Jersey Dresses Get Fast Tracked
Your Way Around Jersey
WH explains why you love your jersey summer dresses
Jersey owes its name to a tiny British island in the English Channel, where it was first made by fishermen's wives. The term describes a knitting technique, not a type of thread, so you can have cotton, polyester, silk, or even wool varieties. Rather than stretching only vertically or horizontally like other knits, jersey knit gives in both directions. That's why your little knit numbers are a favorite as dresses for summer. "It can really move with your body," says Jeffrey Silberman, professor of textile development at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Here's how to pick it — and keep it looking good.
Cotton Jerseyabsorbs sweat and breathes, so it's great for activewear. But it will shrink significantly after the first wash and keep shrinking a teeny bit each time after that. To minimize the problem, use cold water and lay flat to dry.
100 Percent Silk Jerseyis gorgeous, but dyes used on silk are delicate (because silk fibers are less absorbent). Dry-clean according to label instructions. Silk jersey is perfect for a night out with those killer sexy heels.
100 Percent Synthetic Jersey(often made of polyester or rayon viscose) won't shrink, but the synthetic fibers don't breathe as well as natural cotton. The thicker the fabric, the less air will be able to permeate the spaces between the threads and get to your skin. Hold the fabric up to the light; if you can't see your hand through it, it probably won't be comfortable.
Synthetic/Cotton Blend Jerseygives you the best of both worlds: decent breathability and no worries on laundry day.
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