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Seven things you should know about poplin cotton

Poplin, also known as tabbinet, is a blend of fabrics, most commonly but not exclusively cotton and polyester. It’s a woven material created by crosswise ribs, the weft and warp crossing over and under each other. This gives the material a corded appearance. The technique originated in fifteenth century Avignon, in France, and was primarily used for upholstery. Silk was the material predominately used at that time. Nowadays, materials can include polyester, rayon and wool.

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Uses for poplin

Poplin can be used for most occasions, but because of its lightweight properties, it is particularly suitable for dresses and blouses, as well as shirts and trousers due to its flat nature. It is also commonly being used for sportswear due to its lightweight nature. Materials such as cotton poplin fabric are also suitable for children’s clothing, as they are soft next to the skin, and also breathable. Poplin is particularly suitable for the summer months, due to its breathability. As there are so many uses for poplin, it makes a great material to work with.

Caring for poplin

As a rule, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but in general, poplin washes well in warm water and can be dried on a low heat. Exact temperatures will depend on the fibre content of the fabric. It is generally easy to iron, using a cotton setting where appropriate, and making sure similar colours are washed together, in case of bleeding.

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Purchasing poplin

Poplin is easy to purchase. If you want to feel the fabric, then finding a local supplier is advisable to ensure you have the right material for your project. If you know the material you want, and are happy with the fibre content then you can buy online from a supplier such as Although this material can be more expensive than some others, it is worth the investment, as it is very hard wearing.

Sewing with poplin

Poplin is easy to sew with. It is like sewing with a broadcloth or woven cotton. Use a needle and thread that you are most comfortable with. Make sure you have sharp scissors to hand for cutting the material, as they will be required. If the poplin is slippery, use a little additional starch when sewing. Starch can also help when cutting the fabric.