Fabric dictionary - muslin
Muslin, also called gauze, was known not so long ago mainly as a diaper fabric. But for a few years now, it is impossible to imagine fashion without it and is extremely popular with young and old. Muslin fabrics have been around since the 17th century and reached their peak during the Empire and Directoire periods, when Greek-style dresses were particularly popular.
The fabric originated in the Bengal region and was named after the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where Marco Polo first encountered it. In these regions, the light fabric was particularly in demand, as it protects from the sun and at the same time balances the temperature.
What is muslin?
Muslin is a loosely woven, fine-threaded fabric made in plain weave. Plain weave is a basic weave of weaving, which is characterized by the fact that the right and left sides are the same. Classically, muslin is made of cotton, but it can also be made of wool, viscose or silk. Of course, the variants made of GOTS certified organic cotton are especially skin-friendly, because here you can be sure that they do not contain harmful substances.
The threads of muslin are only slightly twisted, resulting in a particularly soft and flowing fabric. The slight twist of the threads used is also responsible for the slight crinkle effect, which is further enhanced by washing. This makes muslin particularly practical, as it does not need to be ironed.
Double layer muslin is often referred to as double muslin or double gauze. In double gauze, the two layers are joined together at points, creating fine air pockets between the layers that fluff up the fabric a bit. The double layer of fabric makes this fabric much thicker, less transparent and even more absorbent. Somewhat rarer is three-ply muslin, which is called triple gauze.
What is muslin suitable for?
Because muslin is particularly light and soft while also being very absorbent, it is often used for burp cloths or cloth diapers. Its softness makes muslin a perfect fabric for baby clothes and accessories, such as shawls or sleeping bags. For babies, make sure to use GOTS certified organic fabrics. Due to its cuddliness, muslin is also suitable for making great scarves, triangular shawls or loops.
The light and airy fabric is also especially popular for summer clothing. The thin fabric protects from the sun, is breathable and very absorbent. Due to the crinkle effect, clothing made of muslin is also very suitable for vacation, because crinkling is desired here! Why not sew airy dresses, light blouses or skirts from this great fabric? Also airy pants and jackets look super casual from muslin - and cool wonderfully in the warm season!
But muslin can be used not only for clothing. Muslin is also very suitable for light curtains or cozy summer blankets.
How to process muslin?
The good news first, muslin is basically easy to process and is therefore also very suitable for beginners.
- Since muslin can shrink a little, the fabric should be washed once before processing and, if necessary, plan a little more fabric than is specified in the instructions.
- When sewing, you should use a fine sewing needle with a strength between 60 and 70.
- For sewing you should use a slightly longer stitch length of 3-3.5. Since the binding is a bit looser, the longer stitch length ensures that the fabric is not pulled together when sewing.
- When sewing you should pay attention to Be careful not to pull too hard on the fabric so that holes do not appear.
- To prevent the fabric from warping while sewing, reduce the presser foot pressure and use a top feed foot if you have one.
- As with other woven fabrics, you will need to serge the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying.
We wish you a lot of fun sewing!
Click here for our muslin fabrics made from GOTS certified organic cotton.