“Tough as steel, delicate as spiderweb” was the description used to present the synthetic resin invented by Wallace H. Carothers, nylon.
It was 1935 when this American chemist discovered polyamide 6.6, from which he could produce a continuous filament similar to silk. An invention made in the USA, patented in 1937, which would soon mark a real revolution in the world of women’s socks.
It was 1938, when the DuPonte company began producing the first pairs of nylon stockings, which were sold for the first time on October 24, 1939.
The invention of nylon stockings was accompanied by a very strong communication campaign, to the point that women’s sole aim became to purchase a pair of these revolutionary sheer stockings, much more comfortable than silk ones and with zero risk of stretch marks.
The craze for nylon stockings had officially exploded, and in 1940 the first nationwide sale took place. It was May 15, 1940, a day so memorable that DuPont dubbed it N-Day. The following year, 64 million pairs of tights were sold
During the Second World War, the production of nylon stockings came to a halt; in the United States old Uncle Sam appealed to all American women to donate their stockings needed for war reconversion, and the entire nylon production was destined for the construction of parachutes. In that period, women drew lines on the back of their legs, to simulate the seam of stockings (and hide the lack of them).
After the war, nylon stockings returned to the market and experienced a further boom. Historical images of the time show long queues in front of shops and hundreds of women queuing to finally buy their object of desire: TIGHTS