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Jersey Knit Fabric: A Single Knit Fabric for Apparel Making

May 09, 2024
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Jersey knit fabric has just stepped into the comfortable and complimentary fabric zone. They are available in hundreds of patterns and colors. Looking for this fabric for sewing purposes? That would be a great decision indeed. 

The fabric has a knitted look on the front side. It has a flat or even look on the backside. A bit of curling happens toward the front face at the edges. They are available in different ranges of weights depending on the fiber makeup.


Jersey knit fabric refers to the single-knit fabric. It is mainly made of cotton. It is stretchy and soft. Jersey knit distinctly goes through the knitting process. The process reflects that there is natural elasticity. This elasticity does not include any elastane-like stretch fibers. 

Jersey knit comes with two sides. They are the Face Side and the Back Side. The fabric has visible flat lines. These lines remain vertically on the front side. There are the dominant horizontal ribs on the backside. 

Fiber Requirement for Jersey Knit Fabric

Natural and synthetic fibers contribute to the making of Jersey knit fabric. is a single-yarn knit fabric. Single-yarn knit requires the keeping of looping fibers together. The required materials of this fabric are polyester, cotton, wool, silk, and rayon. Also, there are the blends that make the fabric. The front and back sides of the fabric are easy to identify and differentiate. 

The front part of the fabric usually has loops. These loops look like ‘knit’ in the process of knitting. The back part is a flat surface. Also, it looks like purl in knitting. Jersey knits tend to curl. They curl on the edges and toward the face. 

Manufacturing Process

In the making of Jersey Knit, knit and purl stitches are important. These stitches are put together to be used in a single needle. The fabric is a plain knit in nature. The face and back side make the fabric easy to distinguish. The fabric is a single-knit jersey. It is suitable for double-knitting as well.

Double knitting creates a heavier look. There is the knitting of two single jerseys. Single-knit jerseys or Jersey Knits use one set of needles. These needles appear smooth. They are flat on the front. There are loops on the back face.

Identifying Jersey Knit Fabric Surface

Jersey knit fabric is springy. It is stretchy as well. These features make the fabric ideal for slips and undergarments. For ordinary loungewear, the fabric sets itself as an ideal matter. It feels light in weight. Mainly a single knitted jersey tends to have less stretch. The fabric has a good amount of drape ability. Jersey comes as an excellent fabric. 

Varieties of Jersey Knit Fabric

Jersey knit is a single-type jersey knit. It offers a couple of variations. One of the regular types is the Cotton Jersey Knit. Let’s hear what this type all belongs to: 

  • Cotton Jersey Knit: Cotton jersey, t-shirt material, stretch knit all these names belong to a cotton jersey knit. In this fabric making, only a single thread comes in great use.

This thread loops over itself and ends up having a natural elasticity. Synthetic polymer like elastane enhances the addition of this cotton jersey. The stretchability depends on the elastane amount. The elastane gets spun into the material.

In this fabric, there can be both 4-6% and 10% of elastane content. The benefits are that the material is comfortably stretched to fit. This fabric is used for leggings, activewear, fitting dresses, and bodysuits. Cotton Jersey has a good amount of drape. It feels soft even when being printed.

Jersey knit fabrics offer 5 new variations. They are:

  1. Single Jersey Knits: Single jersey knits are tricots in another name. It is woven. The fabric only uses a single needle set. With front and back sides, the fabric involves a 4-ways stretch. 

Stretchability is good because there is elastane in the material. Elastane gets added up during the weaving process. Elastane not only increases the stretchability, but also enhances the elasticity and bi-elastic particles. 

This type of jersey knit has uses in making leggings, and t-shirts. The fabric is extremely breathable. It is long-lasting and comfortable.

  1. Double Jersey Knits: This type of fabric requires 2 needle sets during the knitting process. It is also known as the Ponte di Roma fabric. Double jersey has always been reversible. There are double faces and reverses. The fabric is stable. It stretches in only a single direction. The application areas are suits, jackets, making of cardigans, leggings, tops, dresses, etc.
  2. Stretch Jersey Knits:  This stretchable fabric is opaque. Even at the time of getting stretched. Elastane is the core material that enhances its stretchability. Sportswear is the only application where this jersey knit type does well. Besides, the fabric has increasing uses in t-shirts and sweatpants.
  3. Interlock Jersey Knits: The fabric is fine at stitching. A double fabric nature it consists of. It means the fabric has knit-like stitching. The features of the fabric are that the fabric does not curl. It is stronger and easy to use. Interlock jersey has applications in sportswear, polo shirts, dresses, tops, etc.
  4. Jacquard Jersey Knits: This fabric is double-faced. It helps to create newer patterns. Also, there are jacquard designs. These designs are available in stitched versions. It happens while making the  fabric. The detailed design, work, and stitch make the fabric excellent for use. These fabrics have excellent uses in apparel. 

