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A Primer On Poplin Weave

A Fabric Fit for a Pope
Poplin Weave

The term poplin can be traced back to Avignon, France in the 15th century where a fabric called papelino was created and then named in honor of the Pope’s nearby residence. The French also used the term papelaine during that same period for a heavier fabric made of silk. In fact, up until the 20th century, most poplins were used to make heavyweight dresses, outerwear and even upholstery.


Originally, poplin was considered a type of fabric created by weaving together silk and wool yarns. However, the term itself really refers to the specific weave of the fabric, so a cotton poplin shirt is a cotton shirt with a poplin weave. Today, a poplin (also known as broadcloth) may be made of cotton, wool, silk, rayon, polyester or any combination thereof.

A typical poplin plain-weave is one where the weft (horizontal) and warp (vertical) fibers cross under and over one another, not unlike the simple weave of a basket. When made from quality cotton, the result is a smooth, durable, tightly woven fabric that is soft to the touch, less prone to wrinkling and easy to iron.

At Hugh & Crye, all our poplins are made from 100% pure, Egyptian cotton, with high thread counts, from the renowned Italian mill, Tessitura Monti. The result is a light to medium weight, silky, smooth material that is ideal for formal dress shirts as well as more casual shirts. Versatile and durable, we use it in a variety of styles, but when properly ironed and pressed, there is no better choice for a formal occasion.

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Examples of Poplin Weave Shirts
Poplin Weave on a men's dress shirt
Durable and Versatile

Light or medium in weight, a poplin is a solid choice for both formal dress shirts or casual shirts.

poplin easy to iron men's cotton dress shirt
Easy to Iron

Poplins can be very soft, smooth and even silky, they are less prone to wrinkling and easy to iron.

crisp poplin weave on a men's cotton shirt
Practical and Elegant

A crisp, pressed poplin is an excellent choice when it comes to formal wear. Light and elegant.