How to Wash Muslin Clothing

Muslin is the ideal fabric for clothing and simple curtains; its loose weave and fluid draping ability make for flowing lines and simple designs. It takes dyes easily and adapts to complex embroidery patterns.

Originating in the Middle East in the 9th century, muslin became popular when India began extensive production of the light, airy cloth, the ideal for its hot climate. Hand washing muslin was and still is the best way to maintain muslin clothing, although machine cleaning on a delicate cycle is widely practiced today.

Hand Washing

Step 1

Fill a large sink with warm water. Wait until the sink is full.

Step 2

Add two caps of the clear liquid detergent and swish it around until it's evenly distributed.

Step 3

Add the clothing and completely submerge the item. Agitate it with your hands for a few seconds. Let the piece soak until the water becomes cool.

Step 4

Run the tap water over the clothing as the sink drains. Press with your hands while rinsing to remove all the detergent. When the water runs clear of bubbles, turn off the tap water.

Step 5

Press out the water by pushing the clothing against the sides of the sink. Do not wring.

Step 6

Wrap the clothing in the towel and press again to get out any leftover water.

Step 7

Shake the clothing out and hang it to dry, preferably in a breezy spot. If the piece is white, dry it in the sun.

Machine Washing

Step 8

Fill the laundry tub with warm water. Stop the machine and add the liquid detergent and water softener as directed for the size of the load. Swish it around.

Step 9

Add the clothing and totally submerge the piece. Turn on the machine, using the delicate cycle if possible.

Step 10

Take the clothes out of the washer as soon as the cycle is complete, and shake them out.

Step 11

If you cannot line dry the clothes, put them into a large, mesh drying bag and place it into the dryer.

Step 12

Tumble dry on the delicate setting for a short period of time. Check frequently for dryness, and remove as soon as the pieces are dry.