What does that mean?

Following on from last week’s post about the new range of fabrics, I naturally thought of making something. So I picked up a pattern and realised that I hadn’t a clue. So I decided to grab a coffee and I would then rack Charlene’s brains on your behalf to  talk about patterns and what all those abbreviations actually mean. You can thank me later!

During our chat it transpired that both of us know of these abbreviations but we had both learnt different terms for the same things. For sewing Charlene calls it basting and I call it tacking – same thing different ways of looking at it. So in this post we thought it would be beneficial to all of us to go through these abbreviations and terms and hopefully straighten a few things out.

So lets talk shorthand and the confusion it can throw up. And it is the same for all types of pattern – knitting, crocheting, sewing and then you can throw the Americans way of doing things into the mix and it can quickly become complete nonsense. Very daunting if you are a newbie. Now I learnt to home craft the way most people do – at their mother’s knee. Some of you out there could be self taught either. It really doesn’t matter, at one stage or another we will all pick up a pattern and that is when it becomes a little confusing. Since I learnt to knit, I have started to collect knitting patterns and some of those can read like double dutch. K1 P1 K1b yrn ss1 m1 etc just makes no sense to start off with but as you get going it does become clear. Honestly.

Knitting Abbreviations

Knitting Abbreviations

Most knitting magazines and books are great though and do give you a brief stitch abbreviation at the back so you can find out what you need to do before you start. Some of the books available also give you a step by step photo guide so you can knit a few stitches step by step and practice before you get out the expensive wool out and make up your project. There are even Knitting for dummies and beginners books out there that do take you right back to the basics and I have found it is nice to refresh your knowledge from time to time. They have certainly taught me 2 new ways of casting on. Who knew there was more than one?

It sounds like I am preaching to the choir out there telling you what most of you already know, but doing a practice square for any of your projects can save a lot of ripping out, unnecessary tension (in both you and your wool/fabric) and some wasted time and material.crochet-cheat-sheet

With crocheting you also have to be careful as to the origin of the pattern you decide to follow – in the UK a DC is not the same as a US DC.  Projects can look very different if you are doing UK crochet and the pattern is from the US! Charlene prefers the American abbreviations but I prefer the good ole fashioned UK way – horses for courses I suppose and it depends which way you learnt to crochet in the beginning. In the chart it gives an insight into the differences in terminology along with their diagrams and you can imagine how one pattern read by 2 different people could have very different results!

Now sewing patterns don’t really have a load of different abbreviations in the same way that knitting and crocheting do, but as I said before, from just one short chat over coffee, Charlene and I came to the realisation that we have been calling the same action by 2 different terms for a long time.

Knowing your basics and doing them well will see most sewers through their projects, however, from time to time like knitting and crocheting you may want to expand your horizons and that is when an understanding of the stitches, their functions and when to use them becomes needed.

Some of the terms that you may find in sewing patterns are listed below. I have included their descriptions to help you along, but please note that these terms are how modern patterns may have them but you can change them as you need to the term that you remember or are more comfortable with.

Right side – The side of the fabric that will be seen when the garment is finished. Wrong side – The side of the fabric that will not be seen when the garment is finished. Clip – To help a curved seam sit flat, snip into the seam allowance with small scissors at regular intervals, ensuring you don’t cut into the stitching. Edge-stitch – Edge-stitching is when you stitch very close to an edge, usually with a straight stitch. Notch – Notches are small triangular marks on the seamlines of the pattern, there to help you line fabric edges together before you pin. Slip stitch – A slip stitch is a continuous hand stitch, using a single thread and is invisible from the outside. Alternate between running the needle inside the fold and then picking
up a thread or two from the main fabric. Stay-stitch – Stay-stitching is a single line of straight stitching through one layer of fabric to stabilise the fabric and prevent any stretching. It needs to be within the seam allowance so it doesn’t show. Top-stitch – Top-stitching is a visible line of stitching on the right side of a garment, usually along an edge. It adds stability but can also be used for decorative purposes. Under-stitch – Under-stitching helps a facing or lining stay inside the garment. To under-stitch a facing, after joining the facing to the outer garment, press the seam allowance
towards the facing, then stitch 2mm from the seam on the facing side, anchoring the facing to the seam allowance.

