Jersey is one of the most commonly used fabrics on the planet. You can find it in everything from sheets to T-shirts. But did you know that this ubiquitous fabric has a long and intriguing history?
Jersey gets its name from the Channel Island of Jersey, off the coast of France. The island has been a large producer of textiles since medieval times. Medieval jersey was a much rougher material than the one we are used to. It was also made out of wool. Today jersey is usually made of cotton, though it can also be made from wool, synthetic fibers, or a blend.
Jersey evolved into the fabric we know today over many years. During the 1910s it was typically used in undergarments, and not much else.
Jersey didn’t become a fashion staple until the 1920s. In 1916 Coco Chanel began using the fabric in her fashion creations, revolutionary at the time. The trend caught on.
The industrial revolution made jersey cheap and easy to mass produce, which added to its popularity.
All these items are 100% cotton jersey.
Today’s jersey can stretch roughly 25% when moving with the grain. It’s thin enough to layer, and though people used to worry about jersey shrinking in the wash, most jersey today is washed before use, minimizing shrinking.
For all these reasons, jersey is an ideal fabric for kids clothing. So time you’re looking for something durable and comfy for your little one, keep an eye out for jersey!