Leina and Fleur Managing Director, Fleur Richardson explains all you always wanted to know about jersey.
Some of you may find it amusing that I have a textile Oracle. She’s my “go to woman” for everything relating to textiles and when we have a “glitch“ in our fabric quality she is my first port of call. My oracles’ name is Meriel. Meriel has a very long pedigree in textile compliance that harks back to her days at Marks and Spencers Textile department. Fast forward about 15 years and Meriel has further immersed herself in the rebirthing of primary production of cotton yarn right here in Queensland…To say the least, Meriel knows her shizz! Meriel’s been my textile voice of reason since my early days as GM at Sacha Drake when I first started asking the same tedious questions.…and funnily enough no matter how I rephrase it I’m still asking her to this day the very same question hoping for a miracle answer: Why do jersey garments show signs of pilling and/or abrasion? Why do some jersey fabrics perform differently to others? Print vs plain? Dark colours vs Light?
Here’s some technical insights I’ve gleaned over the years: Jersey is made of loops, that’s why its so comfortable and forgiving when wearing. Loops are there to be hooked and grabbed. All those microfibers, skinny for comfort and hand feel but easy to break one or two here and there…and a pill or abrasion starts. Sadly, there is no such thing as indestructible jersey fabric!
So why does say a print perform better than a plain colour? It’s still an investigative conundrum but there is the possibility a prepared for print finish is a less harsh process than say a vibrant dye and therefore the fibres remain stronger in handling making a more durable garment as the end result.
While we are here I want to take this opportunity to clarify how to identify a fabric that has pilled vs a garment that has abrasion. If a garment has pilled, the effect of little balls on the face of the garment will be all over the garment. In short the yarns have deteriorated and the pilling occurs all over. Abrasion is easier to identify – you will see “rough and random” sections on the face of the garment in high stress areas. Eg. Handbag position on hip, neck lanyard and seatbelt to name a few. We anticipate over time these high stress objects eventually showing wear and tear on an L&F dress, BUT not immediately.
Our supplier standards are tested to that of uniform companies , which we know have to allow for high wear performance.
Jersey is delicate, so please treat with care and the garment will be a wardrobe favourite for ages!
Recently a few of you in our L&F community gave fantastic feedback to others in the group on how you care for your L&F’s to sustain wearing longevity. I thought I’d share a few:
- Always wash your jersey garments on gentle cold cycle. Slower agitation and shorter wash cycle will protect your clothes.
- Always turn your garments inside out. This protects excessive abrasion to the surface from other clothes, zippers and buttons. Some suggested using a pillow case or garment bag just for extra wash protection.
- Drive a lot for work? Invest in a seatbelt cover so the strap won't rub against your jersey dress. Because it will, there’s no escaping this and believe me it’s something I’ve been trying to solve for YEARS…and this is a relatively simple solution.
- Attend conferences on a regular basis? Then yes that Laynard will cause the yarn to split and show signs of abrasion. The plastic edges are sharp and nasty. I suggest attaching these to your handbag if possible.
- Avoid washing your jersey garments with lint producing items…I think this is self explanatory??
- Skip using harsh cleaners and bleaches as this can weaken fibres which will cause the yarn to break and pill.
- Avoid ever drying your jersey garments in a dryer… it will break your heart as your dress emerges from the dryer full of static, three sizes smaller and lots of biddy bids all over it! It’s only use from this point on will be for cleaning your car windows. Rest assured we are constantly looking at improving our fabrics in our garments…most of the time we get it right and then every now and then a supplier slips us a dud and it’s not until you lovelies are sauntering around in one of our designs that it becomes apparent that something isn’t quite right! But we know you’re not shy and will let us know all about it!