Properties of Jersey Knit Fabric

Fabric Known AsFlat knit fabric, Plain Jersey Fabric
Fabric CompositionCotton, Elastane (Mostly)
Fabric Wrinkle Resistance AbilityHardly Wrinkles Easily
Fabric GSM 150-200 or 140-220 GSM (Cotton Jersey knit Fabric )
Fabric BreathabilityHigh
Fabric Moisture-Wicking AbilityHigh
Fabric Curling Ability At the EdgesHigh 
Washing ProcedureMachine wash and Hand wash
Used inBedding, and Garments largely 

Characteristics of Jersey Knit Fabric

Jersey knits come in basic, plain forms. They come sometimes in printed forms to keep your style. From being a casual sewing project to being comfortable to wear, the fabric has been an everyday favorite for all. Here are some features that make the fabric a durable one: 

  • Wrinkle-Resistance Ability: Jersey knit fabric hardly wrinkles. It happens due to the stretch features that keep the fabric in its shape. Cotton jersey knits have exceptional flexibility. It does not show creases. The wrinkle resistance depends on the stretch as the stretch keeps its shape. 
  • Stretchability: This fabric is not stretchy. The fabric can be stretchy if there is spandex added. Some jersey knits come in the 4-way stretch. Here, 4-way means the elasticity of cross-grain and with-grain.
  • Distinct Face and Back Side: Some of the jersey knit types come in different faces and back sides. A few types come in an even look. The usual feature of the face and back faces of the fabric is either flat or looped. 
  • Edges Being Curled Up: If the fabric gets pulled, it curls up on the edge side. Not all types of jersey knit curls up. But Jersey knit, as the common type, curls up at the edges.
  • Color Availability: Jersey knit has a weft knitting process. It consists of plain jersey courses. The fabric is available in around 50+ color varieties. Not only colors, this fabric is available in patterns and prints. Screen print goes well for this fabric. 
  • Surface: The fabric has a uniform surface with non-patterned features. Here, all the stitches have identical sizes as well as configurations. The back and front surfaces tend to be different and distinct. 
  • Versatility: Jersey knits are unique because they come in great use for creating numerous designs. Also, the versatility of the fabric depends on its use in different seasons. 

Jersey Knit Fabric Application

Jersey knit comes into use for making cotton tee shirts, bedding, and bed sheets. Sheets, which are made from Jersey knit, tend to be stretchy, soft, and wrinkle-free. Jersey was related to underwear making. 

So far, the application area of this fabric has been:

  • Bedding
  • Apparel: Tee-Shirts, dresses, draped garments, skirts, tops, undergarments, casual dresses, tops.
  • Home Decor

Jersey Knit Fabric Care

Jersey knit requires low maintenance. Taking care of this fabric requires:

  • Pre-washing is advice to care for the material. It ensures the shrinkage rate.
  • Tends to shrink
  • Cold water washing.
  • Hand washing is also preferred. 
  • Air or tumble dry.
  • The setting has to be low. 
  • To avoid shrinkage, cold washing comes in great use.
  • Cotton Jersey requires spot cleaning.
  • It also requires machine wash. 
  • Also, Cotton Made Jersey releases odors.


What is a Cotton Spandex Jersey Knit Fabric?

Cotton Spandex Jersey knit has 95% cotton and 5% spandex as materials. The fabric weighs around 200 GSM. It tends to be west knit, super soft, and wrinkle-free. The main applications of this fabric are t-shirts, sportswear, and swimwear.

Is Jersey a Plain Knit Fabric? 

Jersey knit fabric has another name. It is a plain knit fabric. Because there is the use of a plain stitch. This fabric is made using two sets of needles. In that case, the fabric will be known as Double Jersey Knits. These are more stable. Plain knit fabric is great to sew with.

Is Jersey Knit favored for Sewing Projects?

Jersey nit fabric is perfect for sewing projects. T-shirts, dresses, skirts, leggings, all these items are possible for this fabric and its features. Finding a suitable needle, and stretch stitch, all have to be undertaken to complete a successful sewing project. 

Can Jersey knit fabric be 100% Cotton-made?

Jersey knit is not always a 100% cotton-made fabric. Synthetic blends like elastane can be a core material to enhance the stretch of the fabric. Besides, the fabric, blended with synthetic, does not feature good breathability.

Is Jersey Knit Fabric a Summer-Friendly Product?

Jersey knit, made of synthetic and natural fiber blend, may be to some extent, breathable. Synthetic fibers reduce the chance of the fabric’s moisture-wicking ability. Besides, the fabric is not suitable for summer if it has synthetic fibers in it. Cotton jersey knits are good for summer.

How to identify Jersey Knits?

The identification of Jersey knits is possible by looking at their features. For instance, the fabric is thin and lightweight. It is stretchy if there is a synthetic fiber element. The fabric feels smooth, flowing, and soft in terms of touch. Besides, jersey knits are one of the popular fabrics. They are popular for making casual wear, t-shirts, and dresses. 

How good is Jersey Knit for Winter?

Jersey knit fabrics are good for the winter season. Because, the fabric is warm, even if it is cotton-made. The fabric feels soft against the skin. The extra layer of warmth is there in the fabric that makes it suitable for winter.

How to differentiate between Jersey Knit and Regular Knit?

The application area is the most defined differentiator here. The normal knit has a stockinette stitch. This knitting is suitable for making hats, mittens, and sweaters. 

Meanwhile, jersey knits are single-knit fabric. They are suitable for making bedding, and garments. The fabric can be both summer and winter-friendly. It depends on the materials added to the fabric.

Is there any tendency for Jersey Knit fabrics to shrink?

Not all jersey knits shrink. But some of them shrink after the procedure of washing and drying. Cotton-made jersey knits shrink a bit. But it is possible to avoid shrinkage. All you need is to follow the care label of the product. 

Final Words

Jersey knit fabric is not a unique fabric in the market. Jersey knit can be both single and double jersey. The fabric is basic and weft-knitted. The knitting process happens with a single row of needles. It belongs to the making of single jersey knits. 

The front and back sides are there in the jersey knit. The front and back faces can be different or the same depending on the stitch and fabric type. Single Jersey Knits are mostly manufactured using a circular knitting machine. The fabric is soft, and stretchy by adding up to elastane. 

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