Written by Denise Iatarola, Dr. Comfort Product Manager
It’s 2022 and nylon stockings don’t exactly scream excitement, but that was not always the case. You may be surprised to learn nylon stockings have a long and documented history in America.
Prior to the 1930’s, women’s stockings were a wardrobe staple, made of expensive silk, wool, rayon, cotton, or a combination of these materials with limited stretch and sheerness.
In 1934, Nylon was invented by a team of DuPont researchers led by Wallace Carothers and Julian Hill and touted as synthetic silk, “as strong as steel and as fine as a spider’s web.” Nylon and nylon stockings were introduced to the public in 1939 at the World’s Fair in New York. DuPont unveiled the first 100% synthetic fiber not to a scientific crowd but instead to thousands of women’s club members who were at the fair attending a forum on various topics. They were sold! Commercial production began and by 1940 nylon stockings were available throughout the United States. Within one year, DuPont sold 64 million pairs of nylon stockings. The company decided not to register nylon as a trademark, but to instead allow the word to settle into the American language and soon “nylons” was synonymous with women’s stockings.
Then just as quick as they appeared, nylon stockings were no longer available. In 1941, the U.S. entered World War II and the supply of nylon and silk was taken over by the War Production Board. The material was used to make many different military supplies including parachutes, tents, ropes and even tires. Women across the country donated their used stockings to help the war effort. Nylon stockings previously selling for $1.25 per pair were now a luxury, selling for over $10.00 on the black market.
After the war was over, nylon stockings made a resurgence. Thousands of women stood in line to buy them. In New York, Macy’s sold their entire stock of 50,000 pairs in just 6 hours and in San Francisco, a store was forced to shut down when it was mobbed by 10,000 frenzied shoppers. It would be three years before the supply was able to catch up with the demand.
Today, nylon stockings include many different types of garments capable of providing both fashion and technical function. The addition of spandex in garments beginning in 1958, gave nylon even more stretch and recovery benefits and set the stage for the modern compression stockings.
At Dr. Comfort®, we use nylon and spandex to make compression legwear for men and women, offering knee, thigh, and pantyhose options. Quality compression garments are made with graduated amounts of pressure, tightest at the ankle and lessening going up the leg. Graduated compression helps with circulation and aids blood flow back to the heart, relieving symptoms of vein disorders including pain, swelling and varicose veins.
To learn more about Dr. Comfort® compression stockings visit:
The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.
Bellis, Mary. "The History of Nylon Stockings." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/history-of-nylon-stockings-1992195.
Unknown. “The History of Nylon”. LEAFtv. https://www.leaf.tv/articles/the-history-of-nylon/
Written by: Mallory Lor, C.Ped
What is Compression Wear?
Compression wear is used to help improve blood flow in the veins of your legs. Compression gives your legs a “hug”, so your veins don’t have to work as hard. The best compression wear has graduated compression, which means it’s built to the natural shape of your leg with the firmest compression at the ankle that reduces as it goes up your leg. All of Dr. Comfort’s® compression wear is designed as graduated compression with top quality materials and a large variety of fashionable designs.
Who Should Wear Compression?
Most people can benefit from compression wear. Here are some common reasons why people may use compression:
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
- During pregnancy and postpartum
- To help reduce swelling
- While traveling on an airplane
- To help with achy, tired feeling legs
- To prevent DVT and embolisms
If you have any serious medical conditions concerning arterial disease, please consult your physician before using compression.
How Do I Know Which Type to Buy?
Compression wear can come in different materials, compression levels, sizing and heights which can often make the purchase process confusing and overwhelming.
Compression Levels: The biggest question people have about compression wear is how to know which level of compression they should buy. The amount of pressure compression wear provides is measured in mmHg. Here’s a simple guide to help you determine which level is best for you:
Compression Sizing: The best compression wear comes sized to your body measurements, not your shoe size. You will need a soft measuring tape or a piece of string that can be measured with a ruler. Dr. Comfort® also sells compression wear tape measures.
- Ankle measurement: Measure the narrowest part of the ankle, above the ankle bone
- Calf measurement: Measure the widest part of the calf
- Thigh measurement (for thigh high and pantyhose): Measure the widest part of the thigh
Tips: Measure early in the day when swelling will be at its lowest. If your measurements fall within two different size ranges, go with the larger size.
Compression Heights: Should I get knee high, thigh high or pantyhose? This is usually a personal preference. Some may want knee high for everyday use and pantyhose for dressier occasions. Others may want the compression to go higher than just the knee and prefer to wear thigh highs or pantyhose as their everyday option.
- Knee High: Most popular among all ages, available in many materials, patterns and colors
- Thigh High: Most styles come with silicone grippers at the top to keep these in place
- Pantyhose: Look just like nylons or tights but with all the benefits of compression
Where Can I Buy Compression Wear?
Dr. Comfort® sells compression wear through drcomfort.com and offers free shipping. Much of Dr. Comfort’s® compression wear is made at our company owned manufacturing facility in North Carolina, USA.
Click here to look at what Dr. Comfort® has to offer.
The contents of this blog were independently prepared and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.
There's no better way to extend your wardrobe than with a pair of striking compression stockings to wear with your new shoes.
Get the support you need and the style you want, whether going to work, an event or just around town.
Hello Select Sheer!
Here at Dr. Comfort®, we want to provide you with comfortable hosiery that will help relieve tired, achy legs, that are functional as well as stylish. That’s why we’re excited to introduce Select Sheer, a fashionable hosiery line that offers medical support without looking like a medical garment. Continue reading