What Is Muslin Used For In Sewing: How To Sew It

If you’re wondering what is muslin used for in sewing, it’s essentially a test fabric before doing the actual project. However, muslin can also be a permanent material as lining or standalone fabrics in household items, baby products, and more. 

Speaking of lining in sewing, consider reading about practical techniques when sewing garments. For example, do you already know what is understitching in sewing?

what is muslin used for in sewing

You might need to learn how to do this technique when sewing muslin and other linings on projects. 


What Is Muslin And How To Use It?


What is muslin?

Muslin is a type of finely woven fabric with various uses because of its lightweight and breathable characteristics. For sewing, you can use muslin to test patterns before the actual cutting and stitching of the project. 

However, muslin is not only a test fabric for sewing. Muslin can also be the final fabric used for multiple projects and products:


Uses for muslin in sewing


  • Sewing lining 

The comfortable texture of muslin makes it a fantastic lining for garments and even products like bags. It is also relatively cheap for businesses that make these products. 


  • Embroidery practice and applique backing

Are you new to embroidery? The lightness of muslin cloth would be ideal for practicing embroidery work or even as backing when doing appliques. 

If you’re interested in doing embroidery, make it even easier with the best sewing machine for embroidery


  • Household items 

The muslin fabric is suitable for making household items and accessories such as bedsheets, pillowcases, table covers, napkins, and curtains. This material is not abrasive to the skin, and it’s also easy to sew with if you’re doing large projects like the items mentioned. 

Muslin even has various household uses such as making cheese, tea, and even for bandages and bathing. You can use it as a makeup wipe or washcloth because it is absorbent but dries quickly. 


  • Baby items

The softness of muslin makes it popular for baby items. In addition, it is easy to wash, so parents can make baby diapers, napkins, burp cloths, or even blankets from muslin since it’s breathable. 


  • Clothing

The lightness of the muslin fabric would be ideal for making innerwear and loungewear. However, there are finely woven muslin types with gorgeous patterns that would make eye-catching garments. 

These fabrics are called the Jamdani muslins that were originally made in Tanda, Uttar Pradesh.


Can You Line With Muslin?

You can use muslin as a lining when sewing garments such as casual clothing. However, you would want another material if you’re lining more formal clothes. 

If your clothing is already made of cotton or linen, then the best lining would be muslin, primarily if the garment is meant to be used in hot climates. Muslin feels soft and breathable, so it should help the wearer stay comfortable.

You can also use muslin to add structure to the bodice of dresses that need to be stiffer, especially if it’s strapless. However, it’s best to use other fabrics like silk when lining coats and jackets so they’ll be easy to put on and remove. 

Finally, muslin is not a stretch material. Therefore, avoid using it as lining on knit garments or clothes made with Lycra or spandex


Why line with muslin?

  • Affordable fabric 
  • Light and easy to sew with
  • Easy to dye, wash, and dry
  • Doesn’t create static
  • Soft and breathable


Limitations of muslin lining

  • Can shrink
  • Wrinkles fast
  • Clings to the garment and won’t glide over the body
  • No stretch


Is Muslin Hard To Sew?

Muslin is not hard to sew, and it’s even perfect for beginners who are practicing various sewing techniques. And since muslin is often used for practicing patterns, apply the following tips to ensure that your final project will look perfect:

  • Select the type of muslin with the same weight as the actual fabric you’ll use on the pattern
  • Use a bigger seam allowance when cutting pattern pieces on muslin in case of adjustments
  • Use a different color fabric pen when marking adjustments on muslin for easier identification


Should I wash muslin before sewing?

It’s best to prewash the muslin fabric before sewing. Use cold water and allow it to air-dry to pre-shrink and clean the material. 

Washing muslin will prevent shrinkage after finishing the project and remove the dirt accumulated during fabric processing. Furthermore, washing muslin can help soften it to make it easier to work with as new muslins might feel stiff. 

Read how to prewash fabric for sewing to know more. 


What Type Of Fabric Is Muslin?

Muslin is essentially a cotton fabric, but it has a more open weave than other cotton materials. Some manufacturers may also incorporate viscose or silk in their muslin cloths. 


Is linen the same as muslin?

Linen is not the same as muslin because muslin is made from cotton, and linen is made from flax. You can also find various woven styles for linen, while muslin always comes in a simple one. 



Was this article helpful? We just learned what is muslin used for in sewing where it can be a practice fabric before the final sewing. 

Muslin can also be the fabric when sewing backing, household items, clothing, and baby items. These uses are from muslin being a lightweight and breathable cotton material that is easy to wash, dye, and dry. 


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