History of How Jersey got its Name

History of How Jersey got its Name

It’s fascinating to know that a mere piece of clothing can represent a community or a country and project its values. From player representing their country to fans across the world buys a custom jersey to support their favourite team. Have you ever wondered why this piece of athletic clothing is called a ‘jersey’?


Time for some guesses! Jersey cattle? New Jersey, US?


You got half right with both the guesses. Jersey is named after a place, an island, off the French coast of Normandy, whose natives have been known for knitting hardy wool sweater-like material for centuries. Jersey Island, which is part of the Channel Island Archipelago, is also the original breeding ground of Jersey cattle.


In the early days, jerseys were worn as an inner layer by rural seamen before gradually evolving into a type of common outwear. Renownedly known for its tight weave and hence, its ability to retain warmth. As traders started mingling with the local communities during the late 17th and early 18th centuries its usage and popularity started spreading to the UK and Northern Europe. By the 1850s, their popularity had grown so much that the name “jersey” became synonymous with the sweater. 

Vintage Jersey Sweater

Jersey became the newly popular and more comfortable clothing for the rough game of football players found the material more durable and functional. With the rise of the popularity of Football, Jersey became popular fans, bikers, golfers and athletes also started wearing thick wool jersey sweaters.


Similarly, towards the latter half of the 19th century, the name “jersey” became synonymous with athletic uniform as it had become with sweaters back in the 18th century. During this time, the athletic jerseys evolved, upgraded and bore little resemblance to their bulky ancestral tops. For example, baseball shirts, which were made of lightweight flannel and incorporated short sleeves, buttons and collars, were often referred to as jerseys by the press.

Hockey Jersey

As the trend caught up even Ice Hockey sweaters was started being referred to as jerseys. The term sweater has been completely replaced and nowadays most kids call sweaters jerseys. As the technology evolved new techniques and new fabric innovations like Polyester came along but the name given to the old thick woollen sweaters kept stuck in the public imagination. Nowadays, we have a wide array of innovations to meet various kinds of sporting requirements.


At Colourup Uniforms, we use fabric with a moisture-wicking property that efficiently keeps the sportsperson dry. We use full digital sublimation transfer print technology to imprint our unique designs directly into the fabric to ensure no colour fading after multiple washes. 

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