What is jersey fabric?
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What Is Jersey Fabric? Types, Pros And Cons, How To Sew

What exactly is jersey fabric? Is it the material used to make athletic jerseys? The name has a history, but it goes far back. The jersey fabric is among today’s most popular and widely used clothing fabrics. Several projects can be accomplished with it. Are you interested in learning more? Check out what SewingWithEase prepared for you.

What is Jersey Fabric?

In garments, jersey fabric is primarily used as a knit fabric. A complex history surrounds the name. Sports jerseys – knit tops worn by athletes – are probably familiar to you. There is no doubt you have also heard of the Channel Islands island of Jersey. What is the significance of the fabric name?

It was originally produced on an island in the Middle Ages, which is where the name comes from. Wool was used to making jersey fabric at that time. Men’s clothing and underwear were the only things they made with it. There was, however, a larger purpose for jersey fabric.

Women’s clothing was revolutionized by Coco Chanel in 1916. In addition to making attractive coats and dresses, she also made them comfortable. The popularity of the fabric has only grown since then.

It is also known as t-shirt material, which is another name for modern jersey fabric. There is more to the story than t-shirts. The fibers used in today’s jerseys are diverse. Combinations of cotton and synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, are most common. In today’s world, the jersey is available in an extensive range of garments, housewares, and other products.

The jersey fabric comes in two main types and a few subtypes. Below we’ll take a look at them.

What Are The Two Main Types of Jersey Fabric?

What Are The Two Main Types of Jersey Fabric?

Standard jersey fabric and double knit jersey fabric are two types of modern jersey fabric.

On one side, the standard jersey is smooth; on the other, it is piled or textured. Like a carpet pile, the texture is created by raised loops of thread. In the video below, one set of needles is used to make a standard jersey.

Both sides of a double-knit jersey are smooth and thicker than a single-knit jersey. Double knit jerseys have the pile on the inside and are knit from two pieces of the standard jerseys. Due to the interlocking loops on the inside, double-knit jerseys are also called interlocks. Two needles are used to create a double-knit jersey: one to knit the layers and one to knit them together.

Each type serves a different purpose. Standard jerseys are commonly found in athletic wear, athleisure wear, t-shirts, underwear, and bedding. Compared to standard jerseys, double-knit jerseys are more stable and less stretchy. As a result, it is better suited to garments with more structured shapes, such as blazers, coats, and trousers.

It is also possible to find jersey fabrics in subtypes. In the jacquard technique, designs are woven into the knit fabric using a variety of colors in a patterned fashion.

Fabrics with cloque designs, such as cabling, are textured jersey. Jerseys can be made from a range of fibers, including:

  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Hemp
  • Silk
  • Spandex
  • Modal
  • Rayon
  • Viscose

What Are The Common Uses for Jersey Fabric?

Jersey is a fabric with a wide range of uses. There is a huge variety of products that contain it. It’s likely you’ll recognize most of them, but you might be surprised by some.

Single Knit Jersey

You’ll often find single-knit jerseys in garments since they are lightweight, stretchy, and absorbent. Tops and dresses are made from it because it drapes nicely. Also, you can find it in light housewares. Listed below are some of the most common uses.

  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts and sweatpants
  • Dresses
  • Women’s tops
  • Leggings
  • Underwear
  • Sports uniforms, especially tops, for spring and summer
  • Sheets and bedding

Double Knit Jersey

In addition to single-knit jerseys, double-knit jerseys are also famous for garments. You will find it in different types of garments and products because of its greater weight and firmer structure. Among them are:

  • Blazers
  • Jackets
  • Trousers
  • Polo shirts

Characteristics of Jersey Fabric

What is the feel of the jersey? What is the stretchability of jersey fabric? Does jersey fabric work well in the summer? It’s hard to forget the texture of jersey fabric once you’ve felt it.

  • Smooth – Smoothness is a characteristic of all jersey fabrics. On one side, single-knit jerseys are smooth, while on the other, they are piled. Both sides of a double-knit jersey are smooth.
  • Soft – There is nothing more comfortable than a jersey.
  • Piled on One Side – There is a pile of single-knit jerseys on one side. A sweatshirt’s inside can become fuzzy because of this.
  • Stretchy – All jersey fabrics have some stretch since they are knit fabrics. The fiber content determines the amount of stretch. Fabrics made of cotton mixed with synthetic fibers will have less stretch than those made of cotton alone. In addition, double-knit jerseys are less stretchy than standard jerseys.
  • Opaque – It is opaque to wearing jersey fabric. It is opaque, meaning that you cannot see through it. Despite this, fine fibers in a single knit jersey can let a little light in.
  • Absorbent – As a result of its high absorbency, jersey fabric is excellent for athletic wear. A fiber’s quality is also determined by its content.
  • Range of Firmness – Soft and stretchy jersey fabric provides comfort. It is better suited to structured garments since a double-knit jersey has a firmer shape than a single-knit. It is also vital to consider fiber content when determining firmness.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Jersey Fabric?

Is there anything special about jerseys? Quite a few things! However, some challenges are associated with sewing jersey fabric, and it may not be ideal for every project. Here’s what we found.

