Butter muslin and cheesecloth, domestics muslins are typically white or off-white plain weave, loose, thin, transparent fabric with a soft finish, woven in different weights and calibre of yarn and finish from pretty rustic cloth to the finest, often used as a straining material for making fruit jellies and butter, for baby nappies and face cloths.
Cotton muslin is a lightweight fabric originating from the city of Mosul, Iraq. The Persians took the skill with them to India in the 14thC, where lightweight saris–such as made with the Jamdani fabrics from Bengal–are still being made in the same way today as they were then.
* Early Buddhist literature speaks of the weavers of muslin.
* The finest muslins from Kashi – now the holy city of Varanesi were called mul mul khas , woven so fine that oil would not seep through. After spinning and weaving, the cloths were washed, calendered, starched and then perfumed. Legend has it that this fine cloth wrapped the Buddha when he attained Nirvana.
* The fragile translucency of this finest muslins was perfectly understood by the weavers who named them Shabnam, ‘Morning Dew’, and abrawan ‘Running Water’–so transparent that they become invisible under a heavy dew when they are laid on the grass to bleach.
* This fine fabric has always been used to make sheer curtains and light open bed curtains,
* As it’s inexpensive, it can be freely used –muslin gathers easily and thus makes for interesting window treatments and with at least triple fullness to create floaty bed drapes and under curtains to diffuse light. In hot countries, it is especially used to filter light and insects.
* The only thing to note is that in a damp atmosphere it will soften and pleat itself into a bit of a saggy rag, but it’s nothing that – a good pressing with spray starch every so often can’t deal with.
* Other muslins are cheesecloth and butter muslin.