Last Updated on November 1, 2022 by Shariful Alam
Hands-on muslin fabric is the best quality fabric that will keep you cool and breathable even in this hot summer.
Muslin is the most natural lightweight fabric which can be in two states: bleached and unbleached. If you have already experienced muslin fabric in your hand but don’t know that much about the different types of muslin, you are in the right place here.
Muslin is widely known for its unique properties that not only distinguish it from other fabrics but also make it a timeless treasures.
In addition to making premium quality clothing, muslin fabric is used for many other reasons. If you have found any of them and go to the store to buy the muslin you need, you may get confused by the words ‘bleached muslin’ and ‘unbleached muslin’ on the product labels.
No worries, the article will clear you up and give you the information you need about this. Now let’s see what a bleached muslin is.
What is bleached muslin fabric?
Muslin is not just a name for the finest quality fabric, but it has been a part of world history from the very beginning.
And yes, muslin myth is something that will blow your mind. As it is a long interesting history, we won’t waste your time describing it here. If you have enough interest and plenty of time, you can read the myth of muslin to quench your thirst.
For now, let’s get what it means by bleached muslin. Bleached muslin is a state of muslin fabric that means it has been bleached to remove impurities from the fiber.
For cotton and fiber, bleaching is a well-known process that helps to reach a certain form of the fabric. And when it comes to muslin fabric, bleaching is the way to provide a fresh quality and affordable cotton muslin for a variety of uses.
Why is muslin bleached?
Bleached muslin has a special demand in different applications where the bleached muslin fabric plays an important role.
We will let you know the purposes of using bleached muslin next. Now let’s get the reasons why muslin is used to bleach.
If you don’t know, bleaching is considered a solution to many problems in the textile industry. But the function doesn’t work the same for all kinds of fabrics.
Especially for muslin fabric which is one of the sophisticated, super breathable, and comfortable fabric types, you need to consider it carefully.
Here are some reasons why muslin is bleached–
In the textile industry, bleaching is used to remove stains from fabrics. The process involves bleaching chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, and sodium hypochlorite that make a reaction with the stains compound and remove them from the fiber.
To bleach muslins, they mostly use chlorine as an effective detergent chemical. Natural or unbleached muslin contains a high level of impurities such as heavy metal, oils, dust, and other contaminants. Therefore, bleaching is applied to remove stains from the fabric and get the desired look and feel in it.
Make it brighter and softer
Bleaching makes fabrics brighter and softer. Bleaching can be done either before or after spinning into yarn. Before bleaching, the muslin is usually off-white and includes dye and impurities. So, bleaching is done to make the fabric softener by getting washed off all the impurities and making it pure white. After bleaching, you can re-dye the fabric to get the desired color.
Turn it into a perfect diffuser
Do you know muslin is considered a perfect diffuser and bouncer in cinematography and photography? In such cases, you may see using both bleached and unbleached muslin to play with the light and get the right effect in the image or video. For instance, unbleached muslin can give a rich, warming, yellow–gold effect while bleached muslin can provide a soft and shiny diffusion of the light.
How bleached muslin can be used?
Muslin was once used only by members of the royal family, such as the Mughal emperors of Hindustan, the sultans of Bengal, and you can also find muslin fabric used long ago in Roman and Egyptian mythology.
At that time, they wore clothes made of the finest quality muslin to give a hint of the aristocracy. Back in modern times, the muslin we see most often offers the lowest grade quality of cotton, but they are still known as muslin because of the cotton.
You will find muslin fabric bleached and unbleached cheap at local clothing stores and online because they are not offering premium grades.
However, given the use of bleached muslin fabric in various sectors, it may not be wise to use high-quality muslin for the following purposes:
Cinematography and Theatre
Muslin is considered an excellent diffuser to outcast the right temper and texture of the light. Whether it is product photography or modeling, muslin can be used to add the right color tone to the pictures. Besides, it is also used as backdrops in theater and often used for set designs, and stage flats.
Needless to say, muslin has unique clothing features that make it famous all over the world. Due to its high breathability and softness, the fabric makes a huge sense to the people in tropical countries. If you are looking for thin comfortable clothing, then you should consider muslin.
From the very beginning, muslin has been used for many aspects of upholstery, for instance, sofa, chairs, and other furniture covers. Women also used it to make pillow covers, hanky, and eye-catching upholstery items to decorate their homes such as floral upholstery, canvas for walls, etc.
Muslin has many helpful functions in cooking and kitchen work. Although other fabrics can be used, muslin things do better than others because of their softness and easily washable features. You can use muslin to strain the mixture in creating homemade jam, cheesemaking, removing moisture from vegetables, and so on.
The fabric is made of fine cotton. It provides the softest fabric in the world. For this reason, muslin has been used in skincare since the Egyptian era. Our skin is one of the most sophisticated parts of the body so it should not be treated rough. Muslin provides the best comfortable makeup experience when using it for skin cleansing, makeup removal, and facial mask.
Muslin is highly used on the back of the quilts to provide a pleasant experience to the garment. Muslin quilt is so good to get rid of the harshness of expensive dresses which come with velvet, silk, georgette, and other similar kinds of cotton fabric.
Baby’s best friend
Due to its excellent softness, muslin is considered a natural solution for taking care of baby’s delicate skin. Muslin is reusable which means it can be used as a good alternative for baby wet tissues. It is the best solution for baby drooling. Also, it is very commonly used as a baby swaddle to hold the baby gently and to create a cover while breastfeeding.
In the cannabis industry, bleached muslin is used for a variety of purposes. It can be used for drying buds, trim pruning, and even cleaning equipment.
However, did you know that there was ‘Hydrophilic muslin’ used to provide first aid to Italian soldiers?
What are the pros and cons of bleaching Muslin?
So, we have a lot of reasons to use bleached muslin. However, keep in mind that muslin can be unbleached, which is quite different from bleached muslin in color and quality.
The above list of benefits of using bleached muslin clearly explains why bleached muslin is so popular nowadays.
The main pros of bleached muslin fabric are–
- Free from stain
- Clear white look makes it good for regular use
- Bleach muslin is softer than unbleached muslin
- Breathable and reusable
- Better than silk or other cotton fabrics quality
Apart from the pros’, bleached muslins have some notable cons that you should take into consideration. Especially if you use bleached muslin on your baby, you should know that bleached muslin can contain harmful compounds like chlorine.
Using this fabric for food processing can mix harmful material into food and cause many problems such as respiratory problems, skin irritation, eye issue, and many more. So, what should you do then?
The answer is that you should wash the fabric with clean water or biodegradable organic detergent when you bring it and unpack it.
Bleching Muslin for commercial purpose definitely is an industrial process. It goes under chemical treatment. Still, we can produce GOTS certified organic muslin fabric commercially which is high in cost.
We can bleach fabric at Home as well. You can even dye the fabric at Home!
here we share the things if you have special interest on it. Making own things is a Fun.
How to bleach muslin non commercial use?
Bleaching muslin isn’t similar to other fabric bleaching processes. So, you need to be sure to take some extra precautions when you are using it for specific purposes.
Here are the proper steps you can take to begin the process of bleaching muslin–
Step – 1
At first, you would need to put hot water or a mix of hot and cold water in a bucket. The water temperature should be over 40 degrees. Washing machine will work well in this regard but if you don’t have one, then soak the muslin in a bucket full of hot water. After soaking, take it out of the water and drain the excess water from the muslin.
Step – 2
Next, you have to add ¼ cup vinegar to the muslin and let it soak for 30 minutes. When done, you need to wash it with cold water but before that, make sure you have squeezed out excess water from the fabric. You can repeat this to remove the last drop of harmful chemicals from the fabric.
Step – 3
In this step, the muslin needs to go through the heat of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Take a large bowl and fill it up with boiling water. Place the muslin into it and let it be there for a certain time or until the water is cold. After that, remove the muslin from the heat and let it cool down. Once cooled, you can now hang the muslin to dry but do not put the muslin in direct sunlight.
Dye bleached muslin at Home
Muslin comes naturally dyed with a natural off-white color that can be removed by bleaching the fabric with chlorine and peroxide.
As previously said, bleaching is not only for dispelling the natural color effect but carrying away all the impurities included in it.
In case you want to dye the bleached muslin, no problem you can do it easily. Just make sure that you are using quality fabric dye for it. If you have already stored fabric dye, then follow the below steps to do the job perfectly,
- Take a large bowl better if it would be stainless steel and fill it with hot water
- Get some dye powder to the bowl along with a cup of salt and stir for a moment or two
- Now you need to put the muslin into the bowl carefully. If the fabric is long, you need to take one end of it and gently immerse it in the water. Slowly do it until you have reached the other end of the fabric
- Keep it there for 10 – 20 minutes depending on how deep you want to soak the dye with fabric. If you got the desired look within 15 minutes, then remove it from the dry instantly
- Wash the fabric with hot water and detergent and leave to dry it
Where to buy the best bleached muslin?
For your information, muslin can be varied in quality based on the thread count, length, weight, lucidity, and softness. The tale of muslin you often hear refers to the premium cotton muslin fabric derived from ‘Phuti karpas’.
However, not all muslin you can buy is considered premium. You should know that it takes a certain amount of time to weave the nice quality muslin as it is made with handspun yarns. And that’s not something everyone can afford.
