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Hosiery is knitted coverings for the legs and feet. Also referred to as ‘legwear’, hosiery describes garments worn directly on the feet and legs. Most hosiery garments are made by knitting methods.
Modern hosiery is usually tight-fitting by virtue of stretchy fabrics and meshes. Older forms include binding to achieve a tight fit. Due to its close fit, most hosiery can be worn as an undergarment, but it is more commonly worn as a combined under/outer garment.
A sock is an item of clothing worn on the feet. The foot is among the heaviest producers of perspiration in the body, able to produce over a pint of perspiration per day. Socks help to absorb this perspiration and draw it to areas where air can remove the perspiration. In cold environments, socks decrease the risk of frostbite. Socks have evolved over the centuries from the earliest types which were made from animal skins gathered up and tied around the ankles.
The invention of a knitting machine in 1589 meant that socks could be knitted six times faster than by hand. Nonetheless, knitting machines and hand knitters worked side by side until 1800.
The next revolution in sock production was the introduction of nylon in 1938. Until then socks were commonly made from silk, cotton and wool. Nylon was the start of blending two or more yarns in the production of socks, a process that still continues.
Tights are a kind of cloth leg garment, most often sheathing the body from about the waist to the feet with a more or less tight fit, hence the name.
The wearing of tights has a long history going back several centuries, when they were worn by men. Today, they are worn primarily by women and girls and some men and boys, as well as infants and toddlers of both sexes.
Leggings are a type of fitted clothing covering the legs, which can be worn by both men and women.
Originally leggings were two separate garments, one for each leg.
Modern leggings are typically made from a blend of lycra, spandex, nylon, cotton, or polyester blend, but they can also be made from wool, silk and other materials. Leggings are available in a multitude of colours and decorative designs.
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