Advantages of Jersey

Here are some of the reasons people love to wear and work with jerseys:

  • Versatile – The versatility of jersey fabric is unmatched. From garments to crafts to housewares and beyond, its unique properties make it suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Soft – When Coco Chanel introduced jersey fabric to women’s fashion, she was on to something. It is so soft and comfortable to wear jersey fabric. You might wonder why you would want to remove it once it’s on.
  • Absorbent – It is highly absorbent due to the pile on the reverse side of jersey fabric (or on the inside of double knit jerseys). This is why it’s such an excellent material for sportswear and why jerseys can be recycled into cleaning rags once you’re done with them.
  • Stretchy – Jersey’s built-in stretch means that the fabric moves with you, cradling rather than restricting your body. This makes it an excellent choice for casual and athleisure wear.
  • Drapes Well – Women’s tops and dresses made from lighter-weight jerseys drape beautifully and skim the figure.
  • Wrinkle-Resistant – There are many types of jerseys that are wrinkle-resistant, especially if they are made of synthetic fibers.
  • Durable – Another reason jerseys are well suited to athletic wear is that many types of jerseys are hard-wearing.
  • Comfortable – The fact that many people wear t-shirts on weekends is no surprise, is it? A jersey is one of the few fabrics that can guarantee all-day comfort.
  • Easy to Care For – It is very easy to care for most jersey garments. They can be washed in the washing machine.

Disadvantages of Jersey

How versatile and useful is this fabric? Are there any disadvantages? It’s not many. Even so, they can have an impact on your project:

  • It Can be Tricky to Sew – The jersey fabric has stretch because it’s knit. Sewing stretchy fabrics can be challenging. Check out our tips and tricks for the best results when working with jerseys.
  • Prone to Pilling – It is possible for jerseys to develop little balls of fiber, called “pills,” as a result of abrasion. Your garment can look shabby after a while if you do this.
  • Holes, Snags, and Runs – It is also easy for a jersey to get holes, snags, and runs, which can ruin its appearance.
  • Not Ideal for All Types of Garments – It is usually more effective to wear a jersey when it drapes and skims the figure or if it allows you to move freely. For rigid clothing, double knit jersey fabric is better than single knit since it holds its shape better.

What Is The Best Way to Sew Jersey Fabric?

How easy is it to sew jersey fabric? It’s there, or so it seems. Many jersey fabrics don’t keep their shape well and can fray easily. Don’t worry, though! Jersey can be worked with by following a few tips and tricks.

  • Use a Fabric Stabilizer – Consider stabilizing lighter jersey types if you’re worried they won’t hold their shape while you sew. Spray-on fabric stabilizers are suitable for washable fabrics. Tissue paper, wash-away stabilizers, and tear-away stabilizers can also be used.
  • Choose the Right Needle – If you want any sewing project to turn out well, you need to choose the right needle. A ballpoint needle is recommended for knit fabrics such as jerseys. Knit fabrics such as jerseys are not damaged by this needle because it is comparatively blunt.
  • Use the Right Thread – A thread with a bit of stretch is necessary for stretchy fabrics. A polyester thread is used instead of cotton thread which is 100 percent cotton. Instead of puckering your jersey fabric, the polyester thread will stretch with it.
  • Sew With a Walking Foot – As layers of fabric travel through the sewing machine, the walking foot holds them in place. Stretchy fabrics, such as jerseys, can also be sewn with a walking foot. You won’t get random stretched-out spots when you sew with a walking foot since it helps your fabric move through the machine evenly.
  • Use Zigzag Stitch – Stretchy knits like jerseys can be sewn with the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. With a straight stitch, the stitches will remain straight even if the fabric stretches. Stitches may pucker or even come apart as a result of this. It is easier to keep your stitches even if you use a zigzag stitch.
  • A Twin Needle for Hems – When hemming your jersey, you can accommodate a fabric’s stretch using a twin needle. Additionally, it gives it a pretty, professional appearance.

How To Care For Jersey?

Care instructions are provided by the manufacturer with every garment or fabric. Jersey fabrics, which come in countless varieties, may require different kinds of care depending on their type.

Take note of the fiber content

Cotton jersey fabric has a higher fiber content than wool jersey fabric, while synthetics and synthetic blends have a lower fiber content. Ensure that your fabric or garment has the right fiber content before washing it.


There is a tendency for some jersey types, especially cotton, to shrink. Sewing jersey fabrics should be prewashed to ensure safety.

Machine washing

Machine washing is possible with many jersey fabrics. Care instructions should always be read before using. The jersey fabric can also be machine washed and tumble-dried in cool water if this does not work.


If you remove the jersey from the dryer right away, you don’t have to iron it because it’s wrinkle-resistant. Be sure to use the proper ironing setting for the fiber content of your fabric if you want to iron it.


The jersey is an incredibly versatile fabric with a wide range of applications. Many of our favorite garments are made from jersey, which is soft, absorbent, breathable, and stretchy.

As with most knit fabrics, the jersey is easy to care for but can be challenging to work with. A few well-planned techniques can help you overcome those challenges.

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