What is the Difference between French Terry & Terry Cloth

French terry and terry cloth are the fabric of choice when you’re looking to buy hotel amenities and more for yourself. These are the fabrics of choice and something we at Isra International know all about as we provide our clients with up to date information regarding investment in these clothes (our wholesale robes are made with these materials).

While both share similarities in terms of their looped texture and softness, there are significant differences that distinguish them from each other. This article will clarify the differences between French terry and terry cloth by examining their properties, uses, and manufacturing processes while explaining them in more thorough detail.

Differences in Table Format

UsesFrench Terry ClothTerry Cloth
Construction & TextureLooped Pile Texture on One SideFlat Knit & Looped Pile Both
MaterialLighter & BreathableHeavy & Thicker
ProductsApparel ProductsHigh Absorbency Products
ManufacturingMade with Circular KnittingWeaving Loom Weave
CareDoesn’t Shrink or StretchShrinks & Stretches
Sweatshirts and HoodiesYesNo
Athleisure Wear (Joggers)YesNo
Cleaning ClothNoYes

I. Definition and Composition

French terry is a knit fabric with loops on one side and a flat surface on the other. It is usually made from cotton or cotton blends and has a medium-weight and soft texture. On the other hand, terry cloth is a woven fabric that has loops on both sides. It is typically made from cotton. It can also be made from other fibres such as polyester, bamboo, or microfiber. Terry cloth is heavier and thicker than French terry and has a more plush texture.

II. Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process for French terry and terry cloth differ significantly. French terry is made of a circular knitting machine that creates loops on one side and a smooth surface on the other. The loops are brushed to create a soft, fleece-like texture. In contrast, terry cloth is made on a weaving loom using the terry weave. It makes loops on both sides of the fabric, which is used to create a uniform, plush surface.

III. Properties

French terry and terry cloth have different properties that make them suitable for various applications. French terry is lightweight, breathable, and absorbent, making it ideal for casual use, sportswear, and loungewear. It has a soft, smooth surface on one side which adds texture and dimension to garments. French terry is also easy to care for and does not shrink or stretch easily.

On the other hand, terry cloth is heavier, thicker, and more absorbent than French terry. Its plush texture makes it ideal for towels, bathrobes, and other home textiles that require high absorbency. Terry cloth is also durable and can withstand frequent washing without losing shape or texture.

IV. Uses

French terry and terry cloth have different uses based on their properties and applications: Below are French Terry uses

Sweatshirts and Hoodies:

French terry is popular in sweatshirts and hoodies due to its soft texture and comfortable feel.

Athleisure Wear:

French terry is also used in athleisure wear like leggings and joggers because of its moisture-wicking properties and breathability.


French terry is ideal for loungewear such as pyjamas and robes due to its softness and lightweight feel.

Terry cloth is used in the following applications:

Towels & Washcloths:

Terry cloth is commonly used in towels and washcloths due to its high absorbency and plush texture.


Terry cloth robes are perfect due to their softness and comfortability.

Cleaning cloths:

Terry cloth is sometimes used as a cleaning cloth due to its absorbency and durability.

V. Care and Maintenance

French terry and terry cloth require specific care and maintenance to retain their properties and texture. French terry should be washed in cold water and tumble-dried on low heat to prevent shrinkage and stretching. It should be ironed on low heat to avoid damaging the loops. On the other hand, terry cloth is washed in warm water and tumble-dried on medium heat. It should be ironed on low heat to maintain its texture and plushness.

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