Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The term 'pantyhose' is exclusively American, referring to the combination of 'panties' (an American term for women's underpants) with hosiery. The one-piece pantyhose was a substantial improvement that appeared in the 1960's because it provided a convenient alternative to stockings. In North America, the term tights is used to describe leggings, a garment similar to pantyhose, but which is thicker and more commonly worn by girls, dancers, and athletes.
Pantyhose are worn for a number of reasons. Sheer pantyhose that match the skin color of the legs can enhance the appearance of legs, making them look smoother. Darker pantyhose can enhance the legs by outlining the shape and by making the legs seem slimmer. Brown colored pantyhose give the illusion of tan legs, an 'instant tan'. Pantyhose also has a practical use, as it can provide warmth in colder weather and let women go "bare-legged" even in the winter. Pantyhose can even enhance blood circulation by applying even pressure on the legs throughout the day.
Pantyhose are available in a wide range of styles. The sheerness of the garment, expressed as a numerical 'denier'/'dtex', ranges from 3 (extremely rare, very thin, barely visible) to 20 (standard sheer) up to 30 (semi opaque). The terms denier and dtex refer to the weight of the yarn in grams at a standard length: for denier, it is 9,000, for dtex, 10,000 meters. Thus, 1 Denier = 1g of yarn when 9,000 meters long.
Pantyhose also come in a variety of colors, from gray/black or skin tone common in business wear to brightly colored styles fashionable among young women.
Most pantyhose are composed of nylon and spandex, which provides the elasticity and form fitting that is characteristic of modern pantyhose. Unfortunately, the nylon fabric is somewhat prone to tearing and it is common for very sheer hose to 'run' soon after snagging on something sharp.
Pantyhose worn for fashion have a standard construction. The top of the waist is a strong elastic. The part covering the hips (boxer/brief area) is composed of a thicker material than the legs. The gusset or crotch is also a stronger material, sometimes made of cotton. The legs of the pantyhose are made of the thinnest material which has a consistent construction down to the toes, which may be reinforced to guard against wear. How pantyhose are manufactured
Interestingly, hose for the legs were a male fashion (for example among European and American aristocrats during the 16th Century), while women hid their legs from public view. This trend reversed, however, with men wearing trousers and women exposing their legs. In the 20th Century, pantyhose have been marketed to women exclusively. However, in recent years some versions for men 1 have appeared in the marketplace, touted for warmth as well as for appearance, improved blood circulation, and comfort. Surprisingly enough, pantyhose for men have been part of the War in Iraq. "One item U.S. military personnel in Iraq are asking for is pantyhose. Now, that might give some people pause, but pantyhose are one way that military personnel can protect themselves from pesky sand fleas." 2. Article from Entrepreneur Magazine
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details