What is "Broadcloth" - Definition & Explanation

Broadcloth Unveiled: From Ancient Roots to Modern Mastery

Broadcloth: The Versatile Textile with a Rich History

Broadcloth, a renowned fabric in the textile industry, has a rich history and a reputation for its versatility and wide range of applications. This article delves into the detailed meaning, origin, types, handling tips, and profiles of top international users and manufacturers of broadcloth.

The Meaning and Origin of Broadcloth

Broadcloth is a tightly woven fabric known for its smooth finish and durability. It is typically made from cotton or a cotton-polyester blend, resulting in a fabric that is strong, breathable, and resistant to wrinkling. The term "broadcloth" originated from the Old English word "brod," meaning "broad" or "wide," and "cloth," denoting a textile material.

Types of Broadcloth

Broadcloth comes in various types, each distinguished by its weave, weight, and fiber content:

  1. Cotton Broadcloth: The most common type, cotton broadcloth is soft, lightweight, and often used in dress shirts, blouses, and lightweight apparel. It offers excellent breathability and comfort.
  2. Polyester-Cotton Blend Broadcloth: Blending polyester with cotton enhances the fabric's durability and wrinkle resistance. Polyester-cotton broadcloth is commonly used in uniforms, formal attire, and home decor.
  3. Wool Broadcloth: Wool broadcloth is a luxurious variant, known for its warmth, softness, and elegant drape. It is used in high-quality suits, coats, and formal wear.
  4. Silk Broadcloth: Silk broadcloth is a refined and lustrous fabric, prized for its smooth texture and natural sheen. It is often used in high-end garments, luxury bedding, and upholstery.

Tips for Handling Broadcloth

To ensure the longevity and appearance of broadcloth garments, consider the following handling tips:

  • Gentle Washing: It is recommended to hand wash or use the delicate cycle when laundering broadcloth items. Use mild detergent and avoid harsh chemicals.
  • Ironing: Broadcloth may require ironing to maintain its smooth finish. Set the iron to the appropriate temperature and use a pressing cloth to prevent shine or scorch marks.
  • Storage: Store broadcloth garments in a cool, dry place to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mildew or fabric damage.
  • Professional Care: For valuable or intricate broadcloth pieces, consider professional dry cleaning to ensure proper maintenance and preservation.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Broadcloth is widely used and manufactured by numerous international brands in the textile industry. Here are some prominent users and manufacturers:

  1. Ralph Lauren Corporation: Known for their iconic clothing lines, Ralph Lauren incorporates broadcloth in their high-quality shirts, dresses, and tailored garments.
  2. Brooks Brothers: Brooks Brothers, a renowned American brand, utilizes broadcloth extensively in their classic dress shirts and formal attire.
  3. Giorgio Armani: The Italian luxury fashion house, Giorgio Armani, incorporates broadcloth in their sophisticated suits and elegant women's wear collections.
  4. Thomas Mason: Thomas Mason, a British textile company, is recognized for their exceptional quality broadcloth fabrics, catering to renowned fashion houses and bespoke tailors.
  5. Alumo: Alumo, a Swiss fabric manufacturer, produces premium broadcloth fabrics admired for their impeccable quality and timeless appeal.


Broadcloth, with its deep-rooted history, diverse types, and wide-ranging applications, remains a sought-after fabric in the textile industry. Its versatility, durability, and luxurious feel make it a popular choice for clothing designers and manufacturers. By understanding the intricacies of broadcloth and adopting proper handling techniques, one can appreciate and preserve the unique qualities of this exceptional textile.

Can be manufactured from cotton and silk, and rayon which are very different than wool broadcloth. A plain weave tightly woven fabric, characterized by a slight ridge effect in one direction, usually the filling. Most cotton broadcloths are made with a very fine crosswise rib weave. In cotton it is made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. It is finer than poplin when made with a crosswise rib and it is lustrous and soft with a good texture. Thread count ranges from high quality 144 x 6 count down to 80 x 60. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed; also is often mercerized. Broadcloth tends to wear very well. If it is not of a high quality or treated it wrinkles very badly. The finest quality is made from Egyptian or combed pima cotton
Originally, a silk shirting fabric so named because it was woven in widths exceeding the usual 29 inches.

A tightly woven, lustrous cotton or polyester/cotton blend fabric in a plain weave with a crosswise rib. It resembles poplin, but the rib is finer, and broadcloth always has more picks than poplin. The finest qualities are made with combed pima or Egyptian cotton.
A smooth, rich-looking, woolen fabric with a napped face and a twill back. Better grades have a glossy, velvety hand

Some other terms

Some more terms:

Satin is a type of fabric renowned for its smooth, glossy, and lustrous surface. It is widely used in the textile industry to create luxurious garments, elegant home decor items, and various...
Crazing is a term used in the textile industry to describe a series of fine cracks that form on the surface of a fabric or garment. These cracks can appear on any type of material, including natural...
A textile product of substantial length and relatively small cross-section and that consists of fibres (q.v.) or filament(s) (q.v.) (or both) with or without twist. NOTE: a) Assemblies of fibres or...
A term used to describe fabrics which have been joined together through the use of a high-strength reinforcing scrim or base fabrics between two plies of flexible thermoplastic film.. It can a bonded...
The shorter fibres separated from the longer fibres by combing during the preparatory process before spinning. Noils are a mixture of short and broken fibres, neps and vegetable matter. Noils may be...

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