Stocking forecast: 'Robin Hood' reveals right tights formula

Tights in different colours
Image caption The formula aims to help you choose what sort of tights to wear taking into consideration the weather and wind speed

A mathematical formula to help calculate what thickness of tights is appropriate for the weather has been developed - by a former Robin Hood.

The "stocking forecast" uses wind speed and temperature to determine the thickness of fabric needed.

Statistician James Hind of Nottingham Trent University said the formula will help "not just women but anyone who wears tights".

Mr Hind said he "has a history with tights" as he once played Robin Hood.

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Media captionWeather presenter Charlie Slater delivers the stocking forecast

"I used to be Robin Hood at the Tales of Robin Hood (a former Nottingham tourist attraction)… so I worked in tights day in and day out and I know the value of properly warm tights on a cold day," he said.

Image caption The formula was designed by a Nottingham Trent University statistician who has experience wearing tights when he played Robin Hood at a local attraction

He said the formula, designed after being approached by BBC Radio Nottingham and which uses the sigmoid curve to create a scale to calculate the denier or density of fibre needed, will work across the UK as it depends on the local weather conditions.

"I used the Sigmoid formula here because it lets you have very little change at the extremes (so if it's hot you want thin tights and if it is cold you want thick tights) and lots of change in the middle (from -5 to 20 degrees)," he said.

"It takes environmental information and builds it into a forecast to tell people what sort of clothes they need depending on the weather."

The formula can be altered to allow for warmer southerly winds and colder northerly winds by using kilometres per hour for colder winds and miles per hour for warmer ones, he said.

Commenting on his new formula, Mr Hind said: "I love sticking e and π in equations - makes them look so much more fun!"

The stocking forecast will be broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham's breakfast show each day, as well as on East Midlands Today's evening news programme.

Nottingham's hosiery history

Image caption The decline of hosiery was offset by the burgeoning lace industry
  • From about the 1690s, the hosiery industry helped bring prosperity to Nottingham
  • It was estimated in 1739 there were 1,200 stocking knitting frames in the town, more than doubling by 1812
  • Thanks to the industry the town grew from about 11,000 people in 1750 to about 29,000 by the end of the century
  • The growth was due to people travelling to Nottingham in search of work in the textile trades
  • By 1810 the industry ran into trouble, partly due to changes in fashion as men preferred trousers to stockings
  • The hosiery industry slipped into a depression which lasted until the middle of the century
  • However, the decline of hosiery was offset by the burgeoning lace industry, which the city became famous for

Source: Nottinghamshire Heritage Gateway

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