Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin: How Do They Differ & Better? [Resolved]

Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin

Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Wahid

If you are choosing a fabric for your outfit, be sure to consider the style type and the fabric that would work best.

Cotton broadcloth is a durable and sturdy fabric, suitable for outdoor wear and tough environments.

Poplin, in contrast, has a more elegant and lightweight feel, making it better suited to garments used indoors or in low-traffic areas.

How should you choose between Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin? Broadcloth made of cotton is composed of long, continuous threads of cotton twisted into one fabric. In the next step, the fibers will be stitched together, resulting in a fabric. Poplin fabric differs from cotton broadcloth since cotton broadcloth is extremely heavyweight, whereas poplin is lighter in weight.

In this article, we provide an overview and the differences between the 2 types of fabric commonly found in dresses. Knowing the different weaves of fabric will help you pick the right fabric for your dress. Well, let’s find out what they are.

Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin: Comparison Table Briefly

Both cotton broadcloth and poplin are the most popular fabrics on the market today. However, there are also many similarities and differences between them. The following table will help you better understand them.

Cotton Broadcloth Poplin
Using:Suitable for outdoor usesSuitable for indoor uses
Origin:Originally made with wool in “medieval England”Originally made with silk and wool in Avignon, a “French papal” town
Resistance:Cotton Broadcloth is weather-resistantPoplin is water-resistant & stain-resistant
Washing process:For Cotton Broadcloth, hand washing is bestMachine washable and can withstand heat levels of 60 degrees
Weight:Medium weight materialsLightweight materials
Weave:Cotton Broadcloth plain weave fabric composed of “fine ribs” Poplin has horizontal “ribs” that produce a strong, crisp fabric
Dresses:Best used for shirts, blouses, and skirtsBreathable material best for sportswear makers 
Wrinkle:Not wrinkle-resistance. It may be necessary to iron or steam broadcloth outfits after dryingPoplin has a natural wrinkle-resistance. Steam or a low tumble dry will soften it
Odors:In the wash, 100% cotton broadcloth releases odors easily100% cotton poplin won’t stain easily, and it’s odor-resistant

Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin: In-Depth Overviews

What is the best fabric between cotton broadcloth vs poplin? Although the question is short, the answer is lengthy. You will receive a lot of information below in response to your answer. Scroll down and read on.


Cotton Broadcloth was originally made with wool in “medieval England.” Today, cotton or cotton blends are commonly used in the manufacture of broadcloth. It was in the early 1920s that broadcloth was first introduced to the “United States” as a staple material. 

Although the method of manufacturing originated in “Flanders,” cloth of this type could also be found in Leiden and other English cities during the medieval period.

During the 15th century, silk and wool were utilized to make poplin for winter clothing. A poplin is derived from the French word “papelaine,” referring to Avignon, the former “French papal” town.

Cotton Broadcloth – What Is It?

  • Cotton Broadcloth is an unbalanced, plain weave fabric composed of fine ribs and of medium weight. 
  • In addition to its distinctive luster & smooth appearance, it is tightly woven. 
  • This fabric is often used for skirts, shirts, and blouses. 
  • Among the most popular fabrics for quilting, it is also used by crafters.
  • The broadcloth fabric is made of cotton, which is very fine and has a lustrous finish. 
  • In formal wear, such as gowns and suits, it is often used. 
  • Cotton poplin has a matte finish due to its coarser yarn. 
  • Casual clothing is often made with it, such as jeans and T-shirts.

Characteristics Of Cotton Broadcloth Fabric

  • Various weights of cotton broadcloth are available, with 8oz being the most popular.
  • Tuxedos and suits are typically made from 12oz broadcloth. The fabric is composed of soft cotton yarns with very fine weaving. 
  • Shirts and dresses are often made from 8 oz broadcloth rather than 12 oz broadcloth.
  • Historical woolen broadcloths are plain woven and dense cloths. 
  • Broadcloth is characterized not by the final width but by its widened weave (usually 50-75% wider compared to its finished width). 
  • In order to shrink the cloth to the required width, it is heavily milled (traditionally with a large wooden trip hammer in warm, soapy water). 
  • This is cotton broadcloth clothing draped with stiffness that is weather-resistant, durable, and able to take a cutting without needing to be hemmed.

How To Care For Cotton Broadcloth Fabric?