Now you are safer in the knowledge of what is what, and more importantly some of the mystique has been taken away from those funny terms and pictures, the time has come to choose your weapons – needles, hooks or pins. But that is a post for another day.


New instore

So the colder nights are definitely upon us and our projects become bigger somehow at this time of year – a nice big jumper to knit or a patchwork quilt for the bed.

Well, we want to tempt you out from the comfort of your sofa and warmth of the fire to view the new range of fabric that has landed in Elizabeth Rose NI – dress making fabric. Inspired by both a new found love of sewing and our Sew Saturday event, Charlene has ordered a small but beautiful collection of dressmaking fabrics.012

They range from a classic tweed in grey, a deep purple satin for that injection of colour as a lining to a gorgeous teal crepe. Or what about a cream spotted jersey for something a bit funkier? Maybe you could choose to go very classic with a Burberry check to make a timeless ladies jacket.028

As with our fabric of the month felt, certain dressmaking fabrics lend themselves very easily to certain projects. Tweed and heavy wools are ideal to make a smart man’s blazer, whereas crepe is perfect for an easy to make easy to wear shift dress. But as with felt too , dressmaking fabrics can be turned into anything you wish. Why not use a heavy grey wool for an asymmetrical work skirt? Lined in purple for a flash of colour as you walk? Or the crepe as maybe a waterfall waistcoat? Sew two different colours together and make it reversible! See endless possibilities already and that is just three of the fabrics that are instore.

We also have jersey. Jersey fabric would have tended to be classically used as maternity wear due to it’s stretchy property. But what about a dress with a bit of ruching at the side? It can be pulled on for work or and impromptu dinner date. And Jersey washes so well too, it is so versatile and yet if made from the right pattern will never go out of fashion.

Coming up to the Christmas period we may also have a few wee parties to go to and Charlene has fabric for that too – a gold and black brocade that could be transformed into a small bolero jacket to go over a simple black dress. Or you could even turn it into a full length formal dress with a high neck and beading if the occasion called for it.


Classic Grey Tweed


Reversible taupe/black heavey weight Jersey


Cream spot Jersey


Coffee Flat Brocade

There is also a coffee coloured flat brocade that would lend itself very easily to a sixties style A-line coat. Imagine that for a Mother of the Bride coat for a winter wedding. Simple but timeless.

Charlene also has a range of dressmaking patterns to compliment the current crop of fabrics. A simple a-line skirt or a top with buttons down the back are two that we have so far, but keep your eyes peeled for more on that front.

As always, all the fabrics are also available in the online shop, (we will be adding more over the next few days) but I would suggest that if you can you should come in and see them for yourselves as the photos don’t do them justice. This also means that you can feel the fabric and really get inspired as to what to make next.

So put on a warm coat, venture out and come over and see us. You won’t be disappointed.


Fabric of the Month – Felt

Now we have calmed down from our Sew Saturday event it is time to focus on a new feature for the website – Fabric of the Month.

This feature will hopefully give you all an insight into a new fabric or even one that you are used to but used in new and different ways. So our first fabric for October will be an oldie but a goodie – felt.

I remember fuzzy felt from my school days and the box with all those various shapes and colours that could be made into a myriad of different pictures from your imagination. A Board and shapes. That was it. Say that to a child now and they would look at you but it was something so simple that could release hours of entertainment when the weather was cold or wet.

Well now we are grown up felt still has the potential to be that fabric of our imagination.

Like all fabrics, felt comes in a wide wide range of colours and indeed thicknesses depending on the project you have in mind.  So it doesn’t just have to be used for the backing on a table mat, felt can be your main fabric.

