This is a question we get A LOT! We wanted to clear the air and explain with some visuals!
Before we begin, we want to touch on the term “Cotton lycra” or “CL”. Cotton lycra (also known as spandex, lycra is a brand name of spandex), is the CONTENT of the fabric. Jersey, interlock & french terry is the TYPE of knit. When purchasing fabric, it is so important to have all of these details.
The fabrics shown here are all 92% cotton 8% spandex, but they are very different types.
Jersey knit is typically what is used for t-shirts, even if it is 100% cotton. It naturally has the most stretch out of the 3. The addition of spandex makes it even stretchier and make it recover better. Jersey has the best drape of the three. It is also the most versatile, and can be used for virtually anything. It has a wrong side and a right side.
Interlock is often referred to as a double knit, as it doesn’t have right and wrong side. It is thicker, and naturally has only 2-way stretch. The addition of spandex does give it a bit more stretch, in this case giving it 4-way stretch. It is a very stable knit, making it great for beginners. It can be used for tops, pants, dresses and children/baby wear.
French Terry is easy to identify as it has a looped back. It naturally has 2-way stretch, and the addition of spandex gives it decent 4-way stretch. It is great for pants, joggers, sweaters, tops and beanies.