  • When washed and dried, cotton broadcloth and quilting weight does not shrink. 
  • Ensure that you use the temperature setting that you intend to use on the garment, preferably higher, in order to prevent shrinkage in the future. 
  • When washed with cold water, 100% cotton broadcloth will easily release odors. 
  • In general, experts recommend hand washing, cold-water washing on a gentle cycle, and low-temperature tumble drying. 
  • Clothing made of 100% cotton broadcloth doesn’t typically require dry cleaning. 
  • In spite of this, broadcloth clothing still requires steaming or ironing to maintain its crisp and smooth appearance.

Advantages Of Using “Cotton Broadcloth”

  • Broadcloth made from cotton is typically softer & more comfortable compared to woven cotton fabrics. 
  • Since the cloth doesn’t have a hard finish, it will wear more effectively over time, especially for clothing items such as shirts & dresses.
  • Suits and gowns made from cotton broadcloth are very popular because of their softness and durability.
  • In addition to being extremely sturdy, a broadcloth is also extremely comfortable to wear. 
  • Even though its usage has decreased over time, it continues to be used to produce clothing, upholstery, and crafts.

Disadvantages Of “Cotton Broadcloth Fabric”

  1. Since cotton broadcloth tends to shrink, you may need to get a bigger size when purchasing cotton clothing.
  2. Since cotton fabric wrinkles easily, you will have to iron your outfit every time whenever you wear them.
  3. Cotton is a natural fiber, which makes it more prone to damage. 
  4. When exposed to sunlight, it fades and gets damaged by dampness and mildew.
  5. Cotton clothing’s colors can run, staining other clothes & discoloring them. 
  6. Because the fibers tend to be short, the fabric dries slowly and becomes linty easily.

Poplin Fabric – What Is It?

  • Poplin has horizontal “ribs” that produce a strong, crisp fabric that has a silky, lustrous surface. 
  • Basically, men’s & women’s shirts, sportswear, women’s dresses, and raincoats often use this fabric. 
  • An elegant fabric, it adds beauty and grace to any garment with its subtle sheen.
  • A poplin fabric, also known as a tabinet (or tabinet), consists of a fine, cotton, thick wool, or silk fabric with a vertical warp & horizontal weft. 
  • Poplin is a strong fabric made from plain ribbed weave and characterized by crosswise ribs placed closely together.

Characteristics Of Poplin Fabrics

  • Poplin is a breathable material. Sportswear makers use it for this reason. 
  • Due to its lightweight & breathable nature, you can wear it all day long for formal or business wear without feeling too hot.
  • It’s a very soft and comfortable fabric, but it’s also quite durable. 
  • The lustrous sheen makes it look more appealing and does not shine excessively, so it is suitable for wearing to a formal event.
  • Additionally, poplin is water-resistant. 
  • Also, it’s stain-resistant, so even stubborn coffee spills won’t damage it.
  • When you wear a piece made of poplin material, you will be able to move freely.
  • The advantage of this is that you’ll always have a polished look, regardless of whether you’re wearing it all day long. 
  • Poplin is machine-washable, which makes it quick and easy to care for. 
  • The fabric will not crease, and wearing these pants all day long is a wise choice. 
  • The most popular fabric for sewing projects that can be worn while driving and moving is poplin.
  • The material can withstand heat levels of 60 degrees; thus, hand washing is not required.

How To Care For Poplin Fabric?

  • Poplin is an easy-to-wash and iron fabric that requires little maintenance.
  • Choose a gentle cycle setting for the machine, as well as use soft laundry detergent.
  • The use of fabric softeners is possible.
  • If you dry the fabric on a flat surface, it can be air-dried, and tumble-drying the fabric is another option.
  • The wrong side of the fabric should be pressed with the shark steam iron.
  • Make sure that the fabric is held together with a low-temperature pressing cloth.
  • It is advisable to use pins in order to prevent the fabric from unraveling.

Advantages Of Using “Poplin”

  • One of the biggest advantages of this fabric is its durability, regardless of how light or heavy the fabric is. 
  • The poplin fabric drapes well and is easy to maintain and sew, with organic cotton content. 
  • This is an excellent starting point for creating an environmentally friendly brand or garment.
  • Strong and durable, poplin can withstand washing machines and heavy wear.
  • Additionally, it holds its shape relatively well, which makes it wrinkle-resistant.
  • Thus, upholstery fabric, tablecloths, and quilts are typical home decor products made from this fabric.

Disadvantages Of “Poplin Fabric”

  1. The heat is not locked in. 
  2. In winter, this fabric won’t keep you warm, despite its durability. 
  3. Although poplin is possible to wear with a lining, it isn’t ideal for winter wear. 
  4. The poplin fabric is popular for summer wear, but in colder climates, a different fabric is more suitable.
  5. There is a problem with the thinness of the fabric. 
  6. Poplin is not a good option if you need a heavyweight fabric.

Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin: What To Pick?

Though they are usually mistaken for the same material, Cotton Broadcloth and Poplin have their own distinct characteristics. Basically, differences in yarn thickness are responsible for this distinction. Broadcloth and poplin are both woven similarly. 

If you want plain woven fabric, Poplin fabric is what you need. It has a close weave and fine warp and weft yarns, making it a tabinet fabric. Poplin traditionally consisted of a silk warp with a weft of worsted yarn. Fabrics with stout cords for wefts have ridged structures, like rep. Silky surfaces gain depth & softness as a result. 

In contrast, cotton broadcloth, which is made from wool, has a dense fabric. There are several types of broadcloth available today, including cotton, silk, and polyester, but the most popular is cotton broadcloth. This material is sturdy due to its dense weave.

What should you choose between Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin fabrics? Finally, I would like to point out that you should pick your preferred material based on the kind of dress you will be wearing, the situation, your living area and your personality as well.


1. Does Poplin Drape?

Yes, of course. Despite its weight, the fabric drapes beautifully. With poplin, you can embellish your piece with frills & other details. The fabric is usually non-stretchy, although some types are.

Poplin, like all fabrics, has different qualities. When sewing, you should choose fabrics that are of high quality in order to achieve the results you desire.

2. Does broadcloth wrinkle?

Cotton Broadcloth shirts & skirts tend to wrinkle after being dried, so they might need to be ironed, or steam cleaned.

3. Do cotton broadcloths have a soft feel?

In addition to being extremely durable and soft, broadcloth is one of the densest woven fabrics. Despite not being as prevalent nowadays, it remains a popular material for clothing, upholstery, and crafts.

4. Does poplin work well in hot weather?

Typically, poplin is woven with thin vertical yarns and thick horizontal yarns, usually from lightweight cotton. In warm weather, shirts made from the fabric feel cool, crisp, and comfortable in warm weather.

5. Is Cotton broadcloth is breathable?

Fabrics made of broadcloth are tightly woven and consist of 35% cotton, 65% polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend. A medium to lightweight 44/45″ wide broadcloth that weighs about 4 oz a yard and offers a soft, breathable finish, which is perfect for crafting and garment making.

6. Does poplin have a heavy feel?

Poplin fabrics, also called tabinets, are plain-weave fabrics with crosswise ribs. Featuring fine weaves in warps and coarser wefts, it is tightly woven. Pajamas, shirts, and dresses are usually made of this strong fabric. Generally, poplin has a weight of 100 grams per square meter.

7. Is broadcloth suitable for winter?

It is available in cotton, silk, or even linen, though wool is traditionally used as a shirt fabric during the fall and winter months. Using an over-under weave, broadcloth produces a delicate sheen yet is weatherproof and durable due to its tight weave.

8. Cotton or poplin: which is better?

The poplin fabric is durable, lightweight, and soft to the touch, featuring a tight/close weave. Its crisp texture and less creasing proneness make it a good choice in comparison to cotton fabrics that are more traditional.

9. What are the benefits of cotton poplin?

Poplin is a durable fabric that can withstand heavy wear and washing machines. In addition, it can maintain its shape quite well, thus being wrinkle-resistant, making it an ideal fabric used in home decors such as tablecloths, upholstery, and quilting. A poplin fabric can be used for a variety of purposes. The crispness & natural drape of the material make it a wonderful alternative for summer dresses.

10. Is broadcloth thicker than cotton?

The only difference between broadcloth and cotton is that cotton fibers are used to weave the former. The final product is typically made of woven cotton & may also contain polyester, silk, rayon, and wool. Medium-weight fabrics are usually referred to as broadcloth.

A Final Note

By reading the comparison between Cotton Broadcloth Vs Poplin carefully, you will know how each differs and which one is better. The same method of weaving is used for broadcloth and poplin. The cotton broadcloth yarn used is thicker and produces a fabric that feels robust and sturdy. Alternatively, poplin is woven from thin warp yarns and heavier weft yarns.

Poplin fabric is lightweight and smooth with a crisp texture and weave. Then again, broadcloth may be a bit thicker than twill and have a slightly coarser texture.

For day-to-day wear, a broadcloth is best for most formal shirts. Its weave is similar to poplin but more densely packed. Poplin typically has a lighter weight, so it’s perfect for those who live in warmer climates. Now you have the choice, based on your personal preferences.

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