Indestructible pantyhose: CTV News staff put Sheertex to the test
VANCOUVER -- Have you ever put on a pair of tights only to discover a rip? It’s a snag in the morning routine that happens all too often for those who wear pantyhose.
Katherine Homuth started Sheertex when she recognized a hole in the market: pantyhose that wouldn’t, well, develop any holes.
“It’s the only thing that we as women wear (that) is truly disposable – you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the end of the day and still have it,” she told McLaughlin On Your Side from her office in Montreal.
“It seemed so bizarre that we had technologies that could take us to the moon, that could allow us to have self-driving cars, but for some reason, something so simple as a pair of pantyhose that won’t break as you’re putting it on, didn’t exist in the market,” the Sheertex CEO said.
Homuth has a professional background in tech, and knew the problem was something engineers could tackle. So she assembled a team, and they started looking into different kinds of fabrics to see what could work - even ballistics materials and tough climbing gear.
“Two years later, we shipped the world’s first pair of pantyhose that I could hand to you and honestly, no matter how hard you tried, you wouldn’t be able to rip it,” Homuth said.
CTV News Vancouver put Sheertex, which Homuth claims is the world’s toughest pantyhose, to the test. The company sent McLaughlin On Your Side a few samples.
Anchors Mi-Jung Lee and Norma Reid, as well as producer Megan Stewart, all put the tights through the ringer, wearing them multiple times in a three-week period and keeping in mind Homuth’s directions: “Yank it, put it on as hard as you can, and don’t worry about putting your foot through it.”
Mi-Jung and Norma tried classic sheers, while Megan chose polka dots and classic sheer black.
Norma said she usually snags her pantyhose quickly, but not even her nails ruined the Sheertex pair. She did find them somewhat thick.
“A little bit heavier than most pantyhose,” she said, adding they reminded her of the performance tights she used to wear when she did figure-skating.
The company does make an ultra-sheer version which wasn't available for our test, because it was sold out online.
“They are pretty tough,” Mi-Jung said after testing hers out. “They’re comfortable, they feel good and they’re really strong. I’ve washed them several times.”
The downside? The price. Regular pantyhose can cost less than $10, but Sheertex comes in at more than $80. While that may be hard to stomach for some, Homuth says every stage of the product’s development happens at the Sheertex facility in Montreal.
“We’re not just ordering from some factory overseas and then shipping it out, we’re doing everything - from design through manufacturing to web design - here at our office, which is also our factory,” she said.
And for Megan, that justifies the high price tag.
“I really like that it’s Canadian. It’s partly why I think it’s worth supporting, if their product’s worthwhile,” she said.
Mi-Jung said she likes the look and feel of the tights, so the price isn’t necessarily a deterrent.
“If you factor out you’re not going to be buying six pairs of cheaper pantyhose, it might be worth it.”
Sheertex will be expanding into shapewear soon, and is currently working on a pair of super-lightweight, stain-resistant sneakers.
“We’re always going to keep making pantyhose better,” Homuth said. “But we also noticed that this fabric can really make anything 10 times lighter or 10 times stronger. Being able to make our product and sell our product from the same building, we really have a unique culture where we can innovate incredibly quickly – we have an idea for a product today, it can start shipping tomorrow.”