French terry fabric is a type of knit fabric that is characterized by its soft, absorbent surface and looped pile on one side. It is often made from a blend of natural fibers like cotton and synthetic fibers like polyester and spandex, which give it a comfortable stretch.
French terry is a popular choice for garments like sweatshirts, leggings, and loungewear because of its comfortable, casual look and feel. Understanding shrinkage is important in fabric selection because it can affect the fit and appearance of a garment.
If a fabric shrinks significantly after it is sewn into a garment, it can result in a poor fit or distorted shape. Knowing how much fabric is likely to shrink can help you make informed decisions about which fabrics to use for your projects and how to care for them properly.
What is French Terry Fabric?
French terry fabric is made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibers, typically including cotton, polyester, and spandex. The fibers are knit together to form a soft, stretchy fabric with a looped pile on one side and a smooth surface on the other.
The looped pile gives the fabric a textured, absorbent surface that is ideal for use in garments like sweatshirts and loungewear.
French terry fabric has a number of characteristics and properties that make it a popular choice for garments. It is known for its soft, comfortable feel and its stretchy, flexible nature.
It is also absorbent and moisture-wicking, making it a good choice for active wear or garments that may be worn in hot or humid conditions.
In addition, French terry is relatively easy to care for and maintain, as it can be machine washed and dried on low heat. Overall, French terry is a versatile and comfortable fabric that is well-suited for a wide range of garment applications.
Does French Terry Shrink?
French terry fabric may shrink to some extent after it is washed and dried. The amount of shrinkage can depend on a number of factors, including the blend of fibers used in the fabric, the type of knit construction, and the care instructions.
One factor that can affect shrinkage in French terry is the fiber content. Natural fibers like cotton are more prone to shrinkage than synthetic fibers like polyester, so a fabric that contains a high percentage of natural fibers may shrink more than one with a higher percentage of synthetic fibers. The type of knit construction can also affect shrinkage.
Some types of knit fabrics, like jersey or interlock, may shrink less than others, like rib or cable knit. There have been some test results and anecdotal evidence suggesting that French terry fabric may shrink somewhat after it is washed and dried.
However, it is difficult to predict the exact amount of shrinkage that may occur, as it can vary widely depending on the specific fabric and the care instructions.
Some people have reported minimal shrinkage in French terry, while others have experienced more significant shrinkage. In general, it is best to assume that French terry may shrink to some extent and to take steps to prevent or minimize shrinkage if desired.
How to Prevent Shrinkage in French Terry
There are a few steps you can take to prevent or minimize shrinkage in French terry fabric. Here are three options:
Pre-wash the Fabric
One of the most effective ways to prevent shrinkage in French terry (or any fabric) is to pre-wash it before sewing it. This allows the fabric to shrink before it is sewn into a garment, which can help ensure that the finished garment fits as expected. To pre-wash French terry, simply wash and dry it according to the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Use Fabric Sizing or Spray Starch
Applying a fabric sizing product or spray starch to the fabric before cutting and sewing can help stabilize the fabric and prevent it from shifting or distorting. These products can help keep the fabric on grain and minimize shrinkage.
Stabilize the Fabric With Interfacing
Interfacing is a type of fabric used to add structure and stability to a garment. It can be used on the wrong side of French terry fabric to help prevent shrinkage and keep the fabric on grain.
You can use fusible interfacing, which is applied with an iron, or sew-in interfacing, which is sewn onto the fabric.
By following these steps, you can help prevent or minimize shrinkage in French terry fabric and ensure that your garments fit and look their best.
Key Properties of French Terry Fabric
Here is a table summarizing some key points about French terry fabric:
|Typically a blend of natural fibers like cotton and synthetic fibers like polyester and spandex
|Loop pile on one side, smooth surface on the other
|Soft, comfortable, stretchy, absorbent, moisture-wicking
|Suitable for a wide range of garments, including sweatshirts, leggings, and lounge wear
|Machine wash and dry on low heat
|May shrink to some extent after washing and drying, depending on factors like fiber content, knit construction, and care instructions
Yes, French terry fabric can be used for dressmaking. It is a versatile fabric that can be used to make a wide range of garments, including dresses, skirts, skirts, and more. French terry is known for its soft, comfortable feel and its stretchy, flexible nature, which makes it well-suited for garments that need to move and stretch with the body.
Yes, French terry fabric can be suitable for summer wear, depending on the specific garment and the conditions in which it will be worn. French terry is known for its absorbent and moisture-wicking properties, which can make it a good choice for hot or humid conditions. However, it may be too heavy or thick for some summer weather, depending on the weight and construction of the fabric.
Yes, French terry fabric can generally be machine washed and dried. It is a relatively easy-care fabric that can be laundered in a standard washing machine and dried in a low-heat setting. However, it is always a good idea to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before washing and drying French terry fabric to ensure that you are using the best method for the specific fabric.
Yes, French terry fabric can be ironed. It is a relatively easy-care fabric that can be pressed with a steam iron on a low-heat setting. To iron French terry, place the fabric on an ironing board, mist it with water, and press it gently with the iron. Be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric and avoid scorching.
Yes, French terry fabric can be used for outerwear. It is a relatively heavy and substantial fabric that can provide some warmth and protection from the elements. French terry is often used to make sweatshirts, jackets, and other outerwear garments. However, it may not be suitable for extremely cold or wet weather, depending on the weight and construction of the fabric.
French terry is a popular and versatile fabric that is well-suited for a wide range of garment applications. It is known for its soft, comfortable feel and its stretchy, flexible nature, as well as its absorbent and moisture-wicking properties.
However, French terry may shrink to some extent after it is washed and dried, depending on factors like the fiber content, knit construction, and care instructions.
Understanding shrinkage is important in fabric selection and garment care because it can affect the fit and appearance of a garment.
By taking steps to prevent or minimize shrinkage, such as pre-washing the fabric, using fabric sizing or spray starch, or stabilizing the fabric with interfacing, you can help ensure that your garments fit and look their best.
Overall, understanding shrinkage is a key factor in successful sewing and garment care, and it is important to consider it when choosing fabrics and caring for your garments.