Cotton Poplin Fabrics

Poplin fabric also called tabinet is a plain weave material characterized by crosswise ribs. Tightly woven, it contains fine warp yarns and coarser weft yarns. It is a strong material most often found in shirts, dresses and pajamas. The average poplin weight is around 100 g/m 2.

The term 'poplin' appeared in the 15th century in Avignon, France. The name referred to the Papal residence where it was first produced. Back then it was made with silk warp and wool weft, and the most common applications were garments and upholstery. Today we find 100% cotton poplin fabrics, as well as in rayon and synthetic blends.

Since first poplin was made of silk and wool, it was used primarily for heavy dresses and robes. Nowadays the majority of poplin fabrics are woven in 100% cotton, and the number-one application is shirts.

cotton poplin fabrics


As said above, poplin fabrics are made with a plain weave. They are sturdy and durable, plus they are easy to maintain and resist creases. Poplin can be bleached, dyed or printed, which makes it ideal for a variety of garments. In terms of content breakdown, you can find the following types of poplin used worldwide:

  1. cotton poplin
  2. silk poplin
  3. synthetic poplin
  4. stretch poplin

Poplins made of silk and wool are preferred in countries where the temperature is cool. Cotton poplins, on the contrary, are most often chosen in warmer climates. A cheaper version of this fabric – polyester poplin – has a firmer drape and is quite popular.

Poplin fabrics are smooth and even. They can be easily pleated to create crisp lines. Another advantage of poplin cloth is that it is not highly priced and thus is budget-friendly. No wonder, a lot of regular clothing is sewn with poplins!

Poplin is the most common shirting fabric.

What is Cotton Poplin Fabric?

Cotton poplin fabric is much appreciated all over the world. It feels cool and crisp to the touch, and the organic nature makes it extremely breathable. With its polished look, cotton poplin is a great choice even for formal attire, such as ceremonial dress shirts. Poplin dresses, shirts, blouses, pants have already become staples in men’s and women’s clothing. What makes cotton poplin so adorable?

  • It is thin and breathable.
  • It absorbs moisture and dries quickly.
  • It does not retain odors.
  • Hypoallergenic, it is perfect for sensitive skin.
  • Depending on thickness, this fabric can be transparent or opaque.
  • It is crisp and smooth.
  • It is strong and wear-resistant.
  • It is not clingy.
  • It is 100% natural and easy to care for.

Cotton does not cause static electricity and is chemical-free. These natural fibers dye very well, giving textile manufacturers a total freedom in creating stunning print and color options. Eco-friendly, cotton fabrics are definitely a green choice for those who care much about their ecological footprint.

cotton poplin fabric

Cotton poplin striped fabrics, 48 US$ per one running metre, buy now

To make cotton poplin more comfortable, many fabric producers add a touch of lycra, spandex or elastane, usually no more than 5%. This way, it becomes stretchy and more suitable for women’s apparel. Plus, stretch poplins might be more comfortable for people with curvy figures.

The finest type of cotton poplin is made of high-grade Egyptian cotton. Generally lightweight, it is a fabric of choice for warm climates. For some of you, poplin might be too thin to wear in winter when we tend to opt for thicker fabrics like twill or flannel. If you choose to wear this fabric in cooler weather, combine your poplin item with a warm woolen blazer or shrug to avoid chills.

The Difference Between Poplin, Broadcloth and Twill

Poplin, twill and broadcloth are among the most popular weaves for shirting fabrics. They look very much alike, but carry some differences you should know about.

Table 1. The difference between poplin, broadcloth and twill





Plain weave

Thin and smooth

Lightweight, often transparent


Plain weave

Thin and smooth

Lightweight, often transparent


Diagonal weave

A bit thicker, textured


Unlike poplin, broadcloth is woven with yarns of the same size in the warp and weft. To the untrained eye, these two fabrics might seem identical, since they are both fine and lightweight. But poplin is woven with yarns of different sizes, and that’s why it has a distinctive corded effect.

As for cotton twill fabric, due to high thread count it is warmer and not so breathable. Among the most popular variations of twill are herringbone and houndstooth.

What to Sew with It?

An all-purpose fabric, poplin has found its way both in men's and women's wardrobes. It is also a widely popular choice for kids wear, because it is lightweight, soft and easy to maintain. During World War II the British and US military used poplin for their uniforms, and it was a win-win: cool and comfortable on the one hand, strong and sturdy on the other.

Among the things you can make with poplin are:

  • women's dresses
  • blouses
  • men's shirts
  • summer pants and shorts
  • pyjamas
  • kids' shirts and dresses
  • sportswear
  • trenches

cotton poplin

Poplin material can also be used for raincoats if it is given a water-repellent finish. Plus, you can find this type of fabric in home decor: think upholstery, tablecloths, wall hangings, bedding, pillow cushions and covers, banners, patchwork and quilting, etc.

Fashion Prints 2018

“A woman should be two things, classy and fabulous” - Coco Chanel

The best runway looks tend to concentrate around our favourite colors, prints and details. In fact, that’s why they become the best! And while we all love monochrome, patterns are way more charismatic. Some print trends come and go, some of them make their comeback over and over again. Wanna stay on the verge of fashion this year? Express your personality with cotton poplin! Read on to find the hottest trends in 2018.

Inspired by cartoons, comics and paintings, these patterns are for the brave ones. Go with cotton poplin to preserve the buoyant colors of your favourite print for many seasons ahead!

  1. Art and cartoons prints.

    Inspired by cartoons, comics and paintings, these patterns are for the brave ones. Go with cotton poplin to preserve the buoyant colors of your favourite print for many seasons ahead!

  2. Butterflies.

    A beautiful fashion statement of this year, butterflies are ideal for summer dresses and blouses.

  3. Florals.

    This year the classic print goes all the way to the English countryside. Tiny flowers on cotton poplin will look so feminine!

  4. Feathers.

    Go with feather prints to support the trend seen all over the catwalk.

  5. Checks.

    Check prints are for geometry addicts. The Scottish tartan beats them all.

  6. Stripes.

    Vertical and horizontal, stripes are another classic we are not ready to part with. Candy stripes are especially hot!

  7. Animal.

    Zoo-inspired, animal prints are best if you’re looking to impress and bring some savage spirit into your closet.

The best thing about printed cotton poplins is that they retain vivid colors for a long time. It means that you can wear your poplin blouse or dress for several seasons in the row, and it will look as beautiful as it was when you finished it up.

Cotton Poplin Fabric for Poplin Shirts

cotton poplin fabric

Cotton poplin fabric, 48 US$ (37 €) per one running metre, buy now

Poplin is thin, so it is a great fabric for shirts to be worn underneath blazers or jackets. Often translucent, it makes a nice choice for summer shirt styles when you’re especially in need of comfort. Cotton poplin material has a subtle sheen that is not overpowering at all. Sturdy, but lightweight and smooth – is there anything else to dream about? Try poplin for:

  • Dress shirts, or formal shirts

Both in a modern fit and in a classic fit: e.g., a white poplin shirt for a business meeting or a button-down for a wedding.

  • Casual shirts, or sports shirts

With bolder patterns, buttons, decorative stitching: e.g., a gingham check or plaid.

Poplin lends itself to many designs, from super slim to classic. Cotton poplin is great with dyes, which means you can choose between a wide range of colorways.

How to Sew with and Care for This Fabric

Cotton poplin fabric is one of the few ‘forgiving’ fabrics that are a pleasure to work with. It is resistant to creasing and does not slide around on the table. Learn some tricks that’ll help you turn this cotton cloth into a beautiful piece of clothing. Forewarned is forearmed!

  1. Always prepare your fabric before cutting. Cotton poplin can be washed in warm water and dried on low heat. Still, some poplin fabrics are better be sent to dry-cleaner’s especially if they come with vivid prints. Washing at home can cause such fabric to bleed. The best strategy to keep your poplin alive for a long time is to follow care recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

  2. If you need to secure your fabric, opt for fine pins or use pattern weights to keep it in place. Cotton is not silk, of course, but thin cotton fabrics tend to shift a little bit.

  3. To mark the fabric, use water soluble and vanishing pencils. No kind of ink is allowed, as it can easily damage poplin. If you prefer chalk, test it on a small piece of fabric to see if it leaves any oil marks.

  4. Choose the correct machine foot and needle for your sewing machine. Your needle size should be based on the type and weight of thread you are using. Cotton poplin is not that delicate, but if your needle leaves visible holes on the surface, switch to a finer one.

  5. Cotton poplin fabric is wrinkle-resistant. It can be ironed on a cotton setting to eliminate any wrinkles left after washing, preferably with a pressing cloth. Avoid pressing wet fabric, it can stretch beyond repair.

Sewing with cotton poplin is not that tricky and can be mastered even by a beginner. Versatile, it wears really well and feels lovely against one’s skin. Stretch cotton poplin would definitely diversify any wardrobe, especially a woman’s one: think comfortable poplin dresses and cool poplin tops.

Where to Buy Cotton Poplin Fabric by the Yard

If you know what kind of poplin you need for your project, shopping online is the fastest and most comfortable way to get it. Just a few clicks, and all you have to do is wait for your parcel to arrive. To make sure you get a high quality material, choose poplin fabrics from the trustworthy European manufacturers, such as:

  1. Legguino (Italy)
  2. Cotonificio Albini (Italy)
  3. Liberty (Great Britain)
  4. Hausammann (Switzerland)
  5. Carnet (Italy)

At Tissura, you can buy online cotton poplin fabrics by the yard and by the meter that can be used alone or mixed and matched with other fabrics. From striped, animal and floral prints to embroidered cotton poplins, these fabrics breathe quality. Find the full range of 100% cotton poplins at Tissura by clicking on the button at the bottom of this page and start preparing for your next fashion creation. Some impressive ones are represented below:

cotton poplin fabric

Cotton poplin fabric, 37 € (44 US$) per one running metre

Stretch Cotton Poplin

Stretch cotton poplin fabric, 37 € (44 US$) per one running metre

Stretch Cotton Poplin

Stretch cotton poplin fabric, 37 € (44 US$) per one running metre

Cotton poplin fabric

Stretch cotton poplin fabric, 36 € (45 US$) per one running metre

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