What is Poplin Fabric: Everything You Need to Know

What is Poplin Fabric: Everything You Need to Know

Aug 1st 2019

If you’re interested in sewing, then you’re probably asking about poplin fabric. Poplin fabric is very popular and chances are that you’ve already worn it. Understanding the nature of the fabric and how to care for it will help you execute your sewn pieces in excellent quality.

What is Poplin Fabric?

Poplin is made of many fibers but the most common types are either made of cotton or cotton-poly blend. The name comes from a French origin but the fabric is popular all over the world. The fabric goes back to the 19th and 20th century when women were looking for practical and more budget-friendly options that would allow them to move freely as they were exploring territories that were restricted only to men. They needed dress fabrics that would look good and be comfortable to wear all day long.

This forgiving fabric was originally made for commonplace attire, but can now be found in every day and haute couture pieces. This is fine but rather thick fabric and some versions are made of wool or silk. Poplin fabric is strong, so it’s very popular among sewing enthusiasts.

Poplin is simply a fabric that features a plain weave of any fabric with crosswise ribs that give the material its typical corroded look. If the weft and warp threads are made of the same fabric, then the material will be smooth to touch.

Originally, poplin was made of heavy wool yarn with weaved fibers of silk. Nowadays 100% cotton poplin is one of the most common fabrics on the market. The resulting material is a thin yet durable fabric that drapes well while retaining its sturdiness.

What is Poplin Used for?

Originally, poplin was used to make women’s dresses due to its amazing characteristics. In times of war, the fabric was used to make military uniforms. It was cool enough to be worn all day long and at the same time it was tough so it could withstand harsh conditions.

Today, people wear poplin because it’s so versatile. It has a luxurious sheen to it so people can wear it for casual as well as formal and elegant events. It doesn’t wrinkle easily and can be ironed with no problems whatsoever, so it’s a perfect choice for busy men and women who always want to look their best on any occasion. It’s the first choice when you’re trying to make a shirt because it’s comfortable to wear and will look great all day long.

Sewing experts and fashion designers also use poplin to make skirts because it has the needed weight and will hold its shape. For the same reason, it’s a suitable choice for jackets because it’s not as lightweight as the materials used for blouses.

Today, if you’re using poplin to make a dress, you might want to pair it with a lining fabric. However, the fabric is so cool so it works great if you’re making a shirt to be worn with a suit. Poplin dyes easily and retains its color with everyday use and regular wash. You can find it bleaches or in trendy prints and bright colors.

What are the Main Characteristics of Poplin?

Poplin has lots of good characteristics that make it a popular choice for sewing projects. Here are some of the advantages of poplin.

  • It’s breathable material. This is why some people use it to make sportswear. As a lightweight and breathable fabric, it can be worn all day for formal or office wear without making you feel too hot.
  • It’s one of the softest and most comfortable fabrics, although it’s rather durable. You can move freely while wearing a piece made of this material.
  • It has a lustrous sheen so it doesn’t look plain. However, it’s not too shiny so you can wear it for a formal occasion.
  • Poplin is also water-resistant. This is an excellent trait because even if you wear it all day, you’ll always have a polished look. It’s also stain-resistant, so it will survive those stubborn coffee spills.
  • This fabric won’t crease. This makes it an excellent choice for pants that you can wear all day long. People always choose poplin when they’re considering a sewing project for something that they can wear while moving and driving.
  • Poplin is easy to maintain because it’s machine-washable. It can withstand heat up to 60 degrees so you don’t have to hand wash it to maintain its condition. If you want to save yourself the hassle you can also dry clean it.

What are the Disadvantages of Poplin?

This fabric comes with a few limitations that you should consider if you’re working on a sewing project.

  • It doesn’t lock heat. Even though this fabric is durable, it won’t make you warm in winter. Poplin can be worn with a lining, still, it doesn’t work for winter apparel. Poplin is very popular in summer wear, but if you live in a cold climate, there are more suitable options for you.
  • The fabric is too thin. If you’re looking for heavyweight fabric, then poplin isn’t for you.

Does Poplin Drape?

Yes. The fabric has the needed weight that will allow it to drape beautifully. You can do frills and other details in the piece you’re executing using poplin. This fabric usually doesn’t have any stretch, although some kinds might be stretchy.

Like all fabrics, there are different qualities of poplin. You should make sure that you’re using a high-quality fabric for your sewing project so it can be executed the way you want it.

Tips for Working with Poplin

Whether you’re experienced or still a beginner, there are some tips to help you work with poplin.

  • If the fabric is too hard, use a fabric softener before you start your sewing project.
  • Avoid using hot water with poplin as it might shrink.
  • Use medium heat when you’re ironing poplin.
  • If you’re using a steam iron, make sure that you’re using the warm setting.

The good news is that if you have a piece made of poplin, you probably can grab it and wear it without worrying about ironing or creasing.