Muslin Fabric: Origins, Types, and Specialities
Muslin is a loosely woven fabric formed with plain weave techniques. It is a cotton weave tracing its roots back centuries. Muslin is a versatile fabric used in a variety of different industries for myriad different purposes. While a popular opinion holds that muslin is always feather and soft with a dreamy texture, rough sheeting versions of muslin are also available. All serve different purposes, all of which we shall uncover in the blog further.
Muslin and its origin
Muslin today is available in myriad different colours and prints. The plain weave technique used to make muslin is very simplistic wherein a weft goes back and forth over a warp thread. The irregular textures of yarns create rough sheeting which is used in different industries. The smooth-finished muslin on the other hand feels like a feather.
The origin of muslin can be traced back to Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was since then considered a valuable commodity, so much so that it was compared with Gold. The European traders in Mosul, Iraq first discovered the muslin. The British rule worsened the situation of muslin weavers who were forced to weave other fabrics for the British colonial benefit. Mahatma Gandhi started spinning yarn to form Khadi, a form of muslin prevalent even today. The symbol of peace and self-reliance, Khadi successfully withstood British rule without violence.
Types of Muslin
There are different types of Muslin available in different forms and weights. The most premium quality muslin is soft and woven using evenly spun yarns. The low-quality muslin is slightly coarse woven using uneven yarns which could or could not be bleached.
Muslin is graded in 4 different types:
- Gauze: It is an extremely lightweight fabric used as a filter for varying kitchen activities. It is also used to dress wounds. Gauze has a sheer transparent form of muslin.
- Mull: This is plain muslin. It is extremely lightweight and made of cotton, silk or viscose. It is used as a lining for clothes to offer structure and weight to garments. Mull is often used in fashion prototypes while testing patterns for garments.
- Swiss Muslin: This lightweight form of muslin has raised patterns and dots. It holds the sheer transparency true to muslin and has the softest texture.
- Sheeting: The coarse form of muslin is sheeting. It is thick and often used in clothing and home furnishing.
Specialities of Muslin
The plain weave cotton muslin is durable. It can withstand multiple washes without losing its resiliency or softness. The shelf life of muslin is very high making it sustainable.
Muslin is highly absorbent. It is perfect for hot and warm weather keeping the sweat at bay.
The loose and open weaving of muslin makes it highly breathable.
Muslin is a soft and lightweight comfortable fabric.
Authenticity of Muslin
While purchasing muslin for garments, you can assess the good quality muslin with a touch. The softer the muslin, the better it's quality. Muslin has an even smooth texture that won’t bump on your skin.
A pure muslin shall not pass too much light when posed to light.
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