Jersey is the generic term applied to all types of weft-knitted fabric. It was originally manufactured from wool, but is now made of wool, cotton and synthetic fibres. The term ‘jersey’ is derived from the name of the Channel Island that lies between Britain and France, where thick weft-knitted fabrics were originally hand-knitted for fisherman’s sweaters.
There are two categories of machine-knitted jerseys: single jerseys and double jerseys. Single jersey is a single layer of fabric knitted with one set of needles on a single needle bed of a weft knitting machine. Double jersey is a term that is applied to a range of weft-knitted fabrics that are knitted with two sets of needles on a weft-knitting machine with two needle beds.
Properties and qualities
Single jersey is lightweight and stretchy, whilst double jersey is heavier and less elastic. Both are warm and insulating and so used in the manufacture of bedding and clothing.
How does it feel?
Jersey tends to feel soft.
Care instructions for jersey can vary depending on whether it is made from natural or synthetic fibres. Generally though, jersey can be machine washed in warm water with similar colours and tumble dried on a medium setting. Bright colours are likely to stay brighter longer if they are washed on a cold setting and dried on low. For best results, refer to the care instructions on your jersey product.