By Mario Toneguzzi
Sheertex, the brand formerly known as Sheerly Genius, has created what it calls the world’s toughest sheer pantyhose and is poised to grow its business from its base in Muskoka, Ontario.
The company says the unbreakable pantyhose is powered by Sheertex knit, made with ballistic grade fibres often found in bullet-proof vests for sheers that last 10 times longer than typical sheer pantyhose.
“Sheertex is an apparel technology company. We have created the world’s toughest pair of pantyhose using the world’s strongest polymer,” says Natalie Catania, Sheertex’s Category Manager.
Sheertex was founded in 2017 and its factory is in Muskoka, about two hours north of Toronto. The facility is about 2,000 square feet with 11 people working for the company.
The company’s founder Katherine Homuth was a software entrepreneur who always wanted to be an entrepreneur as a teenager. ShopLocket was her first company which was an ecommerce platform.
Homuth thought we could send a man to the moon and have access to self-driving cars but why didn’t women have a pair of pantyhose they could buy that gets them through the day.
“She actually went to research the world’s strongest fibres looking . . . and she finally found a fibre that would work but it was about a thousand times too thick. There was nothing that was thin enough to be used in pantyhose,” said Catania.
After a year of research and development, the Sheertex team developed a proprietary manufacturing process built to withstand the strength of the material without compromising the wearability of the end product.
And the company was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2018.
The company buys its fibre and gets it made in the U.S. It is shipped in a yarn to Muskoka where it is made into pantyhose.
“Right now we’re doing directly to customer (sales). We’re finding that’s working really well for us. It’s really, really popular to be purchasing online these days,” said Catania. “It’s really through our Shopify site online through ecomm and through Kickstarter. We do Kickstarter campaigns as well.
“We’re really, really excited to announce our Kickstarter campaign at the end of February for a new colour of pantyhose. Our customers have been asking for that for quite awhile.”
Has Sheertex thought of getting the product into retail store locations in the future?
“It’s a possibility in the future,” said Catania. “Right now our pantyhose are about $99 sold online because our fibre is super, super expensive. So there’s up to $50 worth of fibre in every pair of pantyhose compared to the pennies in the regular department store brand.
“As we grow and can get our costs down, we definitely would think about that in the future but for right now we’re going to be just selling (direct to customer) at the moment.”
The company produces and ships in batches. It is currently into its third batch.
“The reason being that our fibre has to be purchased in batches so that’s how we run it. In each batch, there’s around 500 to 1,000 pieces,” she said.
“We’re going to be coming out with new product. People should head over to Sheertex.com to pre-order their sheers and keep up with news and updates because we’re always coming out with new things. In the future, we’ll be definitely coming out with new things.”
Catania said Sheertex’s brand feels and wears like a regular department store brand but the Sheertex proprietary fibre is stain, odor and moisture resistant. It’s also cool to the touch.
“The sheers last 10x longer than a typical designer pair. Before Sheertex, women had two options when it came to pantyhose: thick tights that may last but are made for the temperatures you’d find in the North Pole or a disposable pair of sheers that typically lasts one to two wears,” says the company.
“You don’t have to trade function for fashion anymore. The proprietary fibre is stain, odor and moisture resistant; it’s cool to the touch while still allowing for complete comfort and support. Sheertex pantyhose are crafted with reinforced seams, an invisible waistband and a control top. They flatter and hug the curves of all body types. Plus, the Sheertex knit is self-healing, meaning that in most cases when the knit gets pulled out of place it can be manipulated back into place without any fear of rips or runs.”
Sheertex ships to the United States, Canada, Mexico, Oceania and Europe.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.