Jersey is a type of clothing woven out of natural (wool and cotton) or synthetic fibers. These are machine knitted and broadly classified as Single, Double, Interlock, Clocqué and Jacquard jerseys based on the technique used in knitting. Each of these has a variable stretch with single Jersey being the most stretchable as it is woven from one layer of fabric.
The name Jersey comes from a place by the same name in Channel Islands (California), which was a major producer and exporter of quality knitted goods made from wool. Earlier, wool was the fiber of choice for knitting jerseys.
The use of Jersey as a fabric was originally limited to men’s undergarments and sportswear, but it was Coco Chanel (yes, the brand Chanel is her legacy) who saw huge untapped potential in the use of this fabric and transformed the way women dressed. Jersey as a fabric in its present form is this lady’s gift to fashion.
The uniqueness of Jersey lies in its stretch. In Sportswear, Jersey was the fabric of choice and that’s where the name for football jerseys and baseball jerseys comes from. Over the years, fabrics used in manufacturing sportswear changed but the name stuck.
Jerseys were initially pullovers with a closed front but today its use in fashioning a complete range of casual and formal clothing styles for men and women is widespread. Right from maxi dresses, skirts, prom dresses, cocktail dresses and bridesmaid dresses Jersey has also made its way into men’s and women’s formal clothing lines.