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What is Poplin Fabric?

What is Poplin Fabric? 

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What is Poplin Fabric?

Poplin has to be one of the most versatile fabrics, pairing a soft consistency with a durable, resistant fibre. 

But what is poplin fabric? Poplin fabric is also known as tabbinet, and it’s a plain-weave fabric made out of cotton with very fine horizontal “ribs,” or yarns. These yarns have a tight weave that allows the fabric to be strong and silky at the same time. No wonder why poplin fabric is found literally everywhere!


If you wonder what poplin fabric is used for, you’ll see it basically in all forms, shapes and sizes, from classic shirts and dresses to sportswear and even lining for home decor, bedding and raincoats.


Poplin fabric features a canvas weave that gives it a light, very fine ribbed texture with a soft drape. At the same time, poplin’s weave makes it incredibly durable so that it can be used to make tops, trousers or lightweight coats. This natural cotton material is your first choice to work with, as it’s a soft sewing fabric that performs impeccably in whatever design you’re going for. 


When was it first introduced? Back in the 15th Century, poplin was used for winter attire and was actually made using silk and wool. The word “poplin” has a French origin: it derives from “papelino,” an obsolete fabric with a similar weave. 


Since then, the fabric became increasingly popular, and silk and wool were replaced with pure cotton. Now it’s a staple of daywear and elegant outfits - you can’t go wrong with poplin fabric. 


Poplin Characteristics 

Nowadays, high-quality poplin fabric is made from 100% natural cotton. The perks of cotton are its durability and resistance while being soft at touch. Cotton is a fresh fabric that is great for summer outfits and in winter when layered with wool. 


If you wonder what the characteristics of poplin fabric are, then it has to be its distinctive smooth texture and tightly closed weave. Poplin fabric is a plain weave fabric, which means it is woven in a simple over-under pattern (contrary to the complex texture weaves used to fabrics such as satin and twill). This gives the fabric the versatility and flowy texture that are signature to it. Thanks to this tight weave, poplin fabric has a subtle sheen, is lightweight but sturdy, doesn’t wrinkle nor stain easily (it’s water-resistant too!), and it’s very easy to print on it. 


What is Poplin Used For? 

Since day one, poplin has been used for all occasions or purposes. It combines durability and a sleek look, so it comes as no surprise it became the number one choice for women’s dresses.


Poplin fabric has a nice drape, and since it’s 100% natural, it’s cool to wear. These properties have helped make poplin a comfortable but stylish fabric for all manner of clothing, from shirts and skirts to trousers and jackets. It’s an inexpensive fabric but highly performative. It’s subtly shiny, which adds an elegant appearance without looking too dramatic or overly formal.


Printing on Poplin Fabric 

Poplin fabric is a dream to print on. Its texture is so smooth it won’t cause any problems during the printing process, making it effortless and satisfying. It can also hold its shape fairly well, making it wrinkle-resistant, and your print of choice will be valorised by its neat look. 


Whether you are a high fashion pro looking for your next signature look, you’re looking for your dream fabric for a made to measure dress or want to renovate your interiors; poplin fabric is an all-rounder. It’s an unproblematic, soft and elegant choice to explore your creativity together with impeccable high performance. 


Tags: What is Poplin Fabric?, Types of Materials Guide, Fashion Formula


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