Sheer Stockings

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Sheer stockings are transparent stockings that are made of a lower denier yarn. Denier is the industry term used to denote the weight and thickness of stocking fabric. Thus, the higher the denier of the yarn, the more opaque the stocking. The lower the denier, the more sheer the stocking. Generally speaking, more opaque stockings have a denier of about 20. Sheer stockings have a denier of 15 or less, with a denier of 10 being very sheer.

Sheer stockings come in a variety of materials, including nylon, silk, Lycra, as well as blends of these materials. Stockings that are 100 percent nylon and silk rank in the "ultra-sheer" category, often evoking a vintage 1950s and '60s look in their designs.

Ultra-sheer stockings are available in many variations, from seamed and seamless, to "fully fashioned" styles complete with top welt and finishing hole. Other popular ultra-sheer options include reinforced heel and toe styles, "hold-ups" that don't require a garter belt, and ultra-sheer pantyhose.

The Many Types of Sheer Stockings

The trick to creating sheer stockings, however, is to do so without sacrificing fit. As it happens, the more sheer the fabric becomes, the less stretchy it tends to be. Thus, for those who want absolute snugness of fit, sheer stretch stockings are a good choice.

Sheer stretch stockings may be composed of 100% shape-retentive Lycra/spandex material. They may also employ a blend of sheer nylon with bouncy Lycra or other stretchy yarns. Sheer stretch stockings occupy their own category, separate from that of all-nylon or all-silk ultra-sheer stockings.

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