the Fairy’s blog

Tips & Tutorials

What is the difference?

What is the difference between a jersey and an interlock?   Or a rib knit and a jersey?  The “what is the difference” question gets asked a lot here at TFF so let’s breakdown the differences between the three types of knits that this question applies most to.

Rib Knit

Rib knit is a knit fabric that stretches approx. 35%-75% across the grain depending on the fabric and has visible “ribs” on both sides of the fabric.    It can be various contents including 100% cotton or a cotton/lycra blends.  Solid colored rib knit is used for neckbands, sleeve bands, cuffs, etc.  Printed rib knits can be used for all types of apparel including t-shirts, jammies, shorts, etc.

Jersey Knit

100% cotton jersey knit fabric stretches approx. 20%-25% across the grain and has a ribs on the “right” side of the fabric.  On the wrong side, it has a different weave.  For someone who is a knitter, the term purl is the type of switch or weave we see on the wrong side of jersey knit.  Printed or solid jersey knit is great for t-shirts, dresses and skirts but is not recommended for neckbands or cuffs.

Cotton/Lycra jersey knit fabric stretches between 35%-75% across the grain depending on content.  It has the same look as 100% cotton jersey but has excellent recovery for projects that need the fabric to “bounce” back into shape so to speak.  Cotton/lycra jersey is a staple for making leggings, activewear, dancewear, and leotards but also perfectly suitable for t-shirts and dresses.


Interlock is like a rib knit with ribs on both sides but then has additional threads running against the grain to give it more stability and this actually makes it easier to sew.  Interlock has an approx, 25%-35% stretch across the grain and can be used for all types of apparel projects including t-shirts, shorts, jammies, infant sacks and layette.

Some of our other favorites here at TFF include swimsuit fabric, velour and fleece.  Here is a bit of info about those fabrics!


Swimsuit fabric can be 2-way or 4-way stretch and stretches approx. 75%.  Swimsuit fabrics can vary in content but here at TFF, we try to always carry a Nylon/Lycra blend.  Not only can you use “swimsuit” fabric for bathing suits, but for rash guards, activewear, yoga, dancewear, and leotards.


Velour has a soft, brushed almost plush right side and knit wrong side.  It can be cotton/poly blends to bamboo/organic cotton/poly blends.  This fabric has density and warmth and is used in making handmade diapers, loungewear, dacewear, or even upholstery projects.  We carry both cotton/poly blend velour and bamboo/organic cotton/poly blend velour and the poly in both is used in the backing of the fabric purely for stability.


Fleece has a very soft, brushed right side and a knit wrong side.  Fleece is perfect for handmade diapers and used primarily as an “inner” or soaker fabric.  Fleece can vary in content and weight and also makes for a warm jacket lining.

DeliciousBlogger PostEmailPrintShare

Search Tips for Navigating at TFF – Search Box

Do you ever get frustrated using the “search” box on The Fabric Fairy or any website for that matter?  Here are some tips that I have found to make using the “search” box at TFF easier and more efficient to finding what you want.

1.  Less is More:  The more words you use, the more results you will get on TFF.  Sometimes that is a good thing, but  if you only want to see stripes for example, don’t type in “stripe fabric” or “stripe knit fabric”  That is too much info!!  Type only “stripe” or “stripes” or “striped”.  You may get slightly different results from all three variations.  For example, I wanted to find pirate fabrics so I typed in “pirate” and got 4 really good results.  Then I typed in “pirate knit” and I got 13 pages with 30 results PER PAGE!!!  Granted,  my 3 pirate fabric choices did pop up first in that listing but I would never use the word “KNIT” fabric in the search box!  It absolutely saturates your search!

2.  No Partial Words:  Our search box does not search by partial words.  Let say you wanted to see all corduroy fabrics and you type in “cord”…you will get no results.  No shortcuts in our search box! :)  Take your time and type carefully!

3.  What does the search box draw from?:  TFF’s search box draws from keywords in the title of the fabric, and anything I type in the DESCRIPTION in the fabric listings.  That is huge!  So let’s go back to that stripe example…if I have “stripe” in the title, I try and make sure I mention “stripes” and “striped” in the description so when you search for any variation, it shows up!  Same concept with holiday fabrics.  I always try to mention “valentine’s” or “4th of july” or “holiday” when making a listings that pertains to a specific holiday.

4.  Can you search by Sku or Item Number?:  YES!!!  When you need to find a specific fabric quickly, the fastest way is to search by the sku number.  You can find the sku number for each fabric in its individual listing right underneath the title.


Hopefully this was helpful and makes using the search box at TFF easier!!  Take care….Meg

DeliciousBlogger PostEmailPrintShare