What is the Difference Between Poplin and Other Materials?

10 Mar.,2022

Popular with dressmakers, crafters and quilters, cotton poplin is a close weave, soft to touch, lightweight, natural and renewable fabric which offers a certain luxurious quality to your sewing projects.


Popular with dressmakers, crafters and quilters, cotton poplin is a close weave, soft to touch, lightweight, natural and renewable fabric which offers a certain luxurious quality to your sewing projects.

Like most cotton fabrics, poplin is easy to sew and when used for dressmaking, it has a nice drape plus being 100% cotton, is cool to wear. Being strong and durable, it is popular in children's clothing and is often printed with beautiful designs.


Anti-Slip Shower Mat


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This forgiving fabric was originally made for commonplace attire, but can now be found in every day and haute couture pieces.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 Does Poplin Feel Like?

It has a very soft feel to it which makes it an ideal fabric option when you are looking to create some great dress shirts for your mate or your male children. That soft feel makes the wearer nice and comfortable and it is a comfort that won’t go away after long hours in the office.

Plus, you should feel cooler wearing a poplin-made shirt because the material is very breathable. Its thin nature does not trap hot air or body heat next to your body. Instead, it lets it escape so you can stay cool when others are warm under the collar.

But when you put your hand on some poplin and your other hand on some other cotton fabrics, you may feel that it is a bit rougher than those other cotton materials. Poplin is not the softest fabric around and it is not the roughest either.

Some cotton materials are finer than poplin and with that fineness, they have a very soft feel to them.


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.


poplin fabric


Difference between Poplin and Other Materials 

Poplin isn’t the only popular fabric type in the market; there’s cotton, linen, flannel, and so on. So, let’s check out what makes poplin so different from others. 


Poplin vs. Twill

Poplin and twill have somewhat a similar feel to them. However, while both fabric types come with thin ribs, twill ribs or yarns go on the diagonal plane, and the poplin ribs crosswise. Besides, poplin is much more suitable for the summer to get in the breeze while twill is mostly to stay warm in the winter.

Both the fabrics are very durable and stain-resistant. And you can make flowy dresses using both. However, twill gives your office dresses a more professional touch.


Poplin vs. Cotton

Cotton and poplin are made with the same natural fibers but are different in the making process and texture. Both the fabrics are well-known for their smoothness, softness, easy operability, and dyeing options. But the texture of the materials relies on the fiber type.

Poplin is actually much better than cotton, considering the tight weave for resisting water and stains and more strength. Besides, traditional silk poplin takes the fabric to a whole new level with a smoother feel than ever.


Poplin vs. Broadcloth

The similarities of both poplin and broadcloth are so extensive that you might even consider them to be the same thing. The only prominent difference lies in the thickness of the used yarns. They are woven in the same way, but the yarns for broadcloth are more stiff and thick, giving the clothing a robust texture. On the other hand, poplin is strong too but not coarse, rather very soft to touch. 


Poplin vs. Linen

The similarities between poplin and linen are that both are very comfortable to wear, perfect for the summer. They are incredibly breathable.

But the differences are quite a few. Linen materials do not have rigid strength or robustness to them like poplin. Again, poplin is more of a silky fabric that does not tend to wrinkle easily but linen, on the other hand, does.


Poplin vs. Flannel

Poplin is more effective for the summer, while flannel is the more suitable kind for winter or fall. They are fuzzy and warm fabrics that are mostly nothing but brushed poplin or brushed twill. They are made with thicker weaves contradicting thinner plain weaves of poplin.

The flannel-like poplin can be totally cotton made or even with the combination of cotton wool and cotton-cashmere providing extra warmth.


Poplin vs. Oxford

Oxford and poplin are actually very different considering the feel, texture, and even with the weaving kind. Poplin has a smoother texture with plain-weave, while oxford has a symmetrical basketweave with a rougher texture. Oxford fabrics are not the kind to make dresses or even formal office wear; rather, it’s more suitable for making casual polo shirts that don’t even need ironing.


Poplin Fabric Uses

This material is very versatile which is one reason why it is so popular. In the beginning, it was used for women’s dresses mainly because of the exquisite look the fabric had at the time.

Then it was used for military uniforms because of its toughness and the ability to keep soldiers cool during the day. The sheen of the material makes it great for casual clothing as well as for formal and other high-class events.

Then, this fabric is used for upholstery material because it is tough and still looks good when used for this purpose. This material can upgrade the decor of any home. But that is not all to the uses for this fabric.

This material has been known to be used for surgical attire as well as other hospital clothing. Then it is found in many apron styles so that the home bar b q king can stay clean as he serves up his masterpiece.

Then to east that bar-b-q masterpiece, you can spread the poplin tablecloth over the picnic table and enjoy what has been prepared. These are but a few of the uses this fabric has.


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. 


How To Care For and Clean Poplin? 

Poplin is 100% cotton, lightweight, and even stain resistant. All these features make it very easy to maintain and wash poplin. I’ll give you some tips-

  • You can use warm water to wash the fabric. However, some poplin fabric types are well off to dry-cleaners. I’m talking specifically about the ones with bright prints on them. 
  • It is not the most ideal for washing the printed on poplin with hand at home because it will cause the fabric to bleed.
  • These materials must be dried in low heat.
  • After washing, you can iron it with a cotton setting to diminish the wrinkles, although poplin does not get any wrinkles.
  • Please do not press the wet fabric, or it will result in making it too stretchy forever.


Final words

To sum up, poplin is undoubtedly one of the best choices for comfortable wear, especially in summer. With its durability, smoothness, softness, wide range of breathability and versatility, you can make any type of garment from it that is both comfortable and durable.


What is the Difference Between Poplin and Other Materials?