The Info List - Muslin

(/ˈmʌzlɪn/ or /ˈmjuːslɪn/[citation needed]), also mousseline, is a cotton fabric of plain weave.[1][2] It is made in a wide range of weights from delicate sheers to coarse sheeting.[2][3] They were imported into Europe from India in the 17th century and were later manufactured in Scotland and England. It gets its name from the city of Mosul, Iraq, where it may have been first manufactured.[2][3][4][5] Early muslin was handwoven of uncommonly delicate handspun yarn, especially in the region around Dhaka, Bengal (now Bangladesh),[3] where it may have originated.[6] It was imported into Europe for much of the 17th and early 18th centuries.[3] Fine linen muslin was formerly known as sindon.[7] In 2013, the traditional art of weaving Jamdani
muslin in Bangladesh was included in the list of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.[8]


1 Etymology and history 2 Uses

2.1 Dress-making and sewing 2.2 Shellac polishing 2.3 Culinary 2.4 Theater and photography 2.5 Medicine 2.6 Early aviation

3 See also 4 Notes 5 References

Etymology and history[edit] Muslin
(AmE: Muslin
gauze) from French mousseline, from Italian mussolina, from Mussolo ‘Mosul’ (Mosul, Iraq, where European traders are said to have first encountered the cloth). Although this view has the fabric named after the city where Europeans first encountered it (Mosul), the fabric is believed to have originated in Dhakeshwari, now Dhaka
the capital of Bangladesh.[6] In the 9th century, an Arab merchant named Sulaiman made note of the material's origin in Bengal (known as Ruhmi in Arabic). Bengali muslin was traded throughout the Muslim
world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. In many Islamic regions, such as in Central Asia, the cloth was named Daka, after the city of Dhaka.[9] Some believe Crusaders of the First Crusade found the cloth in the Middle East and brought it back to Europe.[10][verification needed] Subsequently, the word Muslin
found its place in various European languages as French mousseline, Italian mussolina etc., In 1298, Marco Polo
Marco Polo
described the cloth in his book The Travels. He said it was made in Mosul, Iraq.[11] During the 17th and 18th centuries, Mughal Bengal emerged as the foremost muslin exporter in the world, with Mughal Dhaka
as capital of the worldwide muslin trade.[9][12] During the Roman period Khadi muslin was introduced in Europe and a vast amounts of fabrics were traded to Europe for many centuries.[13] It became highly popular in 18th-century France
and eventually spread across much of the Western world. During British colonial rule in the eighteenth century, the Bengali muslin industry was ruthlessly suppressed by various colonial policies,[14] which favored imports of industrially manufactured textiles from Britain. Brutality to muslin weavers was intense, William Bolts
William Bolts
noting in 1772 that "instances have been known of their cutting off their thumbs to prevent their being forced to wind silk."[14]:194 As a result, the quality of muslin suffered greatly and its finesse was nearly lost for two centuries. There have been various attempts at reviving the muslin industry in modern Bangladesh. At the end of the 16th century the English traveler Ralph Fitch greatly admired the muslin of Sonargaon. The Portuguese traveler Duarte Barbosa described the muslin of Bengal in the early 16th century. He mentioned a few types of fabrics, such as estrabante (sarband), mamona, fugoza, choutara, and sinabaka.[15] In present day, many different types of muslins are produced in many different places, including Dhaka. The word muslin is also used colloquially. In the United Kingdom, many sheer cotton fabrics are called muslin, while in the United States, muslin sometimes refers to a firm cloth for everyday use, which in the UK and Australia is known as calico. Under British rule, the British East India company could not compete with the local Muslin
with their own export of cloth to India. Muslin production was repressed and the knowledge eradicated. Local weavers were systematically rounded up and their hands mutilated with removal of their thumbs.[16][17][18] Uses[edit] Dress-making and sewing[edit]

In Advantages of wearing Muslin
Dresses! (1802), James Gillray caricatured a hazard of untreated muslin: its flammability.

When sewing clothing, a dressmaker may test the fit of a garment, using an inexpensive muslin fabric before cutting pieces from expensive fabric, thereby avoiding potential costly mistakes. This garment is often called a "muslin," and the process is called "making a muslin." In this context, "muslin" has become the generic term for a test or fitting garment, regardless of what it is made from. Muslin
is also often used as a backing or lining for quilts, and thus can often be found in wide widths in the quilting sections of fabric stores. Shellac polishing[edit] Muslin
is used as a French polishing pad. Culinary[edit] Main article: Cheesecloth Muslin
can be used as a filter:

