when fabrics are grasped in hand. Many factors which give "character"combine in the judgment as to handle.
Heat Transfers - The application of a design or logo to a sock by transferring a design from specially printed paper to the fabric by means of heat and pressure. A term used interchangeably with "decals".
High-Bulk Yarn - Qualitative term to describe a highly-twisted textured yarn. A bulked yarn develops more bulk than stretch in the finished fabric.
High Twist - A yarn spinning process in which more twist is used than is needed for normal processing to provide desired aesthetic properties such as harshness, brightness, or to reduce hairiness on the yarn surface.
Hiking - Sock designed specifically for hiking enthusiasts. Generally heavy weight, with cushion or padding in the foot or heel. Designed with wicking action to carry moisture away from the foot to allow perspiration to evaporate. Usually of longer length to be used with hiking boots.
Hole - Hosiery that has been ruptured by bruised, cut, burned, or abraded fabric to cause a hole to appear that will develop into a run.
Hunting - Sock designed specifically for hunting. Designed to provide both warmth to the foot during the cold weather, and wicking action to carry perspiration or water away from the foot. Generally heavier weight and longer length to wear with boots.


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.
Ingrain Yarn - Yarn that has been dyed before knitting, requiring no further dyeing.
Intarsia - A geometric pattern knitted-in either with a different stitch or a different color from the background. In intarsia knitting, both sides of the fabric look alike.
Intech Process - This semi-boarded process is not subjected to a full heat setting operation.
Irregulars - Hosiery that contains minor imperfections in dimensions, size, color or knit but without obvious mends, runs, breaks or substantial damage to yarn or fabric.


Jacquard - An intricate process for knitting patterns, designs, or textures into the sock fabric, and the method by which is produced the decorative patterns. Jacquard equipment is necessarily slower than conventional knitting machines and the lower productivity is of course reflected in the cost.


Knee-Highs - Short hosiery that comes up to just below the knee. They are styled with elastic tops and stay up without the help of garters. They became very popular with the advent of women's slacks.
Knee Warmers - Thigh high knitted garment generally of heavier fabric that usually has no knitted foot and extends from above the ankle or calf over the knee to approximately mid thigh.
Knit-In Waistband - This type waistband is made of spandex and nylon and is inserted into the top of the garment while on the knitting machine. It is not attached later. It is non-binding and does not get tighter, and thus uncomfortable, during wear.
Knit Loop - This is the normal basic loop in knitting.Knitting - The art of constructing fabric on needles, by the interlooping of one or more yarns in several series of connected loops hanging on and supporting one another.


Lace - Ladies sheer hosiery knitted with a pattern resembling lace and/or hosiery with lace seamed to the top of the leg or waistband.
Laid-In - The interlacing of a spandex or rubber yarn into a sock or pantyhose.
Lambswool - The first clip taken from a sheep up to seven months old, which explains its soft hand.
Latch Needles - One type of needle used in hosiery machines. The needle performs the basic act of knitting, pulling one loop of yarn through another.
Latitude of Fit - Textured yarns and spandex yarns have more fit latitude than monofilament ultra sheer yarns. Fit latitude means the lower end of the size matrix and the upper end of the size matrix can be better fit when a style employs a yarn said to have "fit latitude".
Layered - Wearing more than one pair of socks at a time for fashion effect or comfort.
Leg Form - Form for displaying socks or sheer hosiery. Leg forms are weighted so that they are free standing and can be designed to present one or a pair of socks, stockings, pantyhose or leotards. The term, "leg form", may also describe the form used to pull a sock or sheer hosiery on for testing, and may designate the boarding forms used for shaping unboarded hosiery. May also be flat forms (e.g., NAHM forms for sizing).
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 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.
Light Support - Pantyhose made with a low denier spandex in the leg, usually 40 denier or lower spandex, to give light compression on the wearer.
Link Jacquard - Type of stitch used in a patterned sock.Lisle - Hosiery made of lisle yarn, which is a fine, hard-twisted, long-staple cotton yarn with two or more ply.
Loft - A bulky, fluffy quality in yarns usually produced by Turbo processing.
Longfold - Step in hosiery production where merchandise is stored and prepared for final packaging.
Lycra 3D - DuPont brand for hosiery garments that contain lycra in every course. This yields exceptional fit and a smooth appearance.
Lycra Spandex - A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their spandex fiber, which is commonly used in sheer hosiery, socks and half-hose for its stretch and recovery properties, providing better fit and shape retention, comfort, and/or support.