Understanding the widespread demand and the variety of uses for general purposes of muslin, a modified version has been developed called regular muslin which seems cheap and so affordable to everyone.
You can buy this regular muslin online and at the nearest clothing brands. To make it easier for you, here we are mentioning some places to order your desired fabric online for versatile purposes as a customer.
You might find brands with discounts, early shipping, quantity, test result, pattern by choice & save Money. Find the right platform who can ship to your country.
Questions you may ask about bleached muslin
When buying bleached muslin for the first time, consumers are looking for a guide that will help them take care of the fabric properly. Due to its delicate nature, muslin takes extra care when washing, dyeing and quilting.
Not only that, but the process of cultivation and yarn making is so subtle that weavers have to be very careful while weaving muslin.
At present, muslins that are popular and come inexpensive are known as bleached and unbleached muslin. If you want to get the differences between bleached and unbleached muslin, take a look at the questions and answers below.
Bleached VS unbleached muslin
There are significant differences between bleached and unbleached fabric and if you have got any specific purpose, you need to consider which one to choose before.
The very common friction between the two states of the fabric can be seen in their appearance. Bleached muslin appears white, soft, and brighter than the unbleached muslin.
On the other hand, unbleached muslin contains pigments that make the fabric look faded so it is less bright than bleached muslin.
Unbleached muslin has a rough surface because it contains impurities and since it is not used to bleach, therefore less soft than bleached muslin.
unbleached muslins have different applications as it is mostly used in removing dust, furniture polishing, backdrops, embroidery, backing quilts, etc.
In one word, we can not say which is best! sometimes unbleached muslin is superior with quality, price than bleached one and vice versa.
Finally, The thread count, uses & other para meters is very important to detrmine either the fabric will be bleached or unbleached.
What is the thread count on muslin?
Not all cotton is equal in quality and so the final results of these cotton-derived fabrics aren’t the same. Fabric quality can differ depending on many things and the thread count is one of them. Because of this, you can see the fabric of bedsheets isn’t similar to the fabric of a regular dress.
Thread count is one of the major measures that determine the quality of muslin. The higher the thread count, the softer and premium the fabric would be considered.
Thread counts are measured by warp and weft, which refers to vertical and horizontal threads in a square inch.
The regular muslin you can see often comes with the lowest thread count like 80 – 120 when some offer 150 – 180 as well.
The number seems too low considering the ancient premium muslin thread counts which made by soft hand between 2000 – 2500. Therefore, it takes 6 months (minimum) to 1.5 year preparing one of the finest cotton fabric muslin available in the world.
Can you iron bleached muslin?
Yes, you can iron bleached muslin in order to remove wrinkles and make the fabric straighten. Especially when you are going to use muslin as a backdrop, you should give it iron to get better visuals.
Bleached muslin by the bolt
You can buy premium bleached muslin fabric as per your requirements. It could be a gauze or even a Bolt! It’s a measurement of Fabric. 1 bolt is equal to 25 yards.
You will get white bleached muslin fabric by the bolt with different sizes. It could be customize 12 to 120 inches wide. Buy it at wholesale price as mentioned above.
Can you wash muslin in hot water?
Of course, you can wash muslin in hot water and it is necessary to wash out harmful chemicals and impurities from the industrial bleached muslin.
Are there different grades of muslin?
Yes, muslin has four different grades which are,
- Gauze – the finest and thinnest form of muslin mostly used for making dresses
- Mull – a combination of cotton and silk that is lightweight but heavier than gauze
- Swiss muslin – easily distinguishable as it includes bumps or dots on the surface. Technically it is denser than mull but still looks comfortable to use as clothing
- Sheeting – the heaviest form of muslin you can see often used for furniture upholstery, home decor, and backdrop
What is the difference between cotton and muslin?
Regular cotton goes to the fabric we usually see used in making shirts, Panjabi, and women’s items. And muslin has a completely different appearance in terms of quality and price than regular cotton fabric such as fleece fabric or flannel fabric.
So, the question that comes up here isn’t muslin a cotton fabric? Yes, they are, but the main difference is that the muslin is derived from Phuti Karpas which grows only in conditional weather.
There are four different types of cotton and each has its own climate, soil, and cultivation requirements to grow up properly.
The best way to tell if something is muslin or cotton is to look at the tag. If the tag says “cotton” then it is cotton. If the tag says muslin, then it is muslin.
Some final words: Bleached muslin fabric
When choosing a Bleached Muslin the lighter experience may be a factor in making a decision. Moreover, the purpose, quality & price determine muslin will be bleached or not. Undoubtedly, Bleached fabric is better for certain cases.