About the History of Natural Fibers

Before the development of synthetic yarns, the hosiery industry was dependent on fibers of plant or animal origin such as linen, wool, cotton and silk. Therefore, until the end of the 19th century, hosiery was exclusively made from natural fibers.

Because silk was difficult to obtain during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-15), substitutes made from fine Egyptian cotton yarn were sought.

In 1817, a method was invented and patented in England whereby cotton fibers could be softened by passing them through a gas flame. This "singeing" method removed the fuzz from the fibers, resulting in a cleaner surface and silky feel.

In 1844, John Mercer invented a process in which cotton yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution and then neutralized in acid, resulting in an increased luster and affinity for dyes.

In 1845, synthetic wool was produced by processing spinnable wool fibers from woolen rags.

In 1890, this process was improved by Horace Lowe and resulted in cotton which could be dyed in shimmering tones, thus resulting in a remarkable resemblance to silk.

The mass import of cotton can be seen since 1750.

  1. Mechanical yarn production as the basis of industrial hosiery manufacturing.
  2. Artificial Silk
  3. Nylon
  4. Perlon
  6. Helanca
  7. Additional Synthetic Yarns for Hosiery Production: Yarns for Knit Hosiery
  8. Additional Synthetic Yarns for Hosiery Production: Yarns for Fine Hosiery
  9. The Latest from Yesterday - Development Goes On