Awesome Cotton Gauze Fabric: A Complete Guide

by | Apr 30, 2024

By the title, you’ve understood that we are going to say everything about cotton gauze fabric and how this fabric can help you. 

Team Muslin Dhaka is specialized in organic or natural cotton fabrics. Despite being slightly delicate, gauze cotton has become a very popular fabric globally. Not just dressing wounds, gauze fabric can make great summer wear and bedding items. 

So, how does gauze fabric have so many features? Let’s check it out!

What is Gauze Fabric? 

Gauze fabric is a pure cotton fabric featuring a plain or leno weave. A good way to identify gauze fabric is that you can see waffled or crinkled texture throughout the textile. Besides, the weaving remains a bit open intentionally to offer breathability. 

Cotton gauze fabric has different names like gauze muslin, medical gauze, mull, dressing fabric, etc. Rarely, you can find a gauze sheet not featuring 100% cotton construction. 

Medical gauze mostly comes in milky white or faded white colors. But gauze fabric used in fashion and bedding can have different types of colors and prints. 

 

Industrial NameGauze fabric
OriginMiddle East (either Persia or Palestine), Between 12th to 13th century
Other NamesMedical Gauze, Gause, Baby muslin, Cotton gauze, etc. 
ConstructionFine cotton yarns bound in plain or leno weave to create uneven, yet soft textile
Weight50-150 GSM on average for regular gauze
ColorCan have any type of prints and colors
AirflowVery breathable
Moisture AbsorbanceInstantly; faster than any cotton clothing fabric
WeavingLeno weave or Plain wave
StretchMinimal, slightly Poplin
Heat InsulationDepends on the number of layers; the more gauze layers there are, the better heat insulation one can get
Shrinkage RatioAround 7-10%
UsageMedical sponging and bandage, clothing, DIY, Home decor, Bedding, Baby items, etc. 

 

History of Gauze Fabric

Telling the exact history and evolution path of cotton gauze is a tough call. Because some say this fabric is a creation of European artisans, especially French and Italian. And some others say gauze was totally a part of the history of Arab and Persia back in the 12th century Caliphate rule. 

However, our research says the source telling gauze is an Arab origin is more valid. 

Almost a thousand years ago, Muslim-ruled Palestine (containing current Palestine and Israel lands) created an open weave fabric that was soft, breathable, and hypoallergic. Later on, the fabric was given the name Gauze resembling the city of origin, Gaza of Palestine. 

There is also a possibility that the famous Persian silk fabric Gazz was the main inspiration for making modern gauze. As silk is a luxury fabric, artisans made gazz-alike semi-transparent and soft cotton gauze. 

Gauze became mandatory medical equipment right after it became a global textile. Till now, gauze is the only fabric used to wrap or sponge wounds. Apart from it, gauze is also used in muslin bedding and summer fashion. 

How is Cotton Gauze Made? 

The process of making gauze fabric is pretty simple with no special treatment. The only difference in making gauze and other fabrics is only in the weaving. 

Yarn Selection

If it’s not for making medical bandages, gauze fabric always contains pure cotton yarns. The yarns remain thin to moderate. Thicker yarns aren’t preferable for making gauze. The softness of the yarns also remains a bit high. 

Texture of cotton gauze fabric

Weaving

Now, we said earlier that both leno and plain weave methods can make gauze fabric. But using the leno method is the best option as it can prevent fraying or piling in open construction. 

Bleaching 

Most of the time, gauze fabrics come bleached. But the bleaching doesn’t make the fabric coarse. Instead, the fabric might become a bit soft or delicate. 

Other Processes

After bleaching, the fabric can get some treatment to become completely hypoallergenic. Some special textiles of gauze can calendering to be more smooth and dense. 

Types of Gauze Fabric

There are no official types of gauze fabrics. Still, to understand better, sellers give gauze fabrics these names:

  • Medical Gauze

Medical gauze is the safest cotton fabric in the market. Whether you want to pack your deep cut or soak blood from the wound, medical gauze can come in handy. This type has less possibility of creating lints or frays. 

  • Muslin Gauze

Gauze fabric with a smooth or textured finish that gives optimal comfort to the skin is called clothing or muslin gauze. This variant is considered the best and budget-friendly alternative to natural muslin fabric. People use it for dressmaking and bedding. 

  • Non-woven Gauze

Non-woven gauze is a special type of fabric. Separate yarns are placed together in a compression machine to make non-woven fabrics. They tend to be softer than regular gauze. But they are not versatile. 

