Muslin fabric is a finely woven cotton material that is available in a large selection of weights and widths. Typically white or an undyed natural color, muslin originated in the Middle East sometime in the 9th century. Muslin gained significant popularity for use in clothing in 17th century France, and is now used for a wide variety of purposes.
Muslin is often used by dressmakers to determine the fit and look of a dress or gown before the production material, which is often quite more expensive than the muslin, is cut and sewn. Wide width muslin is often used as a liner for quilts, and heavy weight muslin can be printed with sewing patterns for durability. The material can also be used in cooking applications, such as cheese making. Muslin takes dyes and paints very well, and is often found in theatrical scenery and portrait photography.