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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 5

I 1788 - State Of The Art In Textile Technology

II Australian Textiles - The Early Days

III Australian Textiles - The 20th Century

IV Australian Textiles - To Date
i Narrow-tape Weaving Loom and the Nyguard Zipper
ii Vacuum Packaging System for Knitting Yarns
iii 'Computer' Socks
iv 'Jumbo Cakes' (Large Cheeses of Spun Yarn)
v Out-Draw Texturing - Nylon
vi 'Bored-Out' Pack
vii Computer Control of Heat-Setting Conditions for Synthetic Yarns

V Acknowledgements



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'Computer' Socks

Holding hosiery in place on the leg of a wearer, particularly socks which do not extend above the mid-calf, has long posed a problem. The introduction some 50-60 years ago of elastic thread into the upper courses of the knitted leg fabric has proved to be only a partial solution to this problem.

In the Holeproof Division of Dunlop Olympic Limited, in the late 1960s analysis of forces involved when socks slip down a wearer's leg forming wrinkles led to identification of an important variable -circumferential tension -as an aid for fabric to resist slippage. In constructing socks, knitted fabric with moderate circumferential tension at the ankle (location of minimum circumference) anchors the fabric by fabric/skin frictional force. Proceeding toward the top of the sock, fabric circumferential tension is progressively decreased by such means as varying yarn course length as well as linear and course density.

Patents obtained in Australia[57] have also been extended to other countries and applications are still pending in six.

Products were first marketed in Australia in November, 1980 under the name 'Computer Socks'. Additionally, leading manufacturers of men's socks in five countries have been licensed to manufacture. In the world's largest market for socks, the U.S.A., the large retailer, Sears, included these socks in the 25 most significant and innovative products of all types in connection with promotion to celebrate 200 years of business in 1985.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 302 - 303, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher