Let me introduce you to one of the softest and stretchiest fabrics! It is breathable, warm, and lightweight. Have the ability to charm Coco Chanel! We are talking about Jersey Fabric!
From clothes and sportswear to underwear and bedding, this fabric has amazing features and an even more interesting history.
We believe it will capture you with its softness! So in this article, you will read about Jersey fabrics history, uses, characteristics, sewing tips, and many more interesting facts about this amazing material!
We are a Team of writers, textile experts, and fashion geeks with a combined experience of 25 years writing this beginner-friendly guide to give value.
Prepare yourself, and let us dive into this fabric’s magical story!
What is Jersey Fabric?
Jersey, called single knit or plain knit, is a stretchy and soft cotton fabric. It was originally made from wool, but nowadays, you can find jersey fabric usually made from cotton. One side of the fabric is smooth with a single slight rib knit, while the other side is piled with loops.
If you doubt whether your fabric is jersey, you can do a simple test to find out. Cut the fabric across, and the jersey should start to kind of roll a little by itself. But if you pull it, it completely rolls up. And if you try to roll it back down, it rolls back up.
This means that this cotton fabric is very stretchy and finds use in many areas, which we will discuss later in this article.
History of the Jersey Fabric
Now that we have a bit idea of what the jersey fabric looks like. let us dive back into the history, and see where it was first produced, and how it became so popular!
Back in medieval times, the jersey was massively used for making fisherman’s sweaters and underwear. It was very popular in Jersey, Channel Islands – located in the English Channel. That’s the reason how it got its name. We can say that at that time, this fabric was underrated, and men only used it.
Luckily, 1916 came, and Coco Chanel happened! She revolutionized the jersey market and introduced this fabric to the women’s fashion industry. In her early design years, she did not have much money, so she saw the chance in the jersey fabric with amazing characteristics and low cost. She started producing dresses and coats and introduced the fabric to other fashion houses. The material was quickly adopted, and it became universally loved.
The fact that Coco Chanel recognized the value of the jersey fabric, tells us a lot about its quality.
Characteristics: How does it feel?
What is so special about the jersey that made an icon like Coco Chanel a fan of this very fabric?
How does it feel?
It is soft to the touch, with a warm and comfy feeling. Because of its elasticity, it is easy to wear, and one thing is sure! You will feel comfortable wearing jersey clothes!
We are also talking about:
- Absorbent and breathable
- Well structured
Well, now you understand what caught Coco’s eye!
With so many good characteristics, it was impossible that this fabric would stay only popular in fisherman’s sweaters.
Soft and smooth providing comfort for you, ideal for daily used clothes because of its breathability, you must agree with us that the jersey fabric is real gold!
Organic jersey fabric
Want a more sustainable solution?
Organic cotton jersey is grown avoiding using harmful chemicals and pesticides. This fabric is produced without the use of synthetic dyes and there’s no spandex as well. It’s an incredibly soft fabric that has a feeling like a warm hug!
It’s a medium-weight, 4-way stretch knit. Ideal for baby’s clothes, regular T-shirts, and other garments.
Types of jersey fabric
Depending on the knit style, there are two main types of jersey fabric.
- Standard jersey, also called single-knitted – is not actually woven on a loom. It is a knitted fabric. Single jersey circular knitting machines have vertical needles. It is a single-thickness of knitted fabric made with fine-grade yarn.
- Double knitted, or interlock jersey – is two pieces of single knit jersey knit together to create a smooth surface on both sides. This means that both sides of the fabric are the same, meaning there is no right or wrong side.
These are the two main types of jersey fabric, but here are a few more types that we can see on the market:
- Interlock jersey – double face fabric with knit stitching on both sides. Because of the tight stitches, this fabric has a compact appearance.
- Jacquard jersey – another double-face fabric. It is a unique textile with knitted jacquard patterns instead of printed on the fabric. It is not as stretchy as the other jersey fabrics but has a fantastic drape.
- Stretch jersey – this fabric has more stretch and recovery, which is ideal for making sportswear.
How to make Jersey Fabric?
There are several types of jersey fabric, and every type is made individually depending on the types of fibers it contains. We are going to talk about the cotton jersey. However, whichever fiber this fabric contains, the process of making is universal.
Firstly, manufacturers take the cotton and load it into an automated knitting machine. The machine then twists and combines yarn to create the close-knit structure of jersey fabric. The final product is jersey fabric that looks like a latticework of twisted vertical yarns connected by untwisted horizontal yarns.
Manufacturers can also dye the fabric while the knitting process or once everything is done.
It is also possible to knit jerseys by hand, although this process is long and demands labor work.
Cotton Jersey for dresses, yes or no?
Because this fabric is lightweight, soft, and stretchy is perfect for casual, everyday dresses. It is also resilient and durable, making the garments made from this fabric an awesome purchase in your closet.
We recommend sticking to simple silhouettes when it comes to dresses because they work best for this fabric.
Uses of the Jersey Fabric
Because of its versatility, softness, and stretchiness, jersey fabric finds application in many areas. From clothing to home furnishings, in the paragraph below, you can see how many things this fantastic fabric can be used for!
