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Before You Buy Your Next Sweatshirt, Know Your Knits

French terry, fleece-back and double-face.

Chase Pellerin

The next time you go to buy a new sweatshirt, you’re likely to encounter a few popular fabrics: French terry, fleece-back and double-face. Though all of them are designed to handle the stresses of everyday use, each carries a distinct look and feel. Learn what makes these materials unique and you’ll find the fabric that suits you best.

French Terry


Sometimes referred to as loopback cotton, this fabric is warp knitted with a flat face and loops on the underside, which serve the same purpose as the loops on a towel: to absorb moisture and sweat. Most commonly offered in 100 percent cotton, French terry can also include added elastane for stretch.

Sweatshirt by Officine Generale $200



To create fleece-back fabrics, the underside of a knitted fabric is brushed with sandpaper or wire brushes until the yarn becomes soft and fleecy. This technique can be applied to a large range of knitted cotton fabrics and is utilized for its velvety handfeel.

Sweatshirt by The Elder Statesman $255



This material is made up of two interlocking knitted fabrics. A double-knitted jersey, for example, is made up of two single jerseys knitted together so that both the underside and outside of the fabric are flat. Domestically, the Northwestern Knitting Co. has a proprietary knitted fabric made of two distinct layers, while internationally, brands like Norse Projects utilize this material.

Ketel Sweatshirt by Norse Projects $170

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