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Our Fabric Explained

The fabric we use at Original Favorites is one of the most distinguishable features of our products. Many production steps contribute to the incredible end result our customers experience. Once the cotton is grown and milled, and the yarns treated, our yarns can now be knit together into the fabric that will be cut and sewn. We use two different knitting methods to produce our garments: jersey knit and rib knit.


The Supply Chain

Fabric


Warp vs. Weft Knitting Techniques

All of our fabric is made through weft knitting which is most commonly used for flat and circulated fabrics. In weft knitting, the loops are formed running horizontally across the width of the fabric. The entire fabric is produced from a single yarn, with wales (columns of stitches) and courses (rows of stitches) that run perpendicular to each other.

The other knitting method is called warp knitting. In warp knitting, loops are formed running vertically in a zigzag manner along the length of the fabric. This method is more technical, and less common than weft knitting.

Tip: To remember the difference between warp and weft knitting, rhyme 'weft' with 'left'. Weft knitting runs 'left' to right, or horizontally.


Jersey Knit

Jersey, also called single knit, is one of the most familiar forms of weft knitting. This is the body fabric of our Supima® cotton t-shirts.

Characteristics

  • Technical front and back sides; with a smooth, distinguishable front
  • Lightweight in comparison to other knits
  • Curls toward the front at both ends and towards the back along the sides
  • Knitted on machines with one set of needles

Rib Knit

A rib knit is a double-faced knit with distinct vertical columns on both sides. It is most distinguishable by the ridges formed as a result of the knitting method. We use a rib knit method for our flat-knit side ribbing, hem, neck, gusset, and cuffs in our fleece. The neckline of our t-shirts and cuffs on our long sleeves are also examples of our rib knit. Our beanies are also made in a custom rib knit method called 'brioche'.

Characteristics

  • Technical front and back sides; with a smooth, distinguishable front
  • Lightweight in comparison to other knits
  • Curls toward the front at both ends and towards the back along the sides
  • Knitted on machines with one set of needles

3-End Fleece

When it comes to a luxury, blank fleece product, there is no question that 3-end fleece is the premium standard. 3-end fleece, or 3 thread fleece, uses 3 threads instead of 2 to knit a more lofted fabric. 3-end fleece is the product of choice for screenprinting and decorating because the third yarn creates a barrier between the face and back yarns. The face of our fleece is made with 100% GOTS® certified organic cotton yarn and is ideal for printing because the face yarns have the same characteristics.

The third yarn is an organic cotton and polyester blended yarn, and is only visible on the back of the fabric. This blended yarn creates the brushed, plush interior that most people are familiar with in a sweatshirt. This yarn builds approximately 20% of the fabric used in our fleece. Most high-end brands use 3-end fleece blends because of the softer interior. The 3-end fleece method requires more yarn and is more technical, however, the finished product quality is unmatched.


GSM Explained

‘GSM’ (grams per square meter, g/m²) is a metric used to check the thickness, and indirectly the weight, of fabric. Since different cuts of fabric can have different dimensions, this metric is crucial to measure fabric weight in terms of mass per surface area. This allows us to compare heavier versus lighter fabrics made out of the same material content.

Fabric GSM is directly proportional to the thickness of the fabric. As the value of GSM increases, the thickness increases as well. Sadly, in the garment industry this is an area that is often grossly misrepresented since the tools used to measure GSM are not widely available to the general public. Many clothing companies claim inflated GSM numbers because they know it is difficult for end-users to validate and they believe it will make the garment seem more luxurious. Others don't understand the term GSM and take the weight of the entire garment and convert it into grams per square meter. This is inaccurate and not equivalent to the fabric weight in GSM.

GSM is an important component of a quality garment if the raw materials used are of high quality. But all too often brands will use GSM as their selling point to cover up their use of inferior cotton or knitting techniques. The end result is a rough, cheap feeling, dry hand with excessive exterior fuzz on the sweats.