Poplin is a plain-weave fabric with ribs running across the grain (warp). Historically, it was made from a silk and wool blend, but now is found made from many fibers, including cotton, silk, nylon and polyester.
In heavier weights, it’s popular for upholstery as the texture gives even a pure solid color some interest.
Poplin is available in a huge range of colors and printed patterns.
It’s a good fabric for everyday clothes, suits, skirts and whatnot. Lightweight poplin is popular for button-down shirts and blouses. You can probably use cotton or silk/wool poplin when putting together a rig for a historical event, but check with your costume maestro (or good ol’ Wikipedia) before committing. If you’re volunteering at a Faire, they’ll have well-defined rules regarding which fabrics you can and can’t use.
Pure polyester poplin can be had for as little as $2/yd when bought in bulk – $5/yd when picked up by the piece. A pure cotton poplin starts around $12/yd. Fancy décor poplins start about $15/yd and usually top out around $30/yd.
Fabric care depends on its component fibers, so pay attention when buying it.
Sew with a universal needle and all-purpose thread.