What is jersey knit? Jersey knit is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable types of fabrics out there. However, while this comfortable cloth might be different from other knit fabric types, this doesn’t mean it’s less wearable. With that said, in this article, you’ll learn more about the answer to “what is jersey knit” and other helpful information about this fabric – from its origins to uses.
What is Jersey Knit
Jersey knit is a soft knitted fabric produced using a single knit technique. This single knit produces a fabric that will stretch without the addition of fibers such as elastane or Lycra. Cotton jersey knit is commonly used to make t-shirts and bedding sheets.
What Is Jersey Knit? — History
Before diving into the details of the answer to “what is jersey knit,” let’s take a closer look at its history first.
The jersey knit fabric originates from the Jersey Isle, located between France and Britain. This is also where the sheep of Jersey were bred to produce high-quality wool, which is then used to create the jersey knit. Both men and women loved the thick and heavy yet still gentle and soft sweaters produced from jersey fabric. In addition, this fabric was also used to produce comfortable undergarments designed to keep people warm.
However, it was Coco Chanel who optimized the use of jersey fabric to publicize her awe-inspiring jersey coat, boosting the fabric’s popularity among the people. In fact, many women became fascinated with how smooth and comfortable the jersey clothes felt.
As a result, these designer attires rose to popularity over time, not just in the Jersey Isle but also worldwide. In fact, nowadays, men and women can quickly look for different kinds of jersey knit fabrics in boutiques, department stores, and online shops.
A cotton jersey knit shirt can also be the perfect way to keep cool and comfortable all day when running errands. Lastly, if you have sensitive skin that’s easily irritated with more abrasive fabrics, clothes made from jersey knit fabric can be the ideal option for you.
In addition, silk, rayon, and cotton are some of the fabric types you can choose from when purchasing jersey knit. Moreover, this knit fabric has evolved over time, ranging from heavy to medium-weight to lightweight, depending on the material utilized to manufacture it.
Overall, jersey knit was initially made from wool, but the materials used to create this comfortable fabric have changed over time. Despite this, it has retained its comfortable and lightweight nature, making it perfect for different types of apparel.
In fact, its versatile nature made it incredibly popular for clothing, especially after well-known international designer Coco Chanel introduced it to the public in 1916. Since then, jersey knit has enjoyed a highly regarded status on a global scale.
What Is Jersey Knit? — Characteristics
To understand better the question “what is jersey knit,” let’s discuss some of its characteristics. Overall, a jersey knits qualities are often dependent on the types of fibers used to create it.
For example, cotton jersey knit has different attributes to wool and silk. With that said, all jersey knit types share some characteristics and properties. Some of these include the following:
- Versatility - One of the jersey knit’s defining characteristics is its high level of versatility. In fact, it can be utilized to make dresses, coats, turtle necks, cardigans, as well as t-shirts and undergarments.
- Draping - Aside from this, jersey knits that use thinner materials also offer superior fabric drape. This is because they tend to curl at their edges naturally. On the other hand, heavier knit fabrics are more challenging to drape yet offer more durability.
- Durability - Another answer to “what is jersey knit” is that it’s a highly durable fabric that’s resistant to tearing. So, regardless of how thin the knit is, jersey knit fabric is tough to destroy. In fact, it can even withstand the pressure inside a washing machine and endure constant ironing. Moreover, no matter how long you sit on it or crumple it, it returns to its original appearance and shape without noticeable creases.
- Elasticity - Most jersey knit fabrics are highly elastic, but this typically depends on the fiber and knit used to create the fabric. In general, single knitted fabrics are more elastic. Moreover, it becomes increasingly elastic when the manufacturer also includes spandex or Lycra. Nevertheless, most jersey knit fabrics are incredibly soft and smooth to touch.
What Is Jersey Knit— Types of Materials
Now that you know its characteristics, let’s discuss the types of materials used for this to understand the question “what is jersey knit” better.
Overall, different types of fibers can be utilized to create high-quality jersey knit attires. As a result, jersey-knit attires are considered very practical and versatile as they are comfortably worn on various occasions.
