What Even is French Terry?

By Haley Turner

Learn To Speak French Terry

Scroll through the TomboyX website long enough and you’ll constantly find us (and our customers) touting our French Terry material and how luxuriously comfortable it is. And if you’re one of our lucky shoppers who’s actually purchased a French Terry item from TomboyX, you know first-hand how truly soft and cozy it feels against the skin.

But what exactly is French Terry? Is it really French? Who’s Terry? And why should anyone care?

You’re already familiar with Terry cloth material–that’s what everyone’s bath, kitchen, and beach towels are made from. But the difference between your Terry cloth towel and French Terry material is in the weave. (Warning: there’s some seriously nerdy fabric-making details coming your way.) Terry cloth has woven loops on both sides of the fabric, while French Terry has woven loops on only one side of the fabric. The other side, the one without the loops, is smooth and soft in texture and offers a lot more stretch than regular Terry cloth. And while French Terry is considered a jersey fabric, it’s heavier in weight than standard cotton jersey material and it is lighter than the usual sweatshirt fleece.

French Terry can be made from a blend of different threads but our particular French Terry material is made from 100% cotton. At TomboyX, we believe in making products from the highest quality materials, so our yarns are better quality than many mid or mass-market fashion brands. One interesting factoid: All of our textiles are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 Certified fabrics, which means every thread has been tested for the 100 most harmful substances and is safe for both humans and the environment. So, when you’re wearing any TomboyX piece, you’re wearing eco-friendly clothing. Good to know, right?

Because French Terry is absorbent, lightweight, stretchy, super soft, and moisture-wicking, it’s more suitable for sportswear and loungewear garments, like sweatshirts, hoodies, yoga attire, and shorts. And because it doesn’t trap heat, it’s comfortable enough to wear any day of the year. In fact, French Terry garments are perfect for layering so it’s always a good idea to keep a hoodie or jacket in your car or your backpack, just in case you need something to keep you warm. We know a few loungewear items that would be perfect for this.

One of the more convenient benefits you’ll discover with French Terry is that it's durable and super easy to care for when it comes time for a wash! And at TomboyX, our French Terry items are wear-and-care tested, with shrinkage controlled to within 5% of the purchased garment. To extend the life of your French Terry garment, we recommend you line dry your garments instead of putting them in the dryer.

This comfy-cozy material is not new to the scene. Even though you probably see French Terry more often these days while shopping, it’s actually been around since the 1980s. You probably even have a few French Terry items in your closet without realizing it. But if you’re curious as to who came up with the original Terry cloth name, we went through the trouble of looking it up for you. The actual Terry cloth fabric was invented by the French in the 1840s, and they coined the word “Terry” from the French word “tirer,” which means “to pull,” referencing the loops that get pulled through the fabric. Save that historical tidbit for trivia night!

So what is your favorite French Terry piece in the TomboyX selection? Or are you still looking for your favorite? Here’s a good place to start.