Cotton poplin – Such a versatile fabric

Why cotton poplin is such a versatile fabric


Whether you’re new to dressmaking or an experienced professional, there is one fabric that all of our customers love for its incredible versatility. Cotton poplin is one of our biggest sellers at Fabric Direct, and it offers plenty of features that make it a perennial favourite.

What is cotton poplin?

The chances are, everyone has worn a variation on cotton poplin, with both 100pc fabrics and cotton-poly widely available. Once used for daily wear, now it is found in every dressmaking creation from casual wardrobe tops through to haute couture suits. Why is it so popular? Poplin is renowned for having a highly durable and strong nature that is easy to work with, combined with a beautifully soft and lustrous finish that looks very pleasing to the eye. Essentially, this flexible all-rounder works in most situations and gives superb results.

Poplin’s origins

Cotton Poplin has served the test of time too! In fact, it was a very fashionable dressmaking fabric back in the fifteenth century and woven with wool and silk. Despite being typically made with a silk weave, the material wasn’t considered to be a luxury at the time. In fact, in the famous novel, ‘Little Women’, two of the March sisters describe their regret at choosing to wear their finest poplin dresses for a ball, rather than ones made from pure silk!

How is cotton poplin made?

Featuring a tight weave and a ribbed texture, most lines of widely available poplin is usually made from 100pc cotton, which allows it to maintain a great degree of strength, whilst still being light to work with and wear. You can also find other variations such as silk, wool, rayon, satin or polyblend, but essentially all feature two yarns of varied thickness combined in a plain weave.

Features of cotton poplin that dressmakers love include:

– the thin texture
– the cool and light finish
– a beautiful, easy drape
– a robust and sturdy construction that cannot easily be damaged
– a lustrous finish with a soft sheen
– a high degree of comfort for the wearer
– a natural resistance to wrinkling
– a wide range of wonderful prints and colours

Bear in mind though that cotton poplin is better suited to clothes designed for the warmer months. This explains why it’s very popular for making summer wardrobe clothing, from printed dresses through to lightweight jackets.


cotton poplin


Sewing with Poplin

Because the fabric holds its shape well and has a smooth face, it’s very easy to sew, despite its light weight. You can stiffen it before sewing if you like to avoid any difficulties with the slippery texture. Many crafters also enjoy creating embroidered poplins too, and the weave makes it ideal for this.

Cotton poplin at Fabric Direct

You will love the superb range of quality cotton poplin dressmaking fabrics available by the metre at Fabric Direct. We have all of the latest colours, patterns and themes – from dancing unicorns or woodland animals through to sophisticated florals and on-trend stars. Naturally, we stock a huge range of haberdashery products too, so you can find everything that you need at our Aladdin’s Cave of dressmaking essentials. Our prices are excellent and you will love our service – order online today for fast UK delivery and get started on your next dressmaking project without delay!

Buy cotton poplin online now

See our full range of patterned cotton poplins here. []

Looking for a plain cotton poplin? You’ll find a huge range of shades here. [

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