French Terry Loopback: The perfect sweatshirt fabric

SANVT Journal

The name French Terry may have been heard by most people as the term itself is fairly well known when it comes to materials, especially when it comes to classic sportswear. But what exactly is French Terry fabric? Where does it come from, what is it used for and what are its advantages?

The origins: Terry Cloth

Before the French Terry fabric we know today was invented, there was already the Terry Cloth. Terry Cloth is knitted on a loop with two single sets of warp threads, with one set of threads having a very loose tension. This type of knitting gives the fabric its characteristic thread loops. In typical Terry Cloth, there are loops on both sides of the fabric, which gives the material excellent absorbency. This is why the classic Terry Cloth material is known from cloths, towels or other fabrics that are specially made for their absorbency and moisture wicking.

The French Terry of the SANVT Sweatshirt is made of 100% premium cotton

Classic Sportswear: The beginning of French Terry

French Terry, when used in clothing, looks a bit different. Often you can’t even tell from the outside that a garment is even French Terry because the characteristics of the original Terry Cloth (the loosely woven thread loops) are only found on one side of the material: the inside of the fabric. This is the reason why classic French Terry fabric is also often referred to as “Loopback”. The result is a fabric that is smooth and jersey-like on the outside and soft on the inside. These are the perfect conditions to use the fabric for sportswear, because the inner material absorbs sweat effectively and still remains breathable. And because it keeps you warm, it’s also perfect for comfortable loungewear too. The fabric is generally known from sweatshirts, hoodies, jogging pants, or even bathrobes.

Cotton vs. Polyester blends

Now we know how the material is woven and its benefits. But which material is best suited to produce the French Terry fabric for a Sweatshirt or Hoodie? Nowadays, French Terry fabric is available in many possible variations; cotton, synthetic fabrics such as polyester or a mixture of the two. Sometimes a little lycra is added to make the fabric more elastic.

We recommend using 100% cotton because cotton is far more breathable than polyester and because pure cotton is more sustainable because it can be recycled significantly better. Tip: if you are interested in sustainability, this article on sustainable fashion might be perfect for you.

Cotton, however, has another advantage when it comes to clean and care…

Care and cleaning of French Terry Cotton

French Terry is an easy-care fabric and requires no dry cleaning. It is machine washable – and if the French Terry clothing is 100% cotton, the odours are easily released in the laundry. As a result, clothing made from French Terry cotton does not smell after drying, as is often the case with synthetic fabrics.

Why does French Terry hardly wrinkle?

French Terry fabrics do not crease so easily because it is a knitted fabric with natural stretch.

How should I wash my French Terry garments?

In general, French Terry – as already mentioned – is considered to be ultra-light and can be washed in the washing machine without any problems. For the sake of environmental protection, less is more: i.e. only wash if really necessary and then at low temperatures. When it comes to drying, French Terry clothing should ideally be air dried – this not only protects the fabric but also saves energy. As a rule, however, almost all French Terry products can be washed at up to 40 degrees without any problems and are even suitable for tumble drying.

The diagonal knit of the SANVT loopback ensures improved breathability and longevity 

We hope you’ve now gained a good overview of what French Terry is, where he comes from, what makes him special and how best to take care of a French Terry garment. Since the typical French Terry garments are timeless, we advise you to pay attention to good quality. Our Sweatshirts and Hoodies are handmade from the finest combed 100% cotton. In addition, we have worked for 2 years to develop an even better loopback material to achieve a higher degree of softness. And our knitted inner side of the fabric also leads to an improved durability and breathability of the fabric. 

Photography by courtesy of Koiztra.