What Is a Jersey Fabric, Types, Characteristics, Tips for Sewing and Its Uses

Jersey was originally from Jersey, the Channel Islands in medieval times. Used only for menswear, like underwear and sweaters for fishermen. In 1916, Coco Chanel brought jersey fabric to be used for women’s fashion. But what is a jersey fabric exactly?

What is Jersey Fabric?

Originally jersey fabric was made from wool, but lately, it is also blended from synthetic fibers and cotton. Which helps to make it more durable.

The top side is a slight single rib knit with a smooth surface and piled with loops on the backside. The weight is light to medium. Often used for many kinds of clothing and household items.

What Is a Jersey Fabric

Types

This jersey fabric is knitted, not woven. That’s why the jersey has more stretch and give. Based on the knit style, these are the types of jersey fabrics:

1. Standard Jersey

Because it was made using one set of needles, the standard jersey was also named single or plain knit. One side has a smooth surface and is piled on the other. Types available are:

  • Viscose jersey (often mixed with elastane). Usually used for tops, looser pants, and dresses with drape.
  • Polyester jersey. Usually used for close-fitting garments.
  • Cotton jersey (often mix with elastane). Usually used for loose-fitting t-shirts, legging, and nightwear.
  • True knit jersey. Usually used for cardigans and sweaters.
  • French terry jersey. Usually used for lightweight sweaters and casual dresses.
  • Sweater knit. Usually used for sweatshirts and hoodies.

2. Double Knit Jersey

Also named interlock jersey. Because it was made from two pieces of single knit jerseys that were knitted together to make smooth surfaces on both sides. Types available are:

  • Ponti di Roma. Usually used for more formal garments.
  • Interlock jersey. Usually used for baby and childrenswear, t-shirts, and nightwears.
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What Is a Jersey Fabric

Characteristics

Jersey is a versatile and multi-functional fabric with many qualities. These qualities made the jersey a great fabric for daily use. What is a jersey fabric characteristics?

  • Because it has a knitted structure, it is a stretch fabric. This is suitable for items that require movement.
  • Soft and smooth. So, it is comfortable to wear.
  • Absorbent and breathable. As it is made of cotton, this fabric is absorbent and breathable. Ideal for daily use, like t-shirts.
  • The knitted structure brings the fibers closer, so light can’t pass through.
  • Well-structured. Usually, jersey fabric has a nice drape like cotton-jersey fabric. But for a smoother drape, it usually uses viscose or silk because it has more structure.

Uses for Jersey Fabric

What is a jersey fabric used for? Because of its characteristics, comfortable feel, and the stretchy, jersey fabric is often used for many items of comfort.

  • T-shirts and tank tops. Due to the stretchy, absorbent, and opaque characteristics that are good for practical and comfortable use.
  • Sweats and underwear. Feels good for lounging due to the stretchy, softness, and absorbency characteristics.
  • Again this is due to the softness and absorbent characteristics of the jersey.
  • Once again the stretchy, softness, and absorbency characteristics are good for any sports endeavors.

Tips for Sewing

It can seem tricky to sew a knitted fabric like jersey, so it can seem tricky to sew with. You can use the tips given here to sew jersey fabric:

  • Using a sharp regular needle often creates tiny tears. But using a ballpoint needle that can go in between the fibers will not rip them.
  • Put a walking foot on the sewing machine so it will flow evenly. The regular foot will stretch the fabric.
  • Make a zigzag stitch to allow elasticity. A straight stitch will stretch the fabric.
  • For sewing the hems, use a twin needle. It will make a double straight stitch which allows fabric stretch and has a nicer finishing.
  • Make a few seams as a test on a scrap swatch. So you can get the give-off and length of those stitches. Then, you can move on to make the item you choose.
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Care for Jersey Fabric

The care of this fabric is relatively easy. But pay attention to the type of fibers such as cotton jerseys. Because it tends to shrink. If you want to sew cotton jerseys, better wash them first.

Wash jersey fabric with cool water then tumbles dry it using medium heat. Jersey fabric usually does not need to be ironed, but it all depends on preferences.

Now we know about what is a jersey fabric and its characteristics. So, it will be easier to choose the type of jersey fabric to use for the projects you’ll make. This type of fabric is easy to care for and comfortable to wear. Suitable for all your need.

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