French terry is a soft, comfortable and breathable textile that is used for a variety of apparel items, from sweatshirts and hoodies to pants and shorts. This versatile fabric has a long and interesting history that spans over a century. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of French terry as an apparel textile.

What is French Terry?

French terry is a type of knit fabric that is similar to jersey fabric. It is typically made from cotton or a cotton-polyester blend and is characterized by its loops and soft texture on the inside of the fabric. The loops give the fabric its distinctive texture, making it both breathable and moisture-wicking.

The History of French Terry

The origins of French terry can be traced back to the late 19th century. In the early 1900s, the textile industry in France began to experiment with new knitting techniques, which led to the creation of a new type of fabric. This new fabric had loops on the inside, giving it a soft and comfortable texture.

At the time, the fabric was primarily used for sportswear, such as tennis and golf clothes. It was popular because of its moisture-wicking properties, which made it perfect for outdoor activities.

During the 1920s, the popularity of French terry grew, and it began to be used for a wider range of apparel items, such as sweatshirts, shorts, and pants. By the 1930s, French terry had become a staple textile in the fashion industry, particularly for sportswear and loungewear.

In the 1950s, French terry became even more popular as the demand for comfortable, casual clothing increased. At the time, leisurewear was becoming more mainstream, and French terry was the perfect fabric for this type of clothing.

In the 1970s, French terry became popular for a new reason – the rise of hip-hop culture. French terry sweatshirts and hoodies became a symbol of the hip-hop movement, and they were often worn with baggy jeans and sneakers.

Since then, French terry has remained a popular textile for a wide range of apparel items. It’s comfortable, soft, and versatile, making it perfect for both sportswear and casual clothing.

How is French Terry Made?

French terry is made using a circular knitting machine. The fabric is knit in a way that creates loops on the inside of the fabric, which gives it its distinctive texture. The fabric is then cut and sewn into various apparel items, such as sweatshirts and pants.

The loops on the inside of French terry fabric serve two purposes. First, they make the fabric breathable and moisture-wicking, which is perfect for sportswear. Second, the loops create a soft and comfortable texture on the inside of the fabric, which makes it perfect for loungewear.

French Terry Today

Today, French terry remains a popular textile for a wide range of apparel items. It’s commonly used for sportswear, such as sweatshirts and hoodies, as well as casual clothing, such as joggers and shorts.

One of the reasons why French terry remains so popular is its versatility. It’s comfortable, soft, and breathable, which makes it perfect for a wide range of activities. Whether you’re hitting the gym, running errands, or lounging at home, French terry is the perfect fabric for comfortable and stylish clothing.

Another reason why French terry is so popular is its durability. It’s a tough and long-lasting fabric that can withstand regular wear and tear. This makes it a great choice for clothing that will be worn frequently.

Finally, French terry is a sustainable textile choice. It’s made from natural materials, such as cotton, which are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Additionally, many clothing brands are now using organic cotton in their French terry products, which is even better for the environment.

How to Care for French Terry Clothing

To keep your French terry clothing looking and feeling great, it’s important to care for it properly. Here are a few tips:

  1. Wash in Cold Water: To prevent shrinking and color fading, wash your French terry clothing in cold water.
  2. Use a Gentle Detergent: Use a gentle detergent that is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances. This will help to preserve the quality of the fabric.
  3. Avoid Bleach: Do not use bleach on your French terry clothing. Bleach can damage the fabric and cause it to fade.
  4. Tumble Dry on Low Heat: To prevent shrinkage, tumble dry your French terry clothing on low heat. You can also hang dry it if you prefer.
  5. Store Properly: When storing your French terry clothing, make sure it’s clean and dry. Store it in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup and mildew.


French terry is a comfortable and versatile textile that has a long and interesting history. It’s been used for over a century, primarily for sportswear and casual clothing. Today, it remains a popular choice for a wide range of apparel items, from sweatshirts and hoodies to pants and shorts. French terry is comfortable, durable, and sustainable, making it the perfect fabric for clothing that will be worn frequently. By properly caring for your French terry clothing, you can ensure that it will look and feel great for years to come.