Jersey fabric, or knit fabric, is knitted rather than woven, with the right side shown as knit stitches (chevrons) and the wrong side as purls (bumps). Many jersey fabrics for dressmaking have added spandex/elastance which gives excellent stretch and recovery. Jersey fabric can vary in weight and composition. Viscose and polyester blend jerseys are often softer and have more drape, whereas cotton jerseys are like t-shirt fabric and can be more stable.
Jersey fabric is comfortable and warm to wear. Designs can be knitted into the pattern or printed on the surface. Dressmaking patterns often state the required percentage stretch and can specify 2-way or 4-way stretch. 2-way stretch jersey only stretches across the fabric, and 4-way stretch jersey also stretches along the length of the fabric. When cutting out dressmaking patterns take care to ensure the stretch runs around the body. Garments such as leggings require a 4-way stretch jersey.
It should be sewn using a ballpoint or stretch needle and a stretch stitch on your sewing machine. Jersey should be pre-washed to remove any shrinkage.
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