What is Muslin?

Muslin is a popular cotton fabric that has a plain weave. It is produced in a variety of different weights which makes it a desirable material for many different applications. The name ‘Muslin’ originates from where it was first manufactured in the city of Mosul, Iraq. It became hugely popular in France in the 18th Century and eventually made its way in the Western textile world.


Usually, muslin is natural in colour, but it can be dyed for a variety of applications, with the most common transformation being white.  It’s well known for its breathability and durability, making it a desirable fabric to work with.


When it was first produced, muslin was used for clothing, but this has now expanded into many different areas:

Clothing & Accessories
Muslin is still a popular fabric for garments to be made out of, but it is no longer limited to tops and dresses. Understandably, muslin has built up a reputation in the baby world for its use as swaddles and baby cloths thanks to its delicacy and breathability.

Soft Furnishings
Its softness also makes it an ideal fabric to use for bed linen and curtains as it can be produced in a variety of different weights.

Theatre & Photography
More often than not, muslin is the go to choice for theatre sets due to its versatility. It can be painted to transform a stage or create that perfect backdrop in a photography studio.

Cleaning & Care

Muslin is known for aging well, especially clothing and soft furnishing that has been manufactured from it, meaning every time you wash it, it comes out softer than ever. In theatres and photography studios, muslin is also well known for being able to weather a storm. It can be crumpled, brushed up against, stretched and won’t tear or mark.

If you do need to wash or clean your theatre products, you should contact your manufacturer to find out how it should be cleaned to meet flammability standards.

To explore Whaleys Stages gauze range, head on over to our fabrics page.