Poplin is a generic term for plain-weave cotton shirting. The fabrics are woven with single yarns in both warp and weft, and characterised by a smooth and silky texture. Traditional poplin (from popeline) was a ribbed and rigid fabric made from silk and worsted wool, originally used in the papal city of Avignon in southern France.
In everyday speech, poplin refers to a wide group of plain-weave cotton shirting made with single yarns of the same weight in both warp and weft. Poplin fabrics range from fine and crisp to coarser and heavier qualities, depending on the fineness of the yarn, and are often distinguished by a smooth and silky texture. Traditional poplin (from popeline), however, was a ribbed and rigid fabric woven from silk and worsted wool, used for ecclesiastical clothing in the papal city of Avignon in southern France.
An even plain weave is the most basic type of woven fabric, made by alternately crossing the horizontal weft yarn over and under the vertical warp. For poplin fabrics, yarns of the same weight – such as 50s or 60s (the higher the number, the finer the yarn) – are used to create compact weaves with a completely smooth surface. After the weaving, the fabrics are commonly finished to enhance its natural sheen or to achieve a specific tactile effect.