  • Double Gauze

Double-gauze has two layers of fabric working as one. Multiple layers make the fabric less transparent and more heat insulative. 

What Does a Gauze Do? Gauze Fabric Characteristics

The main job of gauze fabric is to take good care of your skin. Either injured or not. 

But how does gauze fabric do so? Here are the characteristics to break down the fact. 

Construction

We have a large sheet of gauze fabric for clothing. It has leno weave construction. The weight is around 100-120 GSM. Medical clothes will weigh less

Waffle gauze fabric

Finishing

The waffle texture isn’t clearly visible. However, you can feel the uneven surface is pretty smooth. It’s like touching an unironed soft cotton fabric. 

Gauze softness

Softness

If there were any scale of softness with numbers from 1 to 10, gauze would be between 8 to 10. A special feature of gauze fabric is it can get softer over time. 

Breathability

A big reason why people love to wear gauze fabric is breathability. The open construction makes larger air pockets. Meaning, the binding points of the yarns keep a noticeable distance between each other to ventilate air properly. 

Gauze breathability

Stretch

Cotton gauze can provide a little amount of stretch. Which is also more than other sheer fabrics like voile. 

Moisture Absorbance

You dip a gauze cloth in freshwater, and the next second this fabric becomes completely soaked in water. The moisture absorbance speed is more than 5X faster than Oxford fabric and 3X faster than Calico fabric

Yarn Density

It is easy to count the threads per inch with the naked eyes if the fabric is medical gauze. But the exact type of fabric for clothing is 10 times denser than the sheets for bandages. 

Thickness

Gauze is quite a thin fabric unless it’s multi-layered. You need tools to precisely know how thin the fabric is from other cotton types and blends. So, we couldn’t tell the exact number from our touch-and-feel research. 

Transparency

An average clothing gauze sheet can let more than 70% of light pass through. This can be a plus in making exotic dresses. However, there are densely woven gauze fabrics too for bedding. 

Gauze fabric heat absorption

Heat regulation

Gauze fabric can’t insulate heat unless several layers are working together. For example, a quilt or blanket. Cotton gauze is well-known for regulating heat and keeping the users cool and dry. 

Shrinkage

We can say a fabric is good to go if the shrinkage rate is less than 5%. Sadly, gauze fabric’s shrink rate is nearly 10%. Which is more than Denim, Calico, etc. 

Durability

There are several reasons why we won’t call this fabric a durable option. 

Firstly, the weaving might be strong enough to hold the yarns in place. Yet, the small amount of binding points makes the fabric vulnerable to any sharp objects. Also, the yarns can’t take extra tension onboard. 

Apart from them, gauze fabric can be used for quite some time. If you are able to maintain a gauze item properly, the color, texture, and shape of the item might remain intact for several years. 

Gauze Cloth Uses

The specific uses of gauze fabrics are: 

  • Packing wounds
  • Sponging
  • Making summer shirts, pajamas, and skirts
  • Summer or spring blankets and duvet covers
  • Bedsheets and shams
  • Accessories and crafts

Double Gauze blanket

Advantages & Disadvantages

Now, let’s make the pros and cons of cotton gauze fabric more specific. 

Advantages

  • Safe to use
  • Less linting and fraying
  • Quick dry
  • Heat regulation
  • Great moisture absorbance
  • Soft
  • Color retention
  • Optimal breathability
  • Cost efficient

Disadvantages

  • Less durable
  • Very low heat insulation
  • High possibility of wrinkling

Gauze Alternative

If you want to know which material to use on wounds instead of gauze, paper towels and dressing foams are the only options. 

But if you are looking for a gauze alternative for other purposes, here is the list:

  • Bamboo cotton: Another safe fabric. Has organic cotton blend construction. 
  • Muslin: Can be softer than gauze. A great choice for exotic and luxury items. 
  • Voile: Can be transparent like gauze. But it has a plain weave with a smoother texture.
  • Chiffon: Also a great fabric for summer clothing. The price can’t always be affordable. 

Sewing gauze fabric

Sewing with Gauze Fabric

We can’t exactly say how you should sew the gauze fabric. As it depends on the type of gauze fabric you bought and the type of item you want to make. So, we are only giving you some pro tips to make your sewing with gauze easier. 

  • Use clips or quilting pins to stretch the fabric and remove wrinkles
  • Don’t make short stitch lines
  • Prewash the fabric but don’t iron
  • Overlock or bind to strengthen the seamline
  • Best to avoid longer needles

What is Cotton Double Gauze Fabric?

