What Makes French Terry Such a Popular Choice?


Looking into the thread of history, French terry first started coming together with the advent of silk and cotton, which inspired terrycloth in the 1800s.

While French terry has a thousand and one uses, it was the rise of athleisure that really made it famous.

Though the traditional terrycloth used silk, modern French terry instead comes from cotton. This fabric comprises soft loops of cotton on the inside with a smoother surface on the outside. It tends to be midweight (although it’s much lighter than the fabrics used for winter clothes).

Some fabrics comparable to French terry are jersey, fleece, and velour. Still, even with these fabrics on the market, French terry is one of the most favored choices for athleisure and light outerwear.

Keep reading to find out why.

Piles and Piles of Soft Material

French terry is a fabric type known for being super soft. 

That softness can be attributed to it being made from cotton. In addition, the cotton is often blended with other fabrics to give it more stretch and durability. Cotton has certain qualities that make it extra-soft compared to its peers in the textile market. The “oh-so-soft” sensation we love about this fabric comes from the cotton fibers.

French terry knit is essentially piles of cotton woven into loops on the inside of the apparel. So, when you wear a jacket, hoodie, or sweatpants made of French terry, you have tons of those gentle fibers brushing your skin to give us that level of comfort and softness we all desire.

Although the outside of cotton French terry is smoother than the piles that make up the inside, it’s just as soft to the touch. When you’re out shopping for your next piece of athleisure, as soon as you graze your hands against French terry, you won’t be able to walk away without it.

The Perfect Amount of Stretch

French terry has the perfect amount of stretch because manufacturers knit the threads in loops. Those loops leave room for the fabric to easily lengthen when stretched. Threading in loops also helps with the issue of fraying. 

This is one of the characteristics of French terry that makes it such a fabulous choice for athleisure. If you plan on doing some light work at the gym or have a yoga class you want to attend, this gives you the stretch you need without having to wear materials like Spandex or lycra. 

French terry’s stretchiness makes it a fantastic option when you want to wear athleisure wear as loungewear. You can curl up or stretch out without French terry getting in the way of your Netflix marathon or personal best at the Boston marathon. That versatility makes your French terry apparel an ever-reliable option for everyday wear, whether at home, work, or the gym.

Breathable and Moisture-Wicking

The last thing you want from your clothes is to feel like they’re causing you to overheat, making you sweaty, sticky, and smelly. 

The good news is that the cotton that makes up French terry is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking. That makes it an ideal choice for apparel like lightweight jackets and hoodies because it’ll help keep you cool and dry.

What makes a fabric breathable and moisture-wicking is its ability to allow air to pass through its fibers, take any moisture on the skin, and transfer it outwards. That’s what keeps you feeling fresh in warm weather, even during periods of heightened activity.

These lighter fabrics are well-suited for athleisure; they allow you to wear garments like hoodies in a wider range of weather. While your wool sweater might only work for winter and your large plaid shirt is best for summer, French terry pieces will fit more situations. 

However, other fabrics have even better moisture-wicking abilities. Some of these are polyester and nylon. If you’re planning on really breaking a sweat, be sure to check out blends of French terry with either of these fabrics — we do love a nice example of teamwork.

Perfect for Layering

French terry keeps you nice and cool, making it ideal for layering. Your French terry clothes will be your best friends throughout both the fall and the spring when the weather is shifting.

We all get the struggle of trying to decide what to wear when the weather is freezing in the morning but warm enough in the afternoon to make you work up a sweat if you’re still in warm clothes. Lightweight French terry clothes are the solution to this.

When it’s below 60 degrees in the morning, a lighter-weight French terry hoodie with the help of another outerwear layer will do the job and keep you warm until later on in the day. Then, when the weather’s pushing 70, you can take off that top layer and still feel comfortable because of the French terry’s lightweight and breathability.

A French terry cardigan also serves as the perfect outer layer while you’re in the office or in class. Either of those environments often has just the right temperature to make it chilly enough to make you uncomfortable — but not chilly enough to justify a thick hoodie. Luckily, French terry serves as the perfect in-between to keep you warm.

Our French Terry Selection

Now that we’ve talked about the biggest reasons why French terry is such a popular choice, let’s take a look at some French terry athleisure by yours truly, TomboyX. We have dozens of options for you to choose from. The selection includes joggers, crewneck sweaters, shorts, track shorts, and hoodies.

We have everything that you’d want in athleisure. These pieces will be softer than you can imagine, thanks to the addition of luxurious French terry fabric. They’ll provide that lightweight coverage and breathability that makes them so versatile for use in different kinds of weather.

If you’re looking for a hoodie, then we have our classic Pullover Hoodie — and then our twist on the classic with our sleeveless version. These hoodies are both made with 100% OEKO-TEX certified cotton, so when you wear them, you’ll also be playing a part in saving the environment by using products that are made through processes that are eco-friendly.


Whether you’re interested in one of our hoodies or in any of our other French terry products, you will be anything but disappointed. We use French terry specifically for all the reasons we mentioned and more. Try French terry for yourself, and you’ll find out soon enough!


French Terry Fabric: 5 Benefits To Consider | The Daily 

The Rise Of Athleisure In The Fashion Industry And What It Means For Brands | Forbes

Cotton Fibre - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics