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A large group of plain weave cotton or cotton blend fabrics of varying weights from very light to heavy, that have a range of finishes and uses. Although there is some disagreement, many sources state that muslin gets its name from Mosul, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), where it was first encountered by Europeans in the 17th century.

Muslin is often not dyed, left a natural off-white or white. It may also be dyed solid. If printed, it can be called by the print’s name, such as calico. Crinkled muslin is popular for casual clothing.

There are regional differences in the use of the term muslin; in the U.K. and Australia the use applies only to light weight and loosely woven fabric, equivalent to gauze in the U.S.

Uses: Shirts, dresses, sportswear, household items (aprons, sheets, slipcovers)

See also:

Muslin, top weight