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Lechoco, Gillian Faye L.

BFA-FD 4

NYLON FIBER: FASHION LABEL TAKEN FOR GRANTED

1.) Origin

The story of nylon, and subsequently – nylon stockings began with a gentleman called Wallace
Carothers, whose team at DuPonts chemical company, after ten years of research in the field of
Polymers, produced a fiber that was to replace silk in many clothing garments.After his lab came up
with dozens of polymide contenders, Carothers chose nylon to develop. It was patented in 1937 and
introduced to the world at the New York Worlds fair in 1939. On October 27, 1938, Charles Stine, vice
president of Du Pont,announced that nylon had been invented.

2.) Rate of Acceptance

Unveiling the world’s first synthetic fiber not to a room full of corporate or scientists but to the three
thousand strong women’s club members who were gathered at the site of the New York World’s Fair
for the New York. He exclaimed ” nylon can be fashioned into filaments as strong as steel, as fine as a
spider’s web, yet more elastic than any of the common natural fibers.” Thinking that “strong as steel”
meant indestructible stockings, the women at the forum burst into applause.. Commercial production
of nylon stockings began in 1939, and by the end of 1940 had sold over 64 million pairs. Nylon
stockings were also present in many GI’s kit bags to impress the glamour starved British women.
When the war was over, full production was back. One store in San Francisco had to close their doors
after over 10,000 anxious women had mobbed the place.

3.) Innovation

The new production techniques in use ever since the 50s allowed development of the first seamless
stockings. The development of Lycra made stockings even more tight-fitting and durable, increasing
its fit and aesthetic appearance.Nylon stockings remained the standard in women’s hosiery until 1959
when version 2.0 hit the shelves. Pantyhose—panties and stockings all in one—did away with
cumbersome garter belts and allowed the transition to ever higher hemlines.

BYy the 1980s the glam was wearing off. By the 90s, women looking for comfort and freedom began
to go au-natural, leaving their legs bare as often as not. In 2006, the New York Times referred to the
hosiery industry as “An Industry that Lost its Footing.”
In the last 30 years sheer pantyhose have done a complete 180, devolving into fashion no-no’s except
for sheer black and in offices where dress code prohibits bare legs. The mere mention of pantyhose
ruffles some women’s feathers. In 2011, Forbes writer Meghan Casserly blogged they were
“oppressive,” “sexist,” “tacky” and “just plain ugly.” She was striking out against one pantyhose
manufacturer’s campaign to re-invigorate the market among younger women.

Fashion editor for the Washington Post, Robin Givhan takes a more subdued stance. “I wouldn’t say
they’re tacky. They’re just not a part of the conversation; they’re a non-issue in fashion.” Even at
formal affairs, Givhan says bare legs are now the norm.

Sources:

 www.smartstorm.eu/adidas-teams-up-with-fashion-innovation-accelerator/

 https://www.filodoro.com/eng/about-stockings.asp

 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-75-years-ago-nylon-stockings-c
hanged-world-180955219/