We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Broadcloth?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Broadcloth is a type of densely woven fabric that is extremely sturdy and very soft. Although its not as widely used as it once was, it still has a place in the manufacture of clothing, upholstering, and in crafts. Most sewing stores carry broadcloth in a variety of colors, although it tends to be costly because of the high quality. Garments made with the cloth can also be found for sale, especially in cooler regions, where heavy insulating fabrics are extremely useful.

The roots of broadcloth can be found in medieval England, where weavers began to refine their techniques with the assistance of skilled craftspeople from Belgium. The original English broadcloth was made from wool, a textile material which was readily available, and the process of making the fabric was perfected with the assistance of Flemish weavers, who had limited materials to work with in their own country. Much of the fabric manufactured in England was exported undyed to Belgium, where it was finished in dye vats.

To make broadcloth, an extra-wide loom is used. The cloth is tightly woven before being dipped in water while being stretched on tenters, special racks that keep up the tension in the fabric. The water causes the wool to shrink when it is pulled out to dry. Next, the cloth is rubbed with fullers earth, and beaten with a wooden hammer. The result is a soft, almost felted cloth that is supple, smooth, and very soft. It is also not greasy, which sets it apart from many other wool products.

While wool is the traditional material for this fabric, cotton varieties are also manufactured. Some cotton broadcloth has a very narrow, subtle rib, causing it to resemble poplin, another densely woven textile. Synthetic fibers are not generally used to make this fabric because they do not behave like wool and cotton do when specially treated. A cotton broadcloth is much lighter than a woolen, although it has the same sturdy properties.

Other weaving techniques started to replace broadcloth in 1700s. In addition, English law was changed, forcing broadcloth to remain in the country for dyeing. The art of making it was fortunately retained, as the high quality fabric certainly has value for consumers still. It is often still sold in the traditional larger size, which makes it very useful for large seamless upholstering projects. Historical reenactors also use it to make uniforms and medieval clothing.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon251005 — On Feb 28, 2012

I was doing a costume design for a Shakespearean play and this information was really helpful in helping me choose fabrics! Thanks a bunch!

By anon27951 — On Mar 08, 2009

1. What is the fabric construction and description of broadcloth?

2. What is the difference of broadcloth & poplin?

By sewandsew — On Oct 19, 2008

What happens if you wash cotton broadcloth? Have some material for curtains and it says dry clean only, which would be very inconvenient for these curtains, and me.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.