In a funnel when decanting fine wine or port to prevent sediment from entering the decanter To separate liquid from mush (for example, to make apple juice: wash, chop, boil, mash, then filter by pouring the mush into a muslin bag suspended over a jug) To retain a liquidy solid (for example, in home cheese-making, when the milk has curdled to a gel, pour into a muslin bag and squash between two saucers (upside down under a brick) to squeeze out the liquid whey from the cheese curd)

is the material for the traditional cloth wrapped around a Christmas pudding. Muslin
is the fabric wrapped around the items in barmbrack, a fruitcake traditionally eaten at Halloween in Ireland. Muslin
is used when making traditional Fijian Kava as a filter. Beekeepers use muslin to filter melted beeswax to clean it of particles and debris. Theater and photography[edit] Muslin
is often the cloth of choice for theater sets. It is used to mask the background of sets and to establish the mood or feel of different scenes. It receives paint well and, if treated properly, can be made translucent. It also holds dyes well. It is often used to create nighttime scenes because when dyed, it often gets a wavy look with the color varying slightly, such that it resembles a night sky. Muslin
shrinks after it is painted or sprayed with water, which is desirable in some common techniques such as soft-covered flats. In video production as well, muslin is used as a cheap greenscreen or bluescreen, either pre-colored or painted with latex paint (diluted with water). It is commonly used as a background for the chroma key technique. Muslin
is the most common backdrop material used by photographers for formal portrait backgrounds. These backdrops are usually painted, most often with an abstract mottled pattern. In the early days of silent film-making, and up until the late 1910s, movie studios did not have the elaborate lights needed to illuminate indoor sets, so most interior scenes were sets built outdoors with large pieces of muslin hanging overhead to diffuse sunlight. Medicine[edit]

A first-aid packet of 5m of "hydrophilic muslin", given to Italian soldiers in World War I

Surgeons use muslin gauze in cerebrovascular neurosurgery to wrap around aneurysms or intracranial vessels at risk for bleeding.[19] The thought is that the gauze reinforces the artery and helps prevent rupture. It is often used for aneurysms that, due to their size or shape, cannot be microsurgically clipped or coiled.[20] Early aviation[edit] The Wright Brothers, in search of a light and strong covering for their gliders and the 1903 Wright Flyer (the first heavier-than-air powered aircraft), selected Pride of the West muslin as a covering for wings and control surfaces. A large piece of the fabric used on the original Wright Flyer (1903) was passed down to Wright descendants. The fabric was made available to The Wright Experience[21](reproduction of the Wright gliders and Flyer and reenactment of the first flight on its 100th anniversary) for examination as it was no longer commercially available a century after its use by the Wrights. To create an authentic modern reproduction of the original fabric, three different companies were needed which produced the thread, the weaving, and the finishing). See also[edit]

trade in Bengal


^ muslin (noun), Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, March 2003  ^ a b c muslin (noun), Webster's Unabridged Dictionary  ^ a b c d muslin, Encyclopædia Britannica  ^ The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles, A&C Black, 2013, pp. 404–, ISBN 978-1-60901-535-0  ^ muslin (noun), etymology, Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, March 2003  ^ a b Ghosh, G. K.; Ghosh, Shukla (1995), Indian Textiles: Past and Present, APH Publishing, pp. 35–, ISBN 978-81-7024-706-7  ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "sindon, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1911. ^ " Jamdani
recognised as intangible cultural heritage by Unesco", The Daily Star, 5 December 2013, retrieved 2013-12-04  ^ a b Eaton, Richard Maxwell (1996), The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760, University of California Press, p. 202, ISBN 978-0-520-20507-9  ^ Dutt, Sukumar (1988), Buddhist Monks and Monasteries of India: Their History and Their Contribution to Indian Culture, Motilal Banarsidas Publishers, p. 132, OCLC 860235537  ^ Polo, Marco. The most noble and famous travels of Marco Polo, together with the travels of Nicoláo de' Conti. Translated by John Frampton, London, A. and C. Black, 1937, p.28. ^ Karim, Abdul (2012), "Muslin", in Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A., Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh
(Second ed.), Asiatic Society of Bangladesh  ^ "The story of KHADI", The Daily Star (Bangladesh), 13 December 2011, retrieved 2014-01-14  ^ a b Bolts, William (1772), Considerations on India affairs: particularly respecting the present state of Bengal and its dependencies, Printed for J. Almon, pp. 194–195  ^ Selim, Lala Rukh (2007), Art and Crafts, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, p. 552, OCLC 299379796  ^ Edwards, Michael (June 1976), Growth of the British Cotton
Trade 1780-1815, Augustus M Kelley Pubs, p. 37, ISBN 0-678-06775-9  ^ Marshall, P. J. (1988), India and Indonesia during the Ancien Regime, E.J. Brill, p. 90, ISBN 978-90-04-08365-3  ^ Samuel, T. John (2013), Many avatars : challenges, achievements and the future, [S.l.]: Friesenpress, ISBN 1-4602-2893-6  ^ Pool, J. (1976), " Muslin
gauze in intracranial vascular surgery. Technical note.", Journal of Neurosurgery, 44 (1): 127–128, doi:10.3171/jns.1976.44.1.0127  ^ Berger, C.; Hartmann, M.; Wildemann, B. (March 2003), "Progressive visual loss due to a muslinoma – report of a case and review of the literature", European Journal of Neurology, 10 (2): 153–158, doi:10.1046/j.1468-1331.2003.00546.x  ^ The Wright Experience

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muslin


Asher, Catherine B.; Talbot, Cynthia (2006), India Before Europe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 281–, ISBN 978-0-521-80904-7  Eaton, Richard M. (1996), The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760, University of California Press, pp. 202–, ISBN 978-0-520-20507-9  Islam, Khademul. 2016. Our Story of Dhaka
Muslin. AramcoWorld. Volume 67 (3). May/June 2016. Pages 26–32. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/895830331. Prakash, Om (1998), European Commercial Enterprise in Pre-Colonial India, Cambridge University Press, pp. 202–, ISBN 978-0-521-25758-9  Riello, Giorgio (editor); Parthasarathi, Prasannan (editor) (2011), The Spinning World: A Global History of Cotton
Textiles, 1200-1850, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-969616-1 CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Riello, Giorgio (editor); Roy, Tirthankar (editor) (2009), How India Clothed the World: The World of South Asian Textiles, 1500-1850, BRILL, pp. 219–, ISBN 90-04-17653-5 CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Staples, Kathleen A.; Shaw, Madelyn C. (2013), Clothing Through American History: The British Colonial Era, ABC-CLIO, pp. 96–, ISBN 978-0-313-08460-7 

Look up muslin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

v t e



Aertex Airdura Airguard Barathea Barkcloth Batiste Bedford cord Bengaline Beta cloth Bombazine Brilliantine Broadcloth Buckram Bunting Burlap C change Calico Cambric Canvas Chambray Capilene Cedar bark Challis Char cloth Charmeuse Charvet Cheesecloth Chiffon Chino Chintz Cloqué Cloth of gold Cordura Corduroy Duck Coutil Crape Crêpe Cretonne Dazzle Denim Dimity Donegal tweed Dornix Dowlas Drill Drugget Eolienne Flannel Foulard Fustian Gabardine Gauze Gazar Georgette Ghalamkar Gingham Grenadine Grenfell Cloth Grosgrain Habutai Haircloth Harris Tweed Herringbone Himroo Hodden Irish linen Jamdani Kerseymere Khādī Khaki drill Kente cloth Lamé Lawn Linsey-woolsey Loden Longcloth Mackinaw Madapolam Madras Moleskin Muslin Nainsook Nankeen Ninon Oilskin Organdy Organza Osnaburg Ottoman Oxford Paduasoy Percale Pongee Poplin Rakematiz Rayadillo Rep Rinzu Ripstop Russell cord Saga Nishiki Samite Sateen Satin Saye Scarlet Seersucker Sendal Serge Scrim Shot silk Stuff Taffeta Tais Toile Tucuyo Tweed Twill Ultrasuede Vegetable flannel Ventile Vinyl coated polyester Viyella Voile Wadmal Wigan Whipcord Zephyr Zorbeez

Figured woven

Brocade Camlet Damask Lampas Songket

Pile woven

Baize Chenille Corduroy Crimplene Fustian Mockado Moquette Plush Polar fleece Terrycloth Velours du Kasaï Velvet Velveteen Zibeline


Felt Cedar bark


Boiled wool Coolmax Machine knitting Milliskin Jersey Velour


Bobbinet Carbon fiber Lace Mesh Needlerun net Ninon Tulle


Ballistic nylon Ban-Lon Conductive Darlexx E-textiles Gannex Gore-Tex Silnylon Spandex Stub-tex SympaTex Windstopper


Argyle Bizarre silk Chiné Herringbone Houndstooth Paisley Pin stripes Polka dot Shweshwe Tartan
(plaid) Tattersall


Acrylic Alpaca Angora Cashmere Coir Cotton Eisengarn Hemp Jute Kevlar Linen Mohair Nylon Microfiber Olefin Pashmina Polyester Piña Ramie Rayon Sea silk Silk Sisal Spandex Spider silk Wool

Finishing and printing

Androsia Batik Beetling Bingata Bògòlanfini Burnout Calendering Decatising Devoré Finishing Fulling Heatsetting Mercerization Moire Nap Rogan printing Rōketsuzome Roller printing Sanforization Tenterhook Textile
printing Warp printing Waxed cotton Woodblock printing Indienne

Fabric mills

Carlo Barbera Cerruti Dormeuil Drago Ermenegildo Zegna E. Thomas Holland & Sherry Larusmiani Loro Piana Reda Scabal Vitale Barberis Canonico


Dyeing Fiber History of textiles History of silk Knitting Pandy Shrinkage Swatches and strike-offs Synthetic fabric Terminology Manufacturing Preservation