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How is Jersey Made?

April 12, 2010

Jersey, one of the most common fabrics used in Chanel clothing, is a knit textile made from cotton.  This fabric is known for being warm, flexible, stretchy, and insulating.  For these reasons, it was the perfect material to use in her early designs when women needed warm clothing to wear while working in industrial jobs due to the war.

To make this fabric, one would use a knitting machine in order to create the stitches needed.  When properly made, jersey fabric is made of small, even, close grained stitches.  Many individuals do not realize that like most fabrics, jersey has a right and a wrong side.  To the untrained eye, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two sides. To decide which side should be facing outward on a piece of clothing, look for the side of the material that has a series of small vertical lines. The other side will have a horizontal grain. Only when a designer is attempting to make a stylistic statement will they place the side with the horizontal grain facing outwards.

Cotton Jersey

Spandex Jersey

Jersey fabric can stretch up to 25%, which allows those wearing it to move freely and comfortably.  In addition, jersey can also contract allowing it to not only stretch away from but also cling to the body.  Chanel believed these characteristics were optimal for designing her dresses.  Especially because jersey can be made in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Printed Jersey

Jersey is also a fairly easy fabric for individuals to wash and care for.  In general, jersey can be washed in warm water with like colors and even tumble dried.  However, bright colors will stay brighter longer if they are washed on a cold setting and dried on low.  The only caution is that the fabric, depending on the color and how many times it has been previously washed, may bleed slightly.

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