Mactex - A registered trademark of Unifi, Inc. for the process of covering an elastic or non elastic core yarn with a non elastic cover yarn by means of air pressure. This process, also known as air covering, is an alternative to the more costly conventional method of wrapping a yarn around the core. In air covering the core is trapped between the nodes of the cover yarn tac points rather than being trapped between the wraps of a conventional covering process.
Man-Made Fiber - A class name for various genera of fibers (including continuous filaments) produced from fiber-forming substances which may be:1)polymers synthesized from chemical compounds, e.g. acrylics, 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; 3)mineral, e.g., glass.
Marls - Multicolored yarns in which each component strand is different color.
Maternity - Pantyhose constructed specifically for expectant mothers that provides an expanded panty and higher waistband for comfortable wear during pregnancy.
Matte - Hosiery with a dull finish; minus a shine or lustre.
Mercerized - A cotton yarn which has been treated with a solution of caustic under conditions of caustic concentration and temperature which effect a permanent or irreversible swelling of the cellulose.
Merino - A fine grade of wool from sheep originating in Spain.
Mesh - An open knit used primarily to achieve a hand-knit, textured look.
Mesh Knit - A hosiery fabric produced in a variety of tiny patterns. Upon close inspection it looks like lots of fine zig-zag lines. Actually, the knit is a variety of tiny patterns with loops interlocked. This kind of construction helps prevent runs, but a snag in a mesh stocking will generally leave a hole. There are variations of mesh stitches, but for the most part, because the mesh stitch isn't as sheer, it is seldom used in the leg portion of the pantyhose. The runguard, however, does use the mesh stitch.
Metallic Yarn - A manufactured yarn usually made of metallic coated polyester plastic and used as an accent in novelty socks.
Microfiber - Microfiber is a generic term used to indicate yarns made of filament weighing less than one denier per filament (DPF), most commonly used in creation of nylon and polyester products.
Micro-Mesh - A seamless mesh stocking where the loops are knotted in one direction only. Because of this the stocking can run in one direction - from the foot up towards the welt.
Mid-Calf/Crew - Hosiery with a top extending beyond ankle length but not beyond the largest part of the calf.
Mock Rib - A surface texture variation used in flat knit socks to simulate the look of a rib.
Mock Seams - A false seam sewn into the back of a seamless stocking of circular knit hosiery.
Modulus of Elasticity - The determined ratio of stress versus strain that expresses the measure of elasticity in the hosiery fabric.
Monofilament Yarn - Yarn made of one single filament of fiber.
Multi-Feed Hosiery Machinery - A machine that is usually fed by two or more spools to knit pantyhose and stockings.
Multifilament Yarn - Yarn made of several filaments twisted or bundled together.


Natural Fibers - Cotton, wool, or silk hosiery fibers.Neats - Solid color socks with tiny evenly-spaced patterns such as dots or fleur-de-lis.
Needle Count - The total number of needles used in knitting a sock or sheer hosiery product. The higher the needle count the closer the stitches and the finer the fabric.
Non-Reciprocated - Socks or sheer hosiery knitted with no heel or toe pocket, e.g. tube socks.
Non-Run - Stockings or pantyhose with a special interlocking stitch that prevents runs (but not holes). Also called run-proof and run-less. Special processes under which the hosiery are manufactured are all designed to give the stocking or pantyhose extra life.
Non-Stretch - Garment manufactured without stretch yarns. Usually made of natural, ridged non-stretch fibers. Product has no compression or stretch ability which generally makes for a less satisfactory fit but is desirable for varying reasons such as fashion or medical conditions.
Novelties - Women's non-basic styles characterized by unusual patterning and/or coloration.
Novelty Yarns - Yarns showing unusual and fancy effects.
Nude Heel - Pantyhose or stocking without reinforcement in the 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 - Man-made fiber introduced in 1938. It is the first and the oldest of the true synthetics. Chemically, nylon is a man-made polyamide fiber derived from coal, air, and water. This fiber is famous for its strength, abrasion resistance, dimensional stability, soft hand, elasticity, and easy-washing and quick-drying characteristics. There are two basic types of nylon used in hosiery. They are Type 6 and Type 6,6. Type 6 nylon is softer and has less memory when textured than Type 6,6. Most of the yarns used in ladies hosiery are made of Type 6,6 nylon to impart the maximum memory to the fabric. In socks, it is used primarily in men's dress socks, novelties, and as a reinforcement with other fibers. Another use for nylon in socks is the stretch filament nylon plaited with other fibers to obtain multi-sizes.


Olefin - Man-made fibers derived from polypropylene or polyethylene.
Odor Preventive - Hosiery treated to kill bacteria which grow under warm, moist conditions such as in shoes, socks, or on the feet. This bacteria generally is odorless, and the compounds the hosiery is treated with inhibits bacteria growth.
One Piece Pantyhose - Pantyhose that is knit in a continuous operation beginning at one toe and ending at the other, eliminating the seams of a conventional style.
One Size - The term applied to pantyhose or stockings that fit most sizes from very small to large.
Opacity - Degree to which light passes through, not transparent. When used to describe the panty of pantyhose-in-one garments, it creates an important part of the wearer's feeling of security when she opts to wear hosiery without undergarments.
Opaque - Stockings or pantyhose made of yarn which give them heavier appearance, usually 40 denier or greater in weight.
Open-End Spun Yarn - Yarn-making process in which fibers are twisted and wrapped around each other by the use of a rapidly rotating rotor. The process is much faster than ring-spinning.
Orlon Acrylic - A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their acrylic fiber. Used in socks for its combination of softness, durability, rich color clarity, comfort and easy care. Currently no longer available.
Outpost - Generic term denoting placement of a portion of hosiery merchandise at a location removed from the hosiery department itself. Outposts are often utilized for specific categories of merchandise - dancewear or casual knee-highs. When an outpost is placed in the hosiery department, or in close proximity, it is termed an "inpost".
Outsize - Stockings or pantyhose proportioned to accommodate the heavier woman or the taller than average figure.
Over-The-Calf - Men's and boy's socks that extend above the fattest part of the calf.