We all know that felt has been used for many years to great effect as decorations for Christmas trees or for other holidays and rightly so. It doesn’t frey like other fabrics. It is easy to sew by hand or on a machine. It can be glued together. Stuffed and shaped into anything you want. It can be embellished with beads, buttons or crystals to make it shine and sparkle. It is durable and lasts for years and years and if treated properly it will hardly ever fade.

Have I convinced you about felt  yet? No? Well what about these simple projects to try.

One piece, one hour, no sewing!

One piece, one hour, no sewing!

What about making simple baskets for the stairs to keep the junk off them? Or somewhere to put all your balls of wool in between projects? A simple pattern cut out of one piece of felt and slotted together and then if you want you can stiffen it with a simple mix of pva glue and water and then leave them to dry. And the great thing is they then become wipeable!

Or small toys for a little girls and boys? Nice and soft and easy to transport in a pocket. But unlike hard toys they won’t damage your washing machine if they get left in pockets.

Why not cut out little heart shapes, fill them with rice or wheat and make your own hand warmers?

Or again cut out hearts shapes stick on some jute, stuff them and add a ribbon and you have yourself and a simple all year round ornament. Or you make then larger for bunting for a spare room.

Or what about a handbag? Strong and sturdy but still soft to the touch and when not in use it can be rolled up for storage. Either leather or wooden handles to keep the natural feel. You could make a simple tote bag or a square multi pocketed bag for all you bits and pieces. And with the choice of colours out there you could make one for every outfit!

A garland for a focal point?

A cushion for the sofa?

Pin Cushions?

Ties backs for a set of curtains?

Cup Coasters? Pot Lifters?

A little Christmas felt for the sewers!

A little Christmas felt for the sewers!

Ok I’ll stop now. I think I made my point. Felt is not just something for school days or days of yore. It is cool and the projects that can be made from it are limitless. So why not give felt a try this month and see what you can create.

We currently stock 6 different colours if felt.  Check out our Fabric of the month on our online shop



Wow! Wow! Wow! And that is the very least that I can say. The response to our second ever Sew Saturday was immense. We had so many people there it was hard to see the back of the barn at one stage. I had never realised there was so many handy people out there.

From the moment the doors opened the faces started to appear – some we knew but lots of new friends too. A few women even came all the way from Bangor, County Down! The look of wonder was just what Charlene had hoped for and a few people could not believe that all the fabric had just been transferred from the shop! It really is an Aladdin’s cave.

Inspiration lined the walls, tables and chairs and then even more arrived in the form of Angeline Murphy’s designs. Stunning patchwork of every variety and clothes to give all the sewers aspiration to do what ever they love. I know I want to make the robe that Angeline brought and then sit under a patchwork quilt and watch the winter go by!


Some of Angeline’s creations


Something to make evenings more glamorous

Angeline and Charlene on the mics.

Angeline and Charlene on the mics.

The finishing and style of Angeline’s work really hearkens back to a time when everyone could sew and with the choice of her patterns and fabrics, it means that her stuff will never go out of fashion.


Joanne and her Knitted Knockers

Joanne and Hope had lots of sign ups for help with their campaign to knit knockers and sew heart cushions for cancer patients and with the joy that knowing you can help by doing what you love, it gladdened the hearts of many on such a miserable day. Not that we let the weather dampen the spirits.

Although the concept of Joanne’s idea was simple, it touched the hearts of many in the room. Lots of us have been touched by cancer and the effects that it can have on friends and family members can be devastating, but with Joanne’s little idea and a couple of balls of wool, it can give a patient hope that the end is in sight. Also the fact that your donation will be given freely for those who would like it makes you smile.

Her new launch of the under arm heart cushions for those who have scars under the arms, made such sense to me that I signed up! Definitely have to get the machine out now.Well it is for a good cause and if it helps just one woman then it is well worth it.


Busy hands make a big sock!

