A little history

The discovery of Nylon

1920s knew a real craze for plastics. At the time, Cellophane was used more and more all over the world. Among the big industrial firms, Du Pont was the most innovative in the field of plastics. The company conducted researche to protect Cellophane against molds by finalizing the Nylon, known then under the name of Fibers 66.

Before the nylon, there was rayon, an opaque and warm material, an artificial copy of the silk, without any transparency. This rayon was known before 1924 under the name of viscose. The appearance of the nylon was a revolution, we passed of the opaque utility in the transparent frivolity.

Nylon was invented in 1938 by the American Wallace Carothers, a young chemist of Harvard, in the laboratories of Du de Nemours in the United States. It is a great polyamide, obtained by means of reactions on by-products of the tar. It forms very solid, threat resistant elastics to the atmospheric and rot-proof agents. It is used pure or mixed in the other fibers. The main user of Nylon is the textile industry, in particular the corsetry. Incredibly cheap and solid, the Nylon fast became the ideal fiber to make stockings, tights, bras or pairs of underpants. The invention of the firm Du Pont Bridge dry Nemours turned the universe of the lingerie upside down.

Nylon, where do you come from?

The appearance of the word Nylon sowed confusion in many spirits. Each went of the etymological, often fairly vague interpretation there... Here are some for the reader to disentangle fantasy and reality.

Nylon is a contraction of the initials of New York and the first consonant of London.

-       Nylon is the spelling inverted by Nolyn who rings in Japanese as norin, word meaning agriculture and forest. The choice of the word Nylon would thus be an attack deliberated on the firm Du Pont against the Japanese ministry of agriculture responsible for the silk production in Japan. Let us remind you that nylon stockings compete directly with silk stockings.

-       Nylon means “Now You Lousy Old Nipponese”, in other words “now, bunch of old pitiful Japanese, you are going to see what America is capable of” (implied : to make synthetic silk stockings to crush the Japanese industry of the pure silk).

-       Nylon was selected among 350 other propositions sent to the Du Pont after the firm had invited the Americans to invent a name for a new chemical.

“I adopted the word Nylon because it is clear, easy to pronounce and easy to memorize. Be sure that this word doesn’t contain any under heard roguish”, specified the president of Du Pont.

The big dates of nylon stockings

> 1935- Discovery of the Nylon by Carothers, with carbon, air and water.

> 1939 (on October 24th) - Sale of the first nylon stockings to Wilmington, DuPont de Nemours's homeland, 4000 pairs of stockings were sold in 3 hours!

> 1940 (on May 15th) - Nylon Day or N Day... Simultaneous sale throughout the territory of the United States of the nylon stockings : 4 000 000 pairs were sold in 4 days!

> 1941 (on December 7th) - Pearl Harbor : the Nylon becomes strategic material and knows developments of which will benefit stitches.

> 1945 (in August) - The war is finished… the manufacturing of nylon stockings starts again and tries to face the inflation of the demand. At Macy’s, in New York, 50 000 pairs were sold in 6 hours!

It is then that the nylon stocking takes its development and all its specificity, in front of silk and rayon stockings, by its delicacy which becomes extreme in some years, and especially its “crystal” transparency which hems the curve of the leg in a unique way.

Nylon stockings become the indispensable complement of the leg of the sexy girl and the star. The first stockings in 70 and 45 deniers of the liberation left the place very quickly to the stockings with 30 and 20 deniers, and from 1950 to 15 deniers said “Crystal”.

10 deniers were reached in 1951.

> 1945 - 1955- The stocking with less seams is the only one to reign. Its empire is total and no one dares to ignore its law.

> 1955 - 1965- Seamless stockings replaced gradually the stocking sewn one. The first seamless stocking was launched in 1961 by Bernard Giberstein, founder of the society of Low Sunday, which became Dim in 1962.

> 1965 - 1970- Tights replace little by little the seamless stocking (regrettably!).

> 1970 - 1980- Stockings with garters disappear little by little (again, regrettably!).

> The 2000’s– Worldwide, there are only five looms that make nylon stockings decreased in seams (among which 3 are in France!).

The history of the garter belt

The garter belt was created in 1876 by Féréol Dedieu, who was a professional corset-maker. He had the idea of this means of tie because formerly the womenmaintained their stockings by means of simple elastic that compressed legs and engendered problems of blood circulation. During its first appearance, the garter belt did not make the unanimity of the womankind in France because it was considered unsightly. A legend remained for a very long time to say that the garter belt had been invented by Gustave Eiffel, the father of the Eiffel Tower!

It was only in the 1930s that the garter belt came back in force in France thanks to a fashion designer, Paul Poiret, and doubtless also from the appearance full of charm of the film star, Marlène Dietrich, dressed in a garter belt in the famous movie “The Blue Angel”.