Pairing - The finishing operation in which individual socks are inspected and made into pairs prior to folding and packaging.
Panty/Pantyhose - A pantyhose garment that 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. Pantyhose - A garment that combines both panty and stockings into a one piece waist-high garment that extends above the crotch, but not above the waist, to the toes.
Patterned - Socks or sheers having a design knitted into the garment or impressed on the side, front or over-all surface.
Peds - A registered trademark of Americal Corporation for a broad range of hosiery products including socks, pantyhose, tights, knee-highs, slippers, foot covers and shoe liners of varying weight and with multiple uses.
Pilling - When a fiber exceeds its abrasion level and the fibers begin to break and form a small ball of fiber on the fabric surface.
Plain Knit - The most common knit in hosiery, similar to a jersey or hand-knit stitch. Plain knit gives a smooth, sheer surface. (See Mesh)
Plaiting - A sock knitting method in which two different yarns are combined by a process similar to braiding. In plaiting, one yarn becomes the outside of the sock and the other one the inside. Nylon or polyester reinforcement is often incorporated into socks by this process. Also spelled "plating".
Plied Yarn - When strands of single yarns are combined, twisted together, or air entangled, resultant yarn is referred to as "plied".
Pointelle - An open, lacy-look knit similar to crochet.
Polyester - Polyester is a man-made fiber which has abrasion-resistance, excellent washability, and is fast-drying. It is readily heat-settable and dyeable. Polyester is used in men's and boy's dress socks, in decorative applications such as cross-dyeing and jacquards, and as a reinforcement.
Polypropylene - A petrochemical-based man-made fiber usually used in socks in combination with other fibers.Pom - A women's or girl's footsock, or footie, with a pom-pom sewn on at the back.
Popcorn Stitch - A pattern composed of a series of geometrically arranged round or lozenge-shaped raised areas; so-named because of their resemblance to popcorn.
Pouch Heel - A simulated or "false heel" in what is fundamentally a shaped tube sock. The heel effect is created in boarding. Unlike the tube, a pouch heel sock usually has a fishmouth toe.
POY (partially oriented yarns) - Nylon or polyester texturing feed yarns supplied by fiber producers to texturers for processing (texturing). Yarn is then sold to sheer hosiery, sock and half-hose knitters.
Pre-Boarding - After a stocking or pantyhose is knit, each stitch and loop is permanently set in place by an operation called "pre-boarding" 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. Pre-boarding takes place prior to dyeing. Press-Off - Condition arising when hosiery presses off the machine and fails to knit, caused by slubs or knots in yarn, poorly wound cones, improper tension, machine in bad mechanical condition, etc.
Printing - Method of producing patterns or designs on hosiery by depositing color or other treating material and fixing with steam, heat, or chemicals. There are many different methods for printing.
Private Label - Merchandising hosiery products under the name of a retail operation, as opposed to manufacturer's brand names. Private label programs, sometimes called private brands, can include all varieties of men's or women's pantyhose, stockings, or socks.
Proportioned Fit - Stockings or pantyhose specially designed to have different circumferences (foot, ankle, calf, and thigh) and lengths for each size wearer.
Prosthetic - Hosiery designed specifically to be worn or used with a prosthesis or artificial limb.
Pull Threads - A thread is snagged and pulled from the fabric causing tight stitches that rupture under strain to make holes and runs. The greatest hazard to sheer hosiery is a pulled thread. This accounts for approximately 80 percent of all ruined sheer hosiery products.


Queen Size - Stockings, pantyhose, or knee-highs sized to fit the heavier woman. Queen size is usually considered an extension of standard garments into a larger size. Outsize, on the other hand, is considered a separate category of merchandise altogether


Rag Sock - Recycled fiber spun into useable yarn count to create a casual look.
Raw Yarn - Filament yarn which has no stretch and is untextured.
Rayon - A generic term for filaments made from various solutions of modified cellulose by pressing or drawing the cellulose solution through an orifice and solidifying it in the form of a filament. Rayon has a soft hand, high moisture absorbency and retention, and good dyeability and washability.
Reciprocated - In the usual knitting process, the sock is begun at the top and knitted toward the toe. Upon reaching the heel, the machine begins to move more slowly in a semi-circular ("reciprocated") fashion to produce the heel pocket. It may be adjusted to reciprocate again at the toe to form a toe pocket. All socks do not have reciprocated toes and heels. For example, the basic tube styles have neither. The "fishmouth" toe closure is non-reciprocated but may be used on a sock with a reciprocated heel.
Reinforced - The stress areas such as the toe or panty portion have been strengthened with yarns of heavier denier.
Replaceable Legs - Two legged, waist high garment designed to where the legs can be replaced. Legs are either attached to the panty portion at the top of the stocking below the crotch, or a single leg is knitted with a half panty and full waistband so that when two are put together a full panty is created but there are two waistbands to be worn.
Ribbed - Vertical pattern of alternating ridges in socks and sheer hosiery. Design may be formed through differences in weight, in knit stitch or opacity.
Ring Spinning - A system of spinning using a ring and traveler take-up wherein the drafting of the roving and the twisting and winding of the yarn on to the bobbin proceed simultaneously and continuously.
Ring-Spun Yarn - Yarn prepared by drafting and twisting together individual fibers with the use of rings to achieve a desired yarn size.
Rolldown, Rolled Cuff, Rolled Top - A top which is turned over on itself and sewn down, often during the knitting operation. Traditionally a women's style, but recently emerging in men's athletic socks.
Rubber - An extruded, natural latex thread incorporated in some sock tops as an elastic.
Rubber Filament - A filament extruded from natural or synthetic rubber and used at the core of some elastic threads.
Run-Resistant - Stockings or pantyhose knit with micro mesh or tuck stitch patterns that resist runs in an upward direction.
Runblocks - Mesh stitches that act as a deterrent to runs around the crotch seams. These stitches are usually used in all-nude constructions.
Runguard - Acts as a deterrent to runs from the foot into the leg, or from the panty into the leg. It can be made of heavier yarn, or can be a change of stitch from plain to mesh.
Running - Socks designed specifically for running or jogging enthusiasts. Generally has heavier padding or cushioning in the heel to absorb vibrations or pounding the foot takes while jogging. Comes in varying heights from below the ankle bone to mid-calf. Also usually provides some wicking action to carry perspiration away from the foot.
Runs - Stitches that have unchained due to broken stitches.