With that said, here are some of the different types of materials used to create jersey knits.
Cotton Jersey Knit
Jersey knit fabrics are primarily created from cotton blends or cotton fibers. Because of this, they are often very soft to the skin and can be heavyweight.
Cotton jersey knit clothes are typically used for kids’ wear and shirts because they are breathable. Moreover, people also use cotton knits to create straight skirts, dresses, and pants because they have a more structured appearance and better stability.
Lastly, people fond of wearing fabric types with a bit of stretch on them often choose ones that combine spandex or Lycra and cotton. In fact, these are often utilized to create socks, tights, and leggings.
Knitted Silk Jersey Knit
A knitted silk jersey is the type of knitted jersey that’s very soft and smooth and has an expensive-looking sheen. Moreover, silk jerseys are ideal for curtains since it offers a smoother movement.
In addition, this type of jersey knit is generally used for creating wraps, lingerie, blouses, and dresses. Silk knits can also be used to create smocked designs since they offer plenty of movement. Moreover, when people wear silk fabrics, their body temperature can be regulated. This means that these fabrics can keep them warm during winter and cool during summer.
Nevertheless, if they need more stretchability, they can purchase knitted silk jerseys that combine Lycra or spandex and silk. However, this kind of fabric tends to be more expensive compared to other types of jersey knits. Still, the quality it offers is often worth the extra cost.
Wool Jersey Knit
This type of jersey knit is considered medium to heavyweight. In fact, its weight makes it ideal for winter and fall. You can use it to create various kinds of winter apparel, as wool jersey knits are typically warm and soft.
However, natural wool can be costly, so manufacturers often mix wool blends to increase the output’s versatility.
In addition, wool knit fabrics can also be used to create dresses, jackets, ponchos, coats, sweaters, and cardigans. Moreover, wool mixed with spandex and Lycra is more stretchable, making this fabric type more applicable for tighter and more fitting clothes.
Viscose or Rayon Jersey Knit
This type of jersey knit is very smooth and offers the perfect drape. Because of this, it can be utilized to create figure-hugging dresses. So, if you are fond of wearing knit dresses that follow your body’s natural form, clothes made from viscose or rayon jersey knit are for you.
Moreover, combining spandex or Lycra with rayon adds some stretch to the material and increases its practicality and versatility. Overall, viscose or rayon jersey knit is perfect for leisurewear, skirts, blouses, tops, and summer dresses.
What is Jersey Knit? — Which One to Choose?
To know what looks best and fits comfortably on your body, you should think about the styles you like to wear. For example, if you prefer tops or dresses, it’s best to purchase jersey knit clothes that are more lightweight.
Some examples of those lightweight knits are rayon and silk. In contrast, wool is heavier than other knitted jerseys and ideal for warm jackets and coats. In addition, you can also purchase a fabric that integrates spandex and Lycra if you want some stretch.
On the other hand, if you find stretchy clothing less comfortable, you can opt for natural fibers. This is because most unprocessed fibers do not stretch a lot.
Aside from this, jersey knits come in different patterns and dyes. So, you will undoubtedly see something that suits your tastes and preferences. For example, if you want a more structured look, you may go for solid colors for your jersey knit.
Likewise, suppose you want a more vibrant look. In that case, you can always choose among the various floral patterns, polka dots, animal prints, and paisley prints available for this fabric.
Lastly, you should always make sure to wash and dry-clean this type of fabric before starting the sewing process because it might shrink.
What Is Jersey Knit - In Conclusion
So, what is jersey knit? To sum it up, there are four types of jersey knit. These are knitted silk jerseys, wool jersey knit, viscose or rayon jersey knit, and cotton.
All of them are classified through their four characteristics such as their versatility, draping, durability, and elasticity. Then, depending on their characteristics, they can be utilized to create various apparel, such as dresses, coats, cardigans, shirts, blouses, lingerie, warm jackets, and socks.
Of course, while some types are ideal for the winter and fall season, other types are perfect for summer and spring. Because of this, the perfect jersey knit for you is undoubtedly out there.