Pamela may have thought that she was hiding down the back of the barn with her attempt to break the World Record for the Biggest Christmas Stocking, but lots of people sat down with a wee cuppa and helped her out. Lots of people who had never even sewn before attempted it including 4yr old Miss Rosie! Great to see someone so young getting involved with sewing.


Pulling out the winner

Irene’s bags were stunning to see and if she wasn’t answering questions on patchwork, she was nipping over to see the fabrics on offer to give her more inspiration!


Irene and her fabulous creations

Melvin had a captive audience at the start of the day and certainly there were alot of questions for him to answer. He gave a great talk on the dreaded overlocker and now I am even thinking they are not so scary. Definitely someone you could talk to for hours and he loved seeing all the different things that could be made with the humble sewing machine.


And Charlene even succeeded in her own personal Sew Saturday challenge of making a pair of skinny jeans, although she wouldn’t let me take a photo of that! Maybe I will persuade her to model them for you another day.

The day really seemed to fly by and although tired and overwhelmed by the amount of people who braved the monsoon that seemed to be over Richhill, I know Charlene is really looking forward to the next Sew Saturday and seeing everyone again and also seeing you all in between!



Meeting new friends


The cutting table – busiest place on Sew Saturday


Measuring out the inspiration at Elizabeth Rose NI


A few sewers with Angeline, Pamela and Charlene at Sew Saturday hosted by Elizabeth Rose NI

Only a few days left!

Well there are only a few days left before our big Sew Saturday! EEeekkk but yay! I am really getting excited about what we have coming up  and then I realised that I still have a few people to introduce you to.

Melvin is our man of machines – sewing machines that is. He is a mine of information on everything that your machine can do if it is looked after properly. He will also be able to tell you all about how to look after your machine so it runs as if it has just come out of the box.

Machine maintenance is an essential part of sewing and therefore Melvin will be able to help you with everything from stitch tension, how to dust properly, changing bulbs and bobbins effectively and lots more in between. With Melvin’s background going right back to making the machines themselves he will be able to forward his wealth of knowledge to all you amateurs and experts alike.

Melvin will be doing a short talk on sewing machines and then a question and answer session so that we can all become better sewers! I know I have a few questions for him already.

Last but by no means least on our line-up is Irene the bag lady. That sounds odd but let me explain. Irene has travelled far and wide to increase her knowledge of all things patchwork, how it differs from country to country and how the differences make each country and therefore each piece unique. She has turned this love of world wide patchwork into bags.  And who doesn’t love a nice bag now and then. She will be able to answer a few questions on the day about how the art of patchwork varies around the world and will have a few of her creations on display.

Although Irene will not be doing a talk during the Sew Saturday event on the patchwork bags she creates, she is happy to answer questions and have a chat with anyone who has a query or question.

Well that is all our pros introduced and now it is down to 2. They are not strictly professionals but budding eager beavers – Charlene and Brian.

Charlene is the person that we have to thank for putting Sew Saturday together. As the owner operator of Elizabeth Rose NI she is keen to help people broaden their knowledge of sewing, knitting and crocheting. Her part of the shop has everything you need to get started, keep going or update your fabric or wool stash. And be honest we all have one! New season wools and fabrics have arrived with Christmas fabrics taking pride of place. I know I said the C word! and it’s only October but to make up Christmas presents we have to be prepared.

Charlene has put together a great programme so that everyone who has an interest will be interested. There literally will be something for everyone and lots to look at too. We all know that looking often leads to buying and there will be lots of offers in store. Also there there will be a free draw for a voucher for Elizabeth Rose NI so when you get inspired by all our speakers then you will have an even better reason to come back and shop.

Our other friendly face on the day will be Brian. If you have ever been to Woodview Garden Centre before then you know Brian. He has been working hard behind the scenes getting everything else ready. The barn will be transformed for Charlene and the Sew Saturday crew. But there will be lots for you to taste from the Orchard and he has even turned some of the fruits of his labour into delicious jams, jellies and juices. So come along taste in his part of the shop where you will find a utopia of homegrown produce. You can’t sit down to sewing if you are hungry so be well fed first and then enjoy.