Double gauze fabric is a textile consisting of two similar gauze layers. The two layers are stitched together like a quilt. Sometimes, a hard pressing or calendering process is used to attach the layers and make them look like one. 

A single gauze fabric might be too exposing and less durable. The best way to deal with these issues without compromising the softness and texture is to turn multiple layers into one. 

Double gauze Fabric

The added benefits of a double gauze textile are: 

  • Less translucent
  • Added heat regulation
  • Extra strength
  • A plushy feel with regular softness
  • Thicker than gauze

How to Wash Gauze Fabric?

By now, it’s clear that gauze fabrics are more delicate than plain or twill weave fabrics. You need to be careful in handling this fabric. Always remember these suggestions:

  • Following the care label of gauze fabric is a must ( if any)
  • Hand cleaning is preferred over machine washing
  • Use vinegar before washing powder to keep the dyes intact
  • Mild detergent or baby soap is enough to clean the dirt
  • Anything hotter than lukewarm water can shrink the fabric
  • The machine should be in gentle cycle mode to clean gauze fabrics
  • Best if you can avoid drying in direct sunlight. 

How to Soften Gauze Fabric?

Many will say to use commercial fabric softeners. But gauze or muslin fabric are quite sensitive to chemicals and heat. That’s why you need to think of a homemade solution to soften stiff gauze fabrics. 

Our primary call is baking soda. 3 spoons of baking soda with 1 spoonful of salt mixed in a bowl of 8 liters of water can make a good softening solution. 

You can also add 2-3 tablespoon vinegar for swifter softening. However, you need to keep your gauze item soaked inside the solution for minutes to hours depending on the size, number of layers, etc. 

Gauze fabric by the yard

Gauze Fabric by the Yard

Medical gauze fabric for sponging or packing wounds comes at a very reasonable price. You can buy a 3×3 or 4×4-inch gauze bandage package by just spending 10$ or less. 

But cotton gauze sheets for other purposes don’t cost the same. Bleached white sheets are priced around 6-9$ per yard depending on the cotton quality and layer count. 

But printed ones would surely cost more than 7.5$ from a reputed seller. 

Where Can I Buy Gauze Fabric?

Amazon is the right place for efficient deals on simple gauze fabrics. You’ll find a seller named AK Trading. It is one of the trustworthy online shop. 

However, the same options are also available on Joann Fabrics. You can find textured gauze fabrics with plain colors here. 

But the right place for printed and premium gauze muslin is Etsy. CottonTextile, Fabric supplier, and Happy Natural Fabrics are one of the top three muslin gauze sellers in Etsy. 

FAQ

Can I use napkins as an alternative for gauze in an emergency?

Yes, you can use thin cotton napkins when gauze can’t be found. Cotton napkins are also soft and breathable enough to gently wrap the wounds and filtrate germs. 

Is it better to carry quick-clot gauze or a tourniquet when concealed carrying?

The safer option is using quick-clot gauze. It can work against major hemorrhage better than tourniquet in areas like the torso, arm, leg, rib, etc. 

What is a wire gauze used for in a laboratory?

Wire gauze is not actually a fabric. It is a wired net resembling loose gauze. This item stays on top of the burner to let the glass items get warmer safely. 

How to cut gauze fabric?

Prewash the fabric and dry it properly before cutting. Then, use clips or pins to stretch the sheet on a flat surface. But don’t give any extra tension while stretching. Now, make scissor lines using chalk. Finally, start cutting the fabric with sharp scissors. 

Is gauze always just cotton?

No. There is another type of gauze fabric. It contains linen fiber. You can use linen gauze to make bed covers and loose tops. 

Summary

Here’s an interesting fact about gauze fabric. You can substitute several fabrics with gauze fabrics. 

For example, you can replace quilting fabric with cotton gauze for more textured bedding. Gauze can also replace cheesecloth in the kitchen. And the most common one, gauze muslin is better than several other shirting fabrics during summer for comfort. 

There’s no end to the versatility and benefits of the gauze fabric. If you still have doubts, check our recent review on some of the best gauze muslin tops.

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam

Shariful Alam Pavel, A fashion lover, passionate marketer. Love to share wisdom based on real life experience to enrich knowledge.
Founder of Muslin Dhaka, a brand, speaks the truth about royal muslin and fashion. Explore the digital fashion universe with organic cotton muslin and much more!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *