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Glossary of Hosiery Terms

Dictionary of Hosiery Terms

Cuban Heel

Type of heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part is squared off above the back of the ankle, rather than tapering to a point (which is a Point Heel). See our Cuban Heel Stockings.


Denier is the term used to describe the thickness of the hosiery. In simple terms, the more 'see through' (or sheer) the hosiery the lower the number, and the thicker or heavier weight of the hosiery (or opaque), the higher the number. The denier of the product will determine how the product will look on the leg.


10 denier or less

Ultra sheer: Extremely elegant, cool in summer, can give the illusion of bare legs when wearing the correct skin tone

10 to 20 denier

Semi sheer: Elegant and practical for everyday or evening wear. The most popular denier range, giving even coverage to legs. Stronger than ultra sheer.

25 to 35 denier

Semi-opaque: Still elegant for special occasions, stronger, longer lasting and slightly warmer than sheers.

40 denier or more

Opaque: Very durable and long lasting. Practical for everyday use. Warmer and ideal for cooler weather. Completely covers the leg. See ouropaque hosiery


Fully Fashioned Stockings (FFS)

Stockings that are knitted flat on vintage machinery, such as our Gio range, and then sewn up the back with a genuine seam and finishing loop. The fully-fashioned stocking often comes with a Cuban or Point Heel and is seamed at the back. Typically, they are 10-15 denier, with non-stretch 100% nylon yarns. See our range of fully fashioned stockings.

Hold Ups (or Stay Ups)

Like stockings, but with an elasticated band at the top of each leg, so they stay in position without a need for a suspender belt (or garter belt). Think of them as stockings that hold themselves up.


Hosiery, traditionally stockings, made from 100% nylon.


Garment made from higher denier yarns (usually 40 denier and above) meaning the leg can't be seen through the hosiery. See our opaque hosiery.

Point Heel

Type of heel on a fully fashioned stocking whereby the reinforced part tapers off to a point (as opposed to a cuban heel, which is squared off).  Often called a French heel. See our Point Heel stockings.

Reinforced Heel and Toe (RHT) Stockings

This means that the heel and toe areas have a slightly more dense weave to improve wear and to prevent runs. The heel and toe area will appear slightly darker. Often shortened to RHT. See our RHT stockings.


A traditional, and often seductive, nylon or silk covering for the legs and feet. Stockings are held up through the wearing of a suspender belt, which attaches to the stocking tops near the thigh area. These are different to hold ups/stay ups, in that stockings do require the use of a suspender belt.

Sheer to Waist

Tights that have the same sheer finish all the way up to the waist, with no reinforcement around the panty area. Useful for under short skirts or dresses with high slits. See an example.


Specifically relating to stockings, this is the double thickness at the stocking top that attaches to the suspender clip. We also have welt free stockings.