This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Jersey. [So called from Jersey, one of the channel islands of Great Britain. The State of New Jersey was, in 1664, named after the same island] A close-fitting upper garment or jacket, made of elastic woolen or silk material, and worn with some variation of form by both men and women for the past 200 years. Jersey and guernsey were names originally given to woven, close-fitting vests of coarse wool or worsted, worn by sailors and fishermen in place of jackets, or under their pea-jackets or waterproof blouses. They were afterward adopted for athletic and other sports, and finally got to be worn by women. These the women would knit or crochet by hand entire (without seams), but after the invention and introduction of Lee's knitting frame were fashioned out of stockinet, and at present are made of silk, cotton and worsted yarns. The jersey jacket in the form now seen was first manufactured for the general market by a firm doing business on the Isle of Wight, England, and made popular by Mrs. Langtry, the "Jersey Lilly." Jersey cloth is heavy woolen stockinet. Jersey fIannel is a fabric much resembling stockinet, but being crocheted instead of knitted, and usually finished with a soft nap upon one side. Jersey underwear is manufactured on the crochet principle, which distinguishes it from "flat" or knitted goods. [See Eiderdown]