Broadcloth is a type of densely woven fabric which is extremely sturdy and very soft. Although broadcloth is not as widely used as it once was, it still has a place in the manufacture of clothing, upholstering, and in crafts.
The roots of broadcloth can be found in medieval England where weavers began to refine their techniques with the assistance of skilled craftspeople from Belgium. The original English broadcloth was made from wool, a textile material which was readily available, and the process of making the fabric was perfected with the assistance of Flemish weavers who had limited materials to work within their own country. Much of the broadcloth manufactured in England was exported undyed to Belgium, where it was finished in dye vats.
Other weaving techniques started to replace broadcloth in the 1700’s. In addition, English law was changed, forcing broadcloth to remain in the country for dyeing. The art of making broadcloth was fortunately retained, as the high quality fabric certainly has value for consumers even today. It is often still sold in the traditional larger size, which makes it very useful for large seamless upholstering projects. Historical period actors also use broadcloth to make uniforms and medieval clothing.
J&O Fabrics carries various widths of broadcloth in a huge array of colors. Our larger width broadcloths minimize the sewing needed when making panels for drapes. Both are available in either 100% cotton or poly-cotton. Their uses are as endless as your imagination permits! Browse this sub-category when trying to find a particular shade to match a dress or pant.
We categorize Mulsin as the raw, undyed version of broadcloth. It is a type of finely-woven cotton fabric produced from corded cotton introduced to Europe from the Middle East in the 17th Century. Its first recorded use in England was in 1670. It was named for the city where Europeans first encountered it, Mosul, in what is now Iraq, but the fabric actually originated from Dhaka in what is now Bangladesh.
Wide muslin is called ‘sheeting’. It is often used to make dresses or curtains but may also be used to complement foam for bench padding. Muslin breathes well, and is a good choice of material for clothing meant for hot, dry climates. Our muslin will combine very nicely with our dress and decorative fabrics.
When sewing clothing, a sample or fitting garment may be made of inexpensive muslin fabric before cutting the intended expensive fabric, thereby avoiding a costly mistake. The muslin garment is often called a muslin and the process is called making a muslin.
Cotton Chintz is calico printed and glazed broadcloth with bright colors. Although chintz originated in India, it became a popular fabric in the 17th & 18th century in Europe. Since then it has remained an important and often used fabric.
Chintz can be used to make lovely curtains and valances. You can also make intriguing gift bags, table cloths, garments and accessories with chintz. Chintz is a fabric of many possibilities, both for your home and for yourself.
Uses For Broadcloth
Broadcloth is unsurpassed for fitted & semi-fitted dress shirts. Other garments you can create include spring jackets, blouses, skirts and accessories to accompany these pieces. If crafting is your passion, then this is a great fabric for quilts, smocks, aprons & soft dolls. Home accent pieces include: lampshades, bed linens, drapery and other functional and decorative items.
Caring For Broadcloth
Cotton or cotton/polyester broadcloth will have fewer wrinkles than plain cotton, be resistant to abrasion and tearing, and have greater crease retention. But if your fabric contains a high percentage of polyester, then oily stains and less absorbency could be an issue. Machine/hand wash in medium cool temperatures, then line dry. When you get ready to iron, make sure you pre-treat any stains first. Steam iron press on medium setting is sufficed.
How To Store Broadcloth
When you need to store your broadcloth fabrics, we recommend using a clean, cool place out of direct sunlight with good air circulation to keep the humidity low. Areas that are less susceptible to mold, mildew and insects are obviously ideal.
*note: The above information is intended to aid our customers in their fabric projects. These suggestions are based on manufacturer’s recommendations and customer insights. The above statements are not intended to be understood as unequivocal or applicable to every circumstance. Therefore, J&O Fabrics is not responsible for the results of the implementation of these cleaning methods.