- T-shirts, polo shirts, and dresses – the opaqueness, stretchiness, and breathable and absorbent qualities make this fabric ideal for daily used clothing.
- Children’s clothing – we want the best for the little ones! And what is better than a soft, warm jersey for children’s clothing?
- Athletic wear – I bet you have heard about the famous “jerseys” team uniforms! However, these uniforms are not always made from jerseys. They are named this way because originally, they were made from this fabric. You can find sportswear made from jersey because of its absorbent and breathable nature.
- Undergarments – when looking for underwear, the two main things to look for are absorbency and elasticity. That’s why jersey fabric finds massive use in this field.
- Sweatpants – lounging all day at home? Get yourself some soft and stretchy jersey sweatpants which are ideal for all-day long weekends at home!
- Bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets – this fabric became very popular for bedding. Soft, breathable, and stretchy! We can imagine why…
5 tips for Sewing Cotton Jersey Fabric
Sewing with jersey fabric is not as hard as you think! Follow the next tips, and make sure you do not make beginner mistakes.
- Find the right needle! – Depending on the type of jersey fabric, you need different needles. It is best to use a 75/11 or 80/12 size needle for light to medium-weight knits. Regarding heavier fabrics, a 90/14 size needle will do the job.
- Lower the tension of your sewing machine – when using a jersey, you should drop your tension to 1 or 0. Also, if your machine has an option for lowering foot pressure or needle speed, it is best to lower them as well.
- Use the right stitch – when sewing jerseys, you should use a stitch with an element of stretch. We use stitches that stretch because the fabric is stretchy itself, so when wearing it, the seams should be able to move with it.
- Do not over-stretch the jersey – the jersey has stretchy nature, so you should let the fabric feed through the sewing machine gently without pulling the material.
- Cut jersey with a rotary blade – a rotary cutter will reduce the risk of over-stretching, and it will give you greater control over your cuts.
Custom print on Jersey Fabric
Do you know that can make your own designs and applications on cotton jerseys? Is not that great!? This fabric has so many qualities, and the ability to print on the fabric is just an addition.
There are many online stores from where you can order your custom print on jersey fabric.
Jersey patterned fabric
Another awesome thing about this fabric is that it comes in a huge range of patterns and different colors. You can find unique designs for you and colorful clothing for your children!
How do you take care of Jersey?
This is a relatively easy fabric to take care of.
You should know that jersey fabric can be washed in warm water with like colors and tumble-dried on a medium setting. But for added protection, it is best if you wash your jersey in cold water, as this will protect your clothes from shrinking, fading, or damage to letters or other applications on the clothes.
Bright colors – you want your bright clothes to preserve their color longer time and prevent the clothes from looking older. Washing your bright-colored clothes in a cold setting, and drying them on low, will contribute to preserving their colors, and they will last longer.
You also want to keep your bright clothes away from the whites in the washing machine, as they can color your neutrals. Also, it is best if you turn pattern garments and embellishments inside out.
Avoid using fabric softener!
If possible, the best way to dry your jersey clothes is by placing them in their natural shape and letting them dry on their own.
You can also hang the clothes on hangers so they can save their correct shape.
You can use a tumble drier if necessary, but it is not recommended as it can shrink your clothes.
Jersey fabric does not tend to wrinkle, so your clothes might need very little ironing or no ironing at all.
If you need to iron your clothes, it is best to turn the garments inside out using a medium heat setting and steam if necessary.
- What is jersey fabric made of?
– Jersey fabric is usually made of cotton, but it can also can be made from synthetic fibers, wool, and silk.
2. Is jersey fabric good for summer?
– Jersey is breathable and absorbent, so it is one of the best fabrics you can wear during the summer season.
3. Is jersey fabric good for winter?
– Because of the soft and cozy material, it is also good for the winter season.
4. Is jersey fabric good for the skin?
– It is perfect for the skin because it’s soft and won’t cause irritations or allergies.
5. What does jersey mean in clothing?
– Traditionally, when we say jersey, we think of a knitted pullover with sleeves made of cotton or wool.
6. Why is jersey fabric used for sportswear?
– Jersey fabric tends to fit closer to the body. It is also elastic and stretchy, so it’s ideal for sportswear.
7. Why are the jersey sheets the best?
– They are soft and breathable, making it feel like you are sleeping in your favorite T-shirt!
Jersey fabric by the yard
There are many ways you can purchase your jersey fabric. You can find it at various prices and online stores.
A good option for your jersey purchase is Amazon, with its marvelous and top-rated products for a reasonable price. If you love hand made, vintage products Etsy is another option for you.
If you are not a fan of online shopping, do not worry. You can also purchase this fabric in real-life markets!
Jersey fabric by the bolt
Buying a larger amount of the fabric? Do not worry. You can also purchase that online. The providers are willing to reduce the price when you buy in bolt. Buying in bulk can significantly cut your costs if you have a larger project and need a larger fabric.
I think you got a pretty good idea of the importance of this fabric. I hope this article was helpful and made you understand the numerous qualities and uses the jersey fabric possesses. From an exciting history to today’s popularity, the jersey fabric is really gold!
So, tuck yourself in your cozy jersey sweats, and let us learn more about other unique fabrics in the articles to come!