Cotton lawn is a thin, relatively sheer, high thread count cotton fabric that’s often used for handkerchiefs and blouses because of its crispness. However, it’s also the perfect fabric for a breathable lightweight summer dress.
Cotton lawn fabric is a plainly woven originally made from linen but is now predominantly made of cotton. Lawn is extremely uniform in that it is composed of a very fine high thread count of carded yarns which produces a smooth, non-textured surface. Generally, lawn features a crisp finish which is often applied to other fabrics and has been coined as a ‘lawn finish’.
Lawn is also sometimes referred to as ‘batiste’ and ‘nainsook’. Originally the name applied to plain weave linen, and linen lawn is also called “handkerchief linen”.
Lawn is designed using fine, high-thread-count yarns, which results in a silky, untextured feel. The fabric is made using either combed or carded yarns. When lawn is made using combed yarns, with a soft feel and slight luster, it is known as “nainsook”.
The term lawn is also used in the textile industry to refer to a type of starched crisp finish given to a cloth product. The finish can be applied to a variety of fine fabrics, prints or plain.
Characteristics of Lawn
- Lawn is a lightweight breathable fabric having a plain weave.
- It is relatively sheer and opaque cloth.
- The fabric is crisp, but not as much as organdy.
- The surface has a smooth look.
- It feels very comfortable in hot weather.
- The warp count is 70, weft count is 100, EPI (ends per inch) is 80, and PPI (picks per inch) is also 80.
- It has about 76-104 g/m 2.
Is Lawn same as Voile?
No. Lawn and Voile is not the same. They are two different distinct fabrics even though they sometimes look similar. The thread count is higher in lawn cloth, and it also has smaller yarns. It is also crispier than voile.
However, voile and lawn cloth are both lightweight cottons. Lighter colors like pink or white often look transparent, though it is actually opaque. This is why lawn cloth is often referred to as semi-transparent. It is extremely lightweight, but the lawn cotton fabric is still resistant to wrinkling. Clothes made with this fabric are also known to keep their shape.
Lawn is a lightweight and crisper than voile but not as crisp as organdy. Lawn is known for its semi-transparency, which can range from gauzy or sheer to an almost opaque effect, known as lining or utility lawn. The finish used on lawn ranges from soft to semi-crisp to crisp, but the fabric is never completely stiff.
What’s the Pakistani connection of Lawn?
The name ‘Lawn’ originates from Laon, France as this used to be a major producer of linen lawn. Lawn from France was imported to undivided India initially till the time India took over the production process and used cotton yarns to create salwar kameez and churidar kameez in the fabric. At the time of partition of India, the major lawn producing centers were mainly in Pakistan which explains the popularity of lawn suits in Pakistan. For the uninitiated, the status of lawn in Pakistan can be compared to the status of silk in India.
Lawn fashion in India
Lawn suits were brought into the mainstream ethnic Indian fashion market only in the mid-2000s. Since then its popularity has been increasing steadily as the ideal summer fabric for an Indian spring and summer ensemble.
Lawn suits are not very popular in Tier II and Tier III cities and rural areas of India, essentially because the target market of lawn suit producers are young, affluent and working women in big metros such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and certain pockets in Punjab.
Buy lawn suits online on Indiwear
To shop lawn suits online in India as well as abroad check our latest lawn collections here. Shipping is free in Indian. International shipping is available for Indiwear’s entire collection of lawn salwar suits.