The original Teggings products were discovered by the founder of Re/Dress NYC, Deb Malkin and shopgrrl Taueret Davis in 2010. The super stretchy, boldly colored leggings were aptly named “Teggings” because they were a mixture of tights and leggings. They quickly became a shop favorite for their fun color palette, durability, and chub rub prevention in a time were there were not a lot of options for bodies larger than an XL.
When Rachel Kacenjar bought Re/Dress in 2013 after being a plus size designer and VP of eCommerce for the company, she knew that there was deep love for Teggings and trademarked the brand name as a first step to securing the future of the brand. She went on to re-design several elements of the original leggings garment-- removing some seams, changing the gusset, and making them more high-waisted.
Rachel started to make new Teggings products in 2013 starting with capri and extra long leggings. After receiving several requests for tanks, she designed two versions, along with tube tops that Teggings fans deemed as perfect sleep bras. Because plus size folks are so resourceful, customers started reporting back that they wore their tube tops as swim tops, and Rachel realized that the fabric was somewhat chlorine resistant. Being excited by the idea that Teggings could also be worn as swimwear, she took a step further to go into product development to find a weave of fabric that had 4 way stretch, was moisture wicking, completely chlorine resistant, and provided SPF 70 level protection.
Teggings garments are referred to as seamless, but you will notice they are not completely seam free, as there needs to be a place for garments to come together with finishing seams on the inside of the garment. Teggings are manufactured using large circular knitting machines to create consistency of pattern production. The specialized Santoni knitting machines that are uniquely made in Italy use a variety of yarns to actually knit the fabric in a manner that is unique for each style being made to ensure best fit and stretch. The resulting fabric is tubular in shape, with differences in size, weave, texture and patterns. In comparison to traditional "cut and sew" garments, which often have seams running the full-length of the sides, our seamless garments do not cause chafing or irritation by virtue of not having seams in these areas.
The Future of Teggings
Rachel's number one priority for the future of Teggings is to expand the size range. As a fat, disabled person, she knows that "one size fits all" isn't based in reality. While many folks in the 5x-6x range have provided feedback that they wear Teggings capris and ankle length leggings as compression pieces, Teggings strives to expand inclusivity of our regular fit to larger bodies. For the last 8 years, Rachel has done fit testing on bodies that are size 4x-8x, worked to create graded patterns for new sizing, and created budgets and goals to work to obtain the investment needed to expand her line's range. As a self-funded operation run by a working class person, this will take time, but is absolutely the brand's number one goal. (Side note: if you have about $175k laying around, that's what it would take to make all 15 of our products in a new expanded size range in 8 different colorways. We know it's not impossible, and if you want to invest, please contact us!)
In the meantime, Teggings' packaging has shifted to packaging that is made out of recycled material that can be reused (we recommend keeping your packaging to put wet swimwear in or protect anything that needs waterproofing) we have ensured our models, production, and support team make livable wages and no one is asked to model or support our efforts for free, and we strive to work within the framework of fat liberation and body neutrality to the best of our ability with the resources we have.
Teggings uses yarns that have a high degree of moisture wicking properties, as well as stretch, durability and color-retention qualities, and are woven on knitting machines that are computer-controlled not only to make a precision fit garment, but also incorporate weaves and patterns using a weave that has capillary moisture-wicking capabilities. Our yarns are sourced from specialty fiber companies such as Unifi, Lenzing, and Invista, who carry yarns that are designed specifically for seamless garment fabrication and carry appropriate technical and quality certifications.
Most importantly, Teggings are produced ethically in Los Angeles, California in a clean, spacious, family owned factory that we've visited, where workers make a living wage. They are designed in Ohio by a queer, fat, disabled femme, and are fit tested across many shapes and 6 sizes of plus size bodies before a design is sold. We take fit, durability, and usability seriously, and hope that labor and love is obvious in the quality of your garment.