Sandalfoot Hosiery - This is a nude toe, meaning no heavier yarn in the toe than is in the leg.
Scouring - A process (soap bath) that removes chemicals, tints, impurities and foreign matter from socks during finishing.
Seamed - Hosiery manufactured in the old full-fashioned manner with a seam running up the back of the leg. In the past, these garments were manufactured by cutting fabric and sewing it together. Today these products are generally made on a full circular knitted two bases and a fake seam is added up the back for a particular fashion look. Some tights are seamed on the inside of the leg but these are generally not produced by hosiery manufacturers.
Seamless - Stockings knit in one operation on circular machines (one continuous operation) so that no seaming is required up the back.
Seconds - Socks with major imperfections which make them unsuitable for sale even as irregulars. The Federal Trade Commission defines seconds as all hosiery which is not of first quality, does not qualify as "irregulars" and which contains runs, obvious mends, irregularities, substantial imperfections, or defects in material, construction or finish.
Semi-Boarded - These garments are not subjected to a full heat setting operation. In appearance they are slightly wrinkled and shapeless until stretched over the leg and body. This operation is sometimes called the Intech Process.
Service Weight - Generally considered to be a heavier weight garment for professional use such as nurses. Could be interchanged with opaques and are designed to provide longer wear life as compared to sheers.
Seven-Eighths Hose - Socks which reach seven-eighths of the way from the ankle to the knee. (Also called golf hose).
Sheer Support - A term often used when describing support pantyhose, which are considerably more sheer than the original support garments, due to improvements in yarns and manufacturing techniques.
Sheer-To-The-Waist - Pantyhose without visible panty line or reinforcement in the panty portion. It is an all-sheer garment from waist to toe.
Sheers - Dress sheers are hosiery fashioned generally of 15 or 20 denier yarn - to be worn for daytime glamour. Evening sheers are hosiery fashioned of wisp-weight 10,12, or 15 denier yarn - to be worn for special occasions.
Shetland - Originally a soft, warm shaggy yarn made only from wool of Shetland sheep. Now often used to describe yarns that offer Shetland characteristics.
Shrinkage - A reduction in size that takes place when a fabric is washed and dried, or when hosiery is finished.Silk - The filaments obtained from the cocoons of various types of silkworms.
Silken Sheers - Category of soft, silky well-fitting pantyhose made from Du Pont nylon and fine denier Lycra spandex.
Single Covered Spandex - Spandex that has been wrapped in one direction with nylon or other yarn.
Single Covered (Yarn) - The process of wrapping one non-elastic filament or spun yarn around the extended core. Single cover yarn has torque.
Sinker - The sinkers are steel elements that are located between the needles. The sinker holds the previously knitted fabric and prevents the loop from rising up the needle and interfering with the knitting action. It also helps support the old loop for the needle to pull the new loop through.
Size - Foot size; length from back of heel to tip of toe.
Skein-Relaxed - A method of applying bulk to a yarn by the controlled application of heat. This softens yarn texture and hand.
Ski Sock - Sock designed specifically to wear in a ski boot. Has extra padding or cushioning to the front portion of the foot or anklet where binding can rub blisters on the foot. This extra cushioning or padding helps prevent blisters and protects the foot. Also designed to provide warmth in cold weather conditions.
Slipper Sock - Casual in the house or bedtime sock that usually has a bonded sole of rubber, leather or extra cushioning or padding on the bottom. This sole can be bonded, sewn or heat transferred to the knitted sock.
Sliver - A loose, soft, untwisted strand or rope of fibers used in making yarn. In diameter about the size of a man's thumb.
Slouch Sock - Fashion sock with an elongated top designed to be pushed down and worn gathered around the ankle.
Slub Yarns - Any yarn made in an irregular diameter to achieve a nubby or knotted effect.
Snag - Same as pulled thread.

Soccer Sock - Sock designed for specific use among soccer enthusiasts. Has a pocket or pouch knitted into the front where shin guards can be placed for personal protection. May also have extra cushioning or padding in the foot portion.
Spandex - A generic term denoting a man-made elastomeric fiber used in place of rubber. Spandex was developed by DuPont in 1959, offering the unique capacity for stretch and recovery. It can stretch to over five times its relaxed strength and fully recover. Spandex is used in support and light support products to provide the energy to shape and compress the leg. Spandex yarns are often covered with nylon yarns to protect the spandex. Spandex is widely used in sock tops and pantyhose waistbands for its stretch/recovery properties and "stay up" holding power. It is increasingly used in corespun yarn and as plaiting yarn to replace textured nylon for better size range, improved fit, and comfort.
Spandex Sheers - A category of sheer hosiery styles. The leg yarn is composed of sheer nylon and single covered light-weight spandex (20 denier or finer) to give this hosiery good fit, sheerness, and softness. Spandex sheers do not give a support leg, but the spandex does enhance fit and comfort.
Spectator Socks - A casual men's or women's sports sock designed to coordinate with ready-to-wear but not engineered to provide optimum performance when used in active sports. Varies in length from footsocks to over-the-calf.
Splice - Knit-in reinforcement for areas of stress. Particularly effective in the panty of all nude garments.
Split Sole - The foot of a sock made from two different materials.
Sports Specific Socks - Contain extra padding and differ according to where the protective padding is placed - ball, toes, instep, heel, arch, shin - how thick the padding is and what materials they are made of.
Spun Yarns - Short lengths of fiber, of various lengths, are twisted together to form spun yarns. These yarns are more bulky than continuous filaments yarns, and are thus used in hosiery manufacturing of knee-highs and socks where a soft, fuzzy texture is desired.
Staple - Short lengths of fiber that are spun together to form yarn.Stirrup - Sock specifically designed to be worn over a sanitary sock in various athletic sporting events. Has a knitted top but no heel or toe portion. A knitted strap goes under the arch to hold the sock down and in place, and can be manufactured with team colors, stripes or logos as part of a uniform.
Stitch - A stitch is the basic repeating unit of the yarn pattern in forming a knitted fabric, consisting of the needle loop and sinker loop.
Stocking - A knitted, close-fitting covering for the foot and leg.Strand - A single filament of fiber.
Stretch Hosiery - Stockings knit of processed nylon filament yarn treated to give permanent stretchability. Stretch stockings "change" size to fit each foot, leg length, and volume perfectly. They are extremely desirable to the woman whose dimensions are too heavy or too slender.
Stretch Socks - Socks which are made from stretch yarn such as Ban-Lon, Flexcel, Fluflon, Helanca, Superloft, or Synfoam. A stretch sock can be adapted to fit a range of foot sizes.
Stretch Yarns - Continuous filament yarns (e.g., nylon) that have been textured to give them elasticity.
Super Toe - A construction in which the fabric in the toe has considerable more density than normal. The addition of density in the forward part of the foot is so gradual that no change in appearance is visible. The wear life achieved is significantly improved over the normal nude toe.
Supplex Nylon - DuPont brand for cottony soft fabrics derived from air jet textured 1 DPF nylon yarns.
Support Hosiery - Socks or other hosiery made of nylon or polyester with spandex or other elastic fiber added to give support to the leg. Support hosiery has spandex in the legs to reduce leg fatigue. The principle of support is to provide graduated compression to the leg. A total support pantyhose is one that has control in the panty portion as well as support in the legs. Support no longer means a heavy, surgical garment. Today, it has fashion sheerness and color as well as durability.
Surgical - Support hosiery usually knee high or thigh high in length, that is considered with graduated compression to aid blood flow before, during or after surgery. Are sometimes called therapeutic or anti embolism hosiery.


