Innovation in hosiery

This from the Wall Street Journal: “Weird Science Stockings

From a laboratory in North Carolina to a research center in Wilmington, Del., teams of scientists are hunkered down trying to solve one of fashion’s greatest mysteries: how to get women to wear pantyhose again.
In their latest bid to revive the sagging hosiery business, makers are turning to science and trotting out nylons and tights that seem more likely to show up at science fairs than on the runways of Paris or Milan. Capezio says its “microcapsules” filled with aloe — scented with a hint of lavender — burst as you move, to combat dry skin and chafing. Calvin Klein is using a high-tech fiber with tiny channels dug into the yarn that the company says drains away sweat from your legs. Meanwhile, No Nonsense is borrowing technology from surgical socks; its new “Smart Support” hose are engineered with a tighter weave at the bottom to keep veins constricted and the blood flowing.

While it sounds cutesy, this is part of a serious program of research to maintain a domestic textile and apparel industry through innovation. Other areas of research included next-generation fire-fighting protection and chemical/biological protection garments, surgical textiles including surgical masks, filtration materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing machinery. For all you hear about textiles and apparel as a “low-tech” industry, they are trying hard to innovate their way to economic competitiveness.
Now, if they could just make men’s socks that would stay up without cutting of the circulation in my legs . . .

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