The History of French Terry Cloth
French Terry Cloth: A Timeless Classic
French terry cloth emerged centuries ago, before Christopher Columbus even arrived in America! It is made from a type of knit fabric that has a looped texture on one side and a smooth surface on the other and has been popular for hundreds of years due to its soft, absorbent, and durable nature.
French terry dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was used for high-end fashion clothing. During the Renaissance period and into the 18th century, this fabric was a luxury textile that was used in menswear, including shirts and tunics. Some of these items were made with a mixture of cotton and wool, while others were all-cotton or all-wool, depending on the status of the person. Beyond one’s personal wardrobe, terry became the primary fabric to make towels and bathrobes because of its high quality and luxurious feel.
In the 19th century, the fabric became popular for use in athletic clothing, and it has been a staple of lifestyle sportswear like golf, tennis, and sailing ever since. One of the most famous examples of French terry cloth's popularity in the fashion world is the Baby Blue Terry Cloth onesie that Sean Connery wore in the James Bond film "Goldfinger." The scenes where Bond lounges poolside wearing the comfortable and stylish onesie, have become iconic and have helped to popularise the use of this material as the ideal fabric for a life of leisure.
In the 1960s, terry became widely used in sweatshirts, sweatpants, and hoodies. The trend for wearing comfortable, casual clothing for leisure activities, such as lounging at home or participating in sports, began in the United States and spread to other countries around the world. Terry was also popular for use in swimwear in the 1960s, as the fabric is highly absorbent and dries quickly. One-piece swimsuits and cover-ups made from this material were popular choices for beach-goers.
One of the main reasons that this fabric has made a comeback in the leisurewear space this decade is its unparalleled comfort and versatility. The fabric is breathable and ultra plush, perfect for loungewear, resortwear, and sleepwear. It's also ideal for athleisure lifestyle activities like sailing, tennis and golf, or resort holiday attire because it breathes well while also keeping you warm during cooler temperatures.
The Ultra Plush Fabric Your Body Deserves
Afterlight Leisure's initial capsule collection consists entirely of French terry cloth, which induces vacation vibes and brings the luxury of a 5-star resort directly into your home. From an at-home spa day with our Terry Cloth Kimono to a movie night in our Terry Cloth Shirt and matching Drawstring Terry Shorts, our handcrafted leisurewear staples will elevate your personal style and mood as soon as the ultra-plush fibres caress your body.
French terry has a long and storied history in the fashion world, and it has more recently made a comeback in the leisurewear space due to its versatility and comfort that paired well with lounging at home during the pandemic restrictions. Afterlight Leisure's capsule collection, entirely made of ultra-plush and lightweight terry cloth, is the perfect example of the fabric's popularity in the fashion industry. Whether you're lounging at home or enjoying a day out, this material is a comfortable and stylish choice for any occasion.
With so many generations relishing in the comfort and sophistication of terry cloth, it seems safe to say that this trend is a timeless classic (much like Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007)!