Tactel Microfibers - DuPont brand for microfiber hosiery yarns (less than 1 DPF) that delivers the ultimate in softness.
Tactel Multifils - DuPont brand for 1 to 1.5 DPF yarns that blends softness with a sheer, clear look in hosiery.
Tartan - Any traditional plaid design.Tennis Sock - Sock designed specifically for tennis enthusiasts. Can be low cut, below the ankle bone or a higher length. Generally has extra cushioning near the ball of the foot to protect the wearer during a vigorous tennis match.
Tensile Strength - The ability of fabric or yarn to resist breaking by tension.
Terry - A looped pile construction used inside most athletic socks and some work socks.
Textured Yarns - Yarns modified so they have desirable properties such as "hand" (feel), increased softness, and greater fit latitude. (Same as stretch yarns).
Textures - A general term that includes all knitted-in patterns. Typical textures include cable, herringbone, basketweave, fisherman and pointelle.
Texturizing - A method of processing continuous filament yarns using heat and twist to give them bulk, elasticity, and/or better recoverability or "memory".
Therapeutic - Can be a sock, thigh high, or waist high garment that is designed with graduated compression to provide a therapeutic benefit to aid blood flow and muscle support in the lower torso. Most are medically regulated garments, administered by hospitals or doctors particularly after surgery or during long confinements to bed. Some non-medical devices are available over the counter of a mild support construction.
Thermal Socks - Winter-weight boot length socks favored by skiers, skaters, or anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors in cold weather. They can be made of heavy duty Orlon acrylic, wool, Thermax, silk, polypropylene, or Hollofil yarns, or a blend of fibers.
Thigh-Highs - Stockings that just reach the thigh and are held up by elastomer bands.
Throwing - Term used to describe the twisting of rayon, nylon, or silk yarns.
Tights - A heavy, opaque one-piece garment from hip to toe worn with leotards for dance, exercise, etc. It is usually made with 40 denier yarn and over and is sometimes made of yarn other than nylon.
Tinted Hosiery - Hosiery dyed to fashion shades. It is created to blend with and enhance costume and shoe ensembles and to lend more grace and beauty to the leg.
Toelets - Knitted hosiery of various weights that is designed to cover the toe portion of the foot only. Designed to be worn with special types of shoes such as clogs.
Torque - A term used in the hosiery industry for defining a monofilament or multifilament yarn that has been textured to give residual stitch deformation in knitted hosiery, resulting in high sheerness.
Trilobal Yarn - Contrary to a round cross section of yarn, trilobal yarn is a cross section with three lobes. It reflects light and gives the finished product a glimmer or brilliance.
Tube Socks - Hosiery knit in the shape of a tube, usually on multi-feed machines. Tube socks are nonreciprocated - without a knit-in heel - and are primarily used as men's and boy's spectator athletic socks.
Tuck Loop - A tuck loop is formed by only partially raising the needle so the old loop does not clear, but rises sufficiently for feeding a new yarn into the hook. The old loop which did not clear is the held loop and the new yarn forms the tuck loop. When the needle is cleared on a subsequent course, the knit loop formed is pulled through the tuck loop in addition to the held loop. Tuck loops are used for runguards, in the band area, and some places in the panty. The tuck loops are also used to put in sewing marks and machine identification marks.
Turbo - A process in which large bundles of continuous filament fibers, called tow are stretched randomly, broken and drafted into sliver form. This sliver, with high shrinkage potential, is blended (or combined) with sliver having low shrinkage potential. After spinning this blend into yarn, the yarn is subjected to steam, and the resultant strains force the low shrinkage fibers to yarn surface as loops. This produces a yarn (and sock) with high bulk, softness and loft.
Twist - The number of turns about its axis per unit of length of a yarn. Normally, no more twist is placed in a yarn than is needed for strength and abrasion resistance.

Two Component - Pantyhose manufactured with two separate legs so that one can be replaced. Are often called replaceable legs pantyhose and can be manufactured where the legs are individually attached at the top of the stocking below the crotch, or a full leg is knitted with a half panty and full waistband.


U Seams - Pantyhose that are sewn one leg blank to another with a continuous U seam to join the legs. These garments have no crotch sewn in.
Ultra Sheer - A fine denier fiber which gives the ultimate in sheerness. It is usually 20 denier or less and a low filament count.
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.
Unbranded - Applied to hosiery that is not marketed throughout the country under a recognizable name. Usually not nationally advertised.

Utility Weight - A heavier weight ladies hosiery product generally designed for professionals such as nurses. Designed to provide longer wear life than sheer garments, but provide little leg flattering characteristics. Are synonomous with service weight hosiery.


Ventilation - A knitting operation that allows fabrics to breath. It is often utilized in pantyhose for cotton crotch panels or cotton soles.
Vivana - A registered BASF trademark for a yarn used in shiny tights and the panty of some styles to give it sheen. Sometimes this yarn is referred to as "Bright" nylon.


Wader - Sock, of synthetic fiber, usually bonded to a rubber sole designed to be worn while wading in water at the beach, river or lake. Can be worn as extra foot protection with swimming fins for water enthusiasts.
Waistband - An elastic band either knitted into or sewn onto the top portion of the pantyhose, to hug the waist and hold the garment up.
Wales - Vertical rows of stitches in a knitted construction.
Walking Sock - Cushioning in foot, reversed cushioning in foot for reduced slide in shoe.
Welt - A fabric knitted separately and machine-sewn to the top of the sock, or hem at the tip of a stocking knit in heavier denier yarn and folded double to give strength for supporter fastening.
Wicking - The capacity of a fiber to transport moisture away from itself.
Wool - Wool is the soft, curly hair of a sheep which is spun into yarn. The wool family includes Shetland (Scottish) and Merino (Spanish) wool which are soft and of high quality. But most woolen yarn used in socks is made from standard grades produced in the U.S., Australia, and elsewhere. (Alpaca and cashmere are animal hairs but are not properly called wool.) Wool is warm, sturdy, and durable. It has a crisp, resilient hand and has excellent insulating properties.
Woolen - Yarns produced by the woolen system of spinning. Generally containing very short fibers, unevenly distributed and not parallel to each other.Woolen Cut Count - An indirect yarn numbering system based on the number of 300 yd. lengths per pound.
Woolen Run Count - An indirect numbering system generally used for yarn spun on the woolen system; the number of 1600 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Work Socks - Designed to meet the needs of people who work outdoors or in heavy industry. There are many styles available including cushioned and flame-resistant socks for fisherman and foundry workers.
Worsted - Yarns produced by the worsted system of spinning. Generally contain long fibers arranged in parallel and well-distributed order.
Worsted Count - An indirect numbering system generally used for yarns spun on the worsted system; the number of 560 yd. lengths of yarn per pound.
Wrapped Yarn - A yarn composed of one fiber as a core, wrapped with a filament or spun yarn of another. For example, spandex is frequently wrapped with nylon to improve strength and durability.


Yarn - A generic term for an assemblage of fibers or filaments, either natural or manufactured, twisted or laid together to form a continuous strand suitable for use in producing fibers.
Yarn Count - A numerical designation expressing relationship of length to weight.