Know Your Terms: Poplin

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well.

Totally warped.

Be it in the form of a trench coat, a pair of khakis, or a button-down dress shirt, poplin is a fabric with divine inspiration. Okay, maybe not. But consider poplin’s original name, papeline, and birthplace, 15th-century Avignon, France—home, at the time, to the pope himself. For your less pious purposes, just know this: Poplin, a.k.a. tabinet, is a sturdy fabric that can be produced from almost any fiber, including cotton, wool, polyester, and silk—and in almost any combination thereof, so long as the warp is finer than the weft, or filling. Originally poplin was woven with a silk warp and a wool filling, and its fundamental features are its crosswise ribs and cylindrical weft. And typically, there is at least twice as much warp (lengthwise threads on the loom) as weft. Want to add some poplin to your spring wardrobe? Given a water-resistant finish, the fabric makes an ideal raincoat.

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  1. David says:

    I’ve always wondered what defined poplin. I have to say I love this feature; always learning something. Just FYI, the pope is his holiness. His eminence is a cardinal.

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