All about KNITS VOL. 2
Cotton French Terry | Bamboo French Terry | PUL
At 852 Fabric we offer six types of knit fabric.
In this article, we will cover two varieties of French Terry and as a bonus PUL! If you have’t read VOL 1. of this series, we recommend you preview that before you continue here. But if you are happy to jump ahead anyway, here’s a summary of the main points about knit form Vol 1.
What is knit?
It’s a stretchy fabric used in everyday wear, sportswear, swimwear and loungewear. It can have horizontal stretch as well as vertical stretch.
Why is stretch important?
Different garments require different types of stretch and stretch percentages. You should choose the right stretch for your project. Stretch recovery is important when considering fabric choice for areas like neckbands or cuffs.
What is stretch and recovery?
The stretch is how far the fabric can extend beyond its original shape and recovery refers to whether a fabric goes back to its original shape after being stretched. Here’s how we calculate stretch percentage:
If the swatch goes back to its original measurement after stretching, we say that the fabric has ‘good’ recovery. If the swatch is permanently expanded, then we say that the fabric doesn’t have good recovery. You can see from these stretch swatches that all our samples have good recovery.
In the following section, we will look at some of our 852 Fabric knits and explain their properties and their best applications.
What is Cotton French Terry (CFT)?
Cotton French Terry has two distinct sides. The right (printed) side of the fabric is flat while wrong side (unprinted) is textured with visible loops. These loops give the fabric extra stretch. This fabric is perfect for sweatshirts, jackets, hats and trousers. It is significantly thicker than our Cotton Lycra Knit (discussed in Vol 1.) and is more of a ‘Winter weight’ fabric. Our Cotton French Terry’s composition is 95% cotton and 5% spandex and weighs 280-300gsm. This stretch percentage of this fabric is 50% horizontally and 50% vertically. Like our Cotton Lycra Knit, we recommend this fabric for beginners as it has great structure and is easy to handle.
What is Bamboo French Terry (BFT)?
Bamboo French Terry also has two distinct sides. The right (printed) side of the fabric is flat and has a silky texture. The wrong side (unprinted) is textured with visible loops. Bamboo French Terry is a drapey fabric, unlike CFT, which has no drape. Therefore, Bamboo French Terry is best suited to flowy trouser, dresses, drapey tops and loose fitting garments. It Is much softer than CFT. Many of our customers prefer the feel of this textile. However, the drape and slinky nature of the fabric can make it more challenging to work with. Bamboo French Terry is composed of 95% polyester and 5% spandex and is 280gsm. The stretch percentage is 80% horizontally and 70% vertically.
What is PUL?
PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate and like its name suggests it is composed of 100% polyester (printed side) bonded with a waterproof polyurethane on the back. The outer layer can absorb some moisture but water cannot pass through to the inner layer, and while the fabric is breathable, moisture cannot pass through the laminate layer and leak onto the outer layer. This textile is lightweight and soft and is used in water resistant jackets for children, reusable diapers and female sanitary products. It is also food safe and is often used in making reusable food/snack bags. This fabric is lightweight at only 160gsm. The horizontal stretch percentage is only 30% and the vertical stretch percentage is 0%.
Now you have learned everything you need to know to choose the best knits for your projects. Starting out with the right fabrics will make your sewing experience a lot more enjoyable and produce the best results. Feel free to comment below with any questions or if you need advice about a specific fabric base or project.
** Note about these stretch percentages **
These measurements are a guide to better understand our products and help you select products for your projects.
At 852 Fabric we pride ourselves in providing high quality fabrics and printing consistently, batch to batch. You may notice that some of our gsm values occur as ranges. This is because fibers, particularly natural fibers, can vary slightly during the production process. This can therefore also affect stretch percentage calculations.
In addition, how you hold and stretch a fabric will also yield different values for measurement. As such, you should note that the values we have calculated in this article are our best measurements with these samples and the way we chose to stretch. For exact measurement, you should conduct your own stretch tests with each textile you plan to use.