What Is The Difference Between French Terry and Fleece

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All sweatshirt materials are not created the same.  Well let me clarify, they are not “exactly” the same, but the processes are similar.  Confused enough?

French Terry and Fleece fabric are 2 widely used materials for making sweatshirts, joggers, hoodies, etc.  You might have seen them mentioned in the product description as you’re shopping but not really clear or sure what the differences are between the two.

The difference is really on the inside. 

Sweatshirt fleece and French Terry are made the same way but the difference is on the inside of the garment.  Both garment types have loops on the on the inside and the difference is when on  the traditional fleece garment these loops are broken creating the fuzzy texture on the inside of your favorite hoodie and sweatshirt.  On French Terry the loops remain intact.

While this may seem like a minimal difference it actually is pretty significant.  So, here’s the break down.

The fuzzy broken loops on the inside of fleece garments makes it feel warmer and less breathable.   This is why at the end of summer as the humidity drops and days get cooler and your home feels cold but it’s to early to turn on the heat, you reach for a hoodie.

French Terry fabric on the other hand is more breathable, so it feels cool.  French Terry is also known to be moisture wicking and is known to be able to absorb 27% of it’s weight in water.   Which is why this is the material used for garments sweat shorts.

So here’s the Cheat Sheet.

French Terry:

 – best for warm weather conditions where the temp can range from cool to hot

– best for shorts, pants, hoodies and sweat/joggers


 – best for colder weather.  You can wear in summer and fall but remember this material is not moisture wicking or breathable so you will get hot.

– best for sweatshirts, hoodies, joggers and sweatpants

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