The risk of shortages in supplies of decent elastic this year is increasing, National Elasticity warned yesterday.
Recent heat-waves in various parts of the world have ruined the availability of rubber and elastic, and many production companies have gone into melt-down.
In the U.K., severe winter weather usually means that people have to wear several pairs of underpants. Without decent elastic in their underwear, most people wouldn't risk going out in the bitter cold.
"I don't like having a cold arse," said Gloria Nickerbocker, as she shuffled along to her local weight-watchers club in Brighton.
Heavy users of elastic have been warned about wandering around with their pants round their ankles.
However, residents further north seem less concerned. "Up here in Tyneside," said Sue Nikkerlus from Gateshead, "we're not bothered. We love going out on freezing cold nights in our mini-skirts and no knickers. Elastic's just for softies."
In the Midlands, people are more worried about blackouts. "We always wear big bloomers round here - so we really need good supplies of strong elastic," said Eileen Coverall.
Concern about elastic supplies has been fuelled by reports that underpants have been "dangerously low" following previous heat-waves.