Brian also has his own special event coming up – Pick your own Pumpkin! Saturday 22nd October at 2pm will see the first ever pick your own pumpkin event at Woodview. So put the date in your diary and bring the kids of all ages!

So now you know all about our event who will be here to see and talk to and what you can expect, I’ll leave you with a small piece from an actual Singer Sewing Machine Manual from 1949 – maybe a bit out-dated but still fun to read.

See you all soon


In your dreams

In your dreams

Let me introduce you

So Sew Saturday is coming up and I thought that I would introduce you to a few of our guests for 15th October.

Angeline GBSB 2016

Angeline GBSB 2016

If like me you were glued to this year’s Great British Sewing Bee then Angeline Murphy will be no stranger to your living room. We are so excited to have her here at Elizabeth Rose NI and for her to be able to answer all your questions. Her designs and sewing proved so popular on the show and beyond and now she will be here! I am beyond excited to tell the truth!

From just up the road in Magheralin her sewing bug started early and has continued into adulthood  and now every aspect of her life is covered in fabric. Angeline will be bring items with her that she sewed on the Bee for everyone to look at. I am hoping to see the robe she stitched in week 3. She will also be doing a question and answer session on anything that you can think of – sewing related!


Another of our guests has travelled all over the country with her challenge to make the biggest Christmas Stocking in time for Christmas itself! Pamela Emerson has set herself this challenge to revive sewing in Northern Ireland: no mean feet. But she hopes with the popularity of programmes such as the Great British Sewing Bee, home industries like sewing will become popular again. So how do you get involved. It is simple. Within the challenge there are many different jobs; you can sew the hexagons together or cut them out or even just draw the shape onto the fabric depending on your sewing talent.
So come along and help Pamela set her World Record and be part of something unique in Northern Ireland.

With these two talented ladies there must be room for one or two more and we have them.


Knitted knockers may sound funny and even a joke to some but the premise behind it affects at least 1 in 5 of us; breast cancer. Joanne started the scheme after talking to her friend who had had a mastectomy and was finding the prosthetic very heavy. There already was scheme in Washington USA for these simple handmade prosthesis that are washable, breathable, light and easy to wear. So Joanne grabbed the pattern and the rest as they say is history. Come along for a question and answer session with Joanne on this subject and maybe give yourself something to knit over the long winter night. She will also be launching her new project for the sewers out there. Another exclusive at Elizabeth Rose NI!

Our last challenger is………… ME! I have set myself the challenge of making a pair of skinny jeans for of Sew Saturday as well as running around the shop and listening to as many question and answers sessions as possible! Just normal I hear you say. Probably but I have never made jeans before and to do it before the event and maybe wear them infront of all of you is a little daunting but I will give it a go.

So come along to Sew Saturday at Elizabeth Rose NI Saturday 15th October from 10am to 4pm



What’s Happening! October

What’s happening at Elizabeth Rose this Month

There is so much is coming up I hardly know where to start. Autumn and winter colours and patterns are arriving daily for yarn, fabric and thread. The rich colours have my imagination running wild! The palette of autumnal shades and rich hues certainly make this a glorious time for the sewer and the knitter alike.

But the big event coming up this month is Sew Saturday – a national event in association with Sew Magazine and Simplicity Patterns. Saturday 15th October will see Elizabeth Rose NI transformed into a cornucopia of sewers, knitters and those who like me are enthusiastic amateurs.

We are lucky and honoured to be one of only 2 shops in Northern Ireland hosting such an event and with a full day planned it really is going to be  a day to remember.

Our first guest of the day is Joanne from the charity Knitted Knockers. This original and innovative lady brings knitting to a whole new level with her idea of the softness of wool used in a medical field as temporary prosthetic after a mastectomy or other breast surgery. Come along and ask questions of Joanne and see how you can get involved with this fabulous project and find out all about her new project for sewers being launched that day.

Irene is a font of all knowledge when it comes to patchwork and not just our own home-grown style but the different styles and the differences in their making from around the world. She will be a vertible mine of information and will open your eyes to the variety on offer in the fabric world and what can be produced. So whether you want to make a runner for your autumn table, a wall hanging for a focal point or a traditional bedspread come and be inspired.

Talking about patchwork our next guest is taking the challenge of making a patchwork square to a whole new level with an attempt at a World Record. Pamela is part of the Northern Ireland Big Sock Challenge! Pamela wants as many sewers as possible to come down and make their very own patchwork hexagon to be stitched together and turned into a Giant Christmas Stocking. Come on down guys and be part of something big – literally!

But if that is daunting and you are new to sewing then Melvin is your man. He will take you through every part of a sewing machine and give you helpful tips on how to keep your machine running as well as the day it came out of the box. This is must hear for anyone like me who aspires to be a Great British Sewing Bee champion in their own home.

Our special guest of the day is someone who certainly knows what it feels like to be in that pressured environment having competed in the 2016 edition of the Great British Sewing Bee. It is fantastic to be able to welcome Angeline to Elizabeth Rose for Sew Saturday.

That is only a small overview of what we have planned for the day with lots to see and do it certainly will be a fantastic day. So come along as admission is free, there will be special offers and new fabrics to look at and get inspired by and also a prize draw for a gift voucher for Elizabeth Rose NI.

So call in on Saturday 15th October and join the fabric fun.

C x


Great British Sewing Bee Book Review – From Stitch to Style

I’m sure everyone has heard of The Great British Bake Off. If you haven’t, where have you been?! You watch a group of people who enjoy baking, go head to head in order to win the competition. The great Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are the judges and decide who goes through each stage. It makes great TV as you get to witness both masterpieces as well as baking disasters!

Anyway… there has been something for all of us sewers out there to be excited about! The TV programme Great British Sewing Bee. It has the exact idea as GBBO, but only with sewing. I have loved watching it, seeing all the cool and funky ideas the contestants come up with, as well as the catastrophes! It has been such a hit so far, and I love the fact that due to the TV programme, people want to take up sewing for a hobby!  If you haven’t seen it, tune in tonight for the Grand Final.  I have really enjoyed the series, it has been a tight series and hard to pinpoint a definite winner. 

Social media has been brilliant over the last few weeks with all the comments and opinions on the current season of The Great British Sewing Bee. 

Last year the only viewing I got was the Final. With only seeing one night of it last year is feels like I have been waiting an absolute age to see it.  Feeling I had missed out and to take the edge of it, I bought the book from last year which accompanies the series which made me feel part of what they up to and what challenges they were presented with other the weeks. 

When I heard the sewing bee was on a Monday evening this year, I thought Happy Days but this time I bought the new book at £9.99 from Amazon at the beginning of the series.


I was a bit sceptical about it as I didn’t know how they would better last years publishing but once again was I wasn’t disappointed also it teased me as to what I was going to see over the weeks but didn’t spoil the viewing in any way it more so made me curious as to how they were going to carry out their challenges.  The book includes full sized paper patterns to make 27 projects, so when you consider the price of an individual pattern, its a bit of a bargain. You will need to trace the patterns you want to use of your size individually as they are on both sides of the pattern and are overlapping


The patterns range from beginner, immediate and advanced with each pattern stating its level of difficulty.  

There are patterns for children, women and a few for men.

The beginning of the book brings you back to the bare basics before you do a single stitch in giving you your sewing box tools, guiding you using a sewing machine, helping you find your pattern size to using the patterns and abbreviating all the sewing jargon not to mentions lots of helpful tips and hints


I have selected a few pattern for the book to add to my wish list  which consist of quick sews in a night to others that will allow me to try out new techniques.

There was an extra treat on the series this year as one of the contestants, Angeline was from Northern Ireland.

She created some beautiful garments which was proven by achieving garment of the weeks on a couple of occasions

One garment she made which inspired me was a little girls red cape, hence I have added the one from the book to my wish list.  Hope mine turns out as good 😉

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Thursday Night – Sew Night

This night 3 weeks ago seen the last night of our Sewing Group for the summer. (We really must get a name for it :))

As it was our final night we had a wee party night, with pizza, lemon meringue, roulade, great company and an informal ‘show and tell’ time.  It was brilliant to see just how much had been completed and achieved during our time together.

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I am so thankful to all these ladies that came along week by week.  They have been a super blessing and encouragement to me.  Each and everyone have encouraged me to keep going when I lacked in confidence and knowledge.  I don’t believe they realise just how much they supported me through.  They have helped me begin a dream and for that I am extremely grateful.

A couple of years ago, that’s all that having a sewing class was… A dream.  One part of that dream I never would have imaged I would be doing is Patchwork, that was something that never came into the equation at all. You never know what surprises the Lord has in store 🙂

Thank you so much Denise, Daphne, Arlene, Donna, Nicola, Isobel, Gillian, Jean, Julie, Wendy and Heather.  I hope you all have a fantastic summer as new chapters begin for some of you 🙂

I have thoroughly enjoyed our Thursday evenings and have been inspired by each and every one of you as I’m sure you have been inspired of each other.

I am also very thankful to Woodview Restaurant, for putting up with pins that have missed our pin tin and for their use of their venue.  Without the use of their space, our Thursday evening wouldn’t be possible.  Sincere thanks!

Much Love



P.S. Have a browse at a VERY TINY snippet of some of the ladies FAB work and works in progress 🙂

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What Is Poplin?

If you know your cottons, then you may know what poplin is and if you have dress shirts in your wardrobe then you are likely to have at least one made with the material. Poplin is a durable, medium to heavy weight fabric that is made from either cotton or a cotton and polyester blend. But what makes it special?

History of Poplin

Poplin has changed a little through its history. The word itself is a French one that appeared in the 15th century and referred to a type of fabric made in Avignon during the time the pope was living there – papelino became poplin over time.

When it was first made, poplin was an actual fabric that used a silk warp and a wool weft to create its distinctive weave. The weave has ribs known as crosswise ribs that create a corded surface and made for a strong, if not fancy, material with noticeable ridges.

Modern poplin is actually a weave rather than a material in its own right. It is made with either cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester and one of the most common uses for the fabric is in men’s dress shirts.

Benefits of Poplin

So why would you choose a poplin shirt over other weaves of cotton? For starters, poplin tends to be lighter than a lot of other weaves which means if you want to wear the shirt in warmer weather without a jacket, then it is ideal. Poplin does crease a little easier than the heavy weaves such as twill because it is a little lighter.

Another benefit of poplin is that it can be naturally quite stain resistant as well as repelling water. While it isn’t what you would call waterproof, it can stop splashes of water soaking into the material so a light rain shower doesn’t need to result in a drenched shirt.

Poplin With Polyester

As with many materials, the addition of manmade fabrics to the blend has created new, more resilient styles. Polyester is the most common additive to the cotton in poplin and the result is a strong material that still has the crosswise ribs and corded surface of traditional poplin.

It is more resistant to wrinkles than a pure cotton material and had a good drape. Another advantage is that it is easy to care for and simply needs washing in the washing machine on a low setting. Sometimes these shirts don’t even need much ironing – always a benefit!

Other Uses of Poplin

As well as dress shirts, poplin is now used in pants, often in a khaki style with the polyester blend material proving durable for this kind of garment. The higher quality fabrics are also used in women’s shirts, pants and skirts as the drape of it makes for a great look and feel. Poplin also comes in sturdier versions that can be used on upholstery, where it’s natural stain and water resistance helps to keep furniture looking great and free of stains.