What is "Buckram" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 29-Mar-2023 (6 months, 4 days ago)
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Buckram is a stiff fabric that has been used for centuries in various textile applications. It is a woven fabric, typically made from cotton or linen fibers, and impregnated with a stiffening agent, usually a form of starch or resin. Buckram is known for its rigidity, strength, and ability to hold its shape, making it a popular choice for items that require structure and support.

History and Origin

The use of buckram can be traced back to ancient times. Its origins can be found in the Middle Ages when it was used as a foundation material for the shaping and stiffening of garments, particularly in the construction of hats, collars, and cuffs. The name "buckram" is believed to have derived from the Arabic word "bukram," which means "stiff cloth."

Types of Buckram

There are different types of buckram available today, each with its unique characteristics and applications:

  1. Single-Ply Buckram: This type of buckram consists of a single layer of fabric, which provides moderate stiffness and support. It is commonly used in millinery, bookbinding, and costume construction.
  2. Double-Ply Buckram: Double-ply buckram is made by bonding two layers of fabric together, resulting in increased rigidity and strength. It is suitable for applications that require extra stability, such as corsetry and bag-making.
  3. Waterproof Buckram: Waterproof buckram is treated with a water-resistant coating, making it suitable for outdoor applications, such as umbrellas, tents, and outdoor gear.

Tips in Handling Buckram

When working with buckram, it is essential to keep a few tips in mind:

  • Preparation: Before use, buckram should be gently steamed or sprayed with water to make it more pliable and easier to work with.
  • Cutting and Sewing: Buckram can be cut with sharp scissors or a rotary cutter, but it is advisable to use a fresh blade due to its stiff nature. When sewing, use a strong needle and adjust your machine's tension accordingly.
  • Shaping: Buckram can be shaped using heat and pressure. It can be molded with an iron or steamer, or even wetted and manipulated into the desired form. Allow it to dry completely to retain the shape.
  • Finishing: The edges of buckram can be finished with bias tape or fabric binding to provide a neater appearance and prevent fraying.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Buckram is utilized by various international users and manufacturers across different industries. Here are some prominent examples:

  • Christy's: Christy's, a renowned hat manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, incorporates buckram in the construction of their high-quality hats, ensuring shape retention and durability.
  • Demco: Demco, a leading supplier of library and educational products, offers buckram bookbinding materials that provide strength and longevity to bound books and library materials.
  • Mil-Spec Packaging: Mil-Spec Packaging, a packaging solutions provider, utilizes buckram in the production of rigid shipping cases, ensuring protection and support for delicate equipment.


Buckram, a stiff fabric infused with stiffening agents, has a long history of use in various textile applications. Its rigidity, strength, and ability to hold shape make it a preferred choice for items requiring structure and support. With different types available, such as single-ply, double-ply, and waterproof buckram, it offers versatility for a range of applications. By following the proper handling tips, including preparation, cutting, sewing, shaping, and finishing techniques, the best results can be achieved. Prominent international users and manufacturers of buckram, such as Christy's, Demco, and Mil-Spec Packaging, showcase its significance in the hat-making, bookbinding, and packaging industries. As a durable and reliable fabric, buckram continues to serve as an essential material in diverse fields, contributing to the creation of high-quality, well-structured products.

Made from cotton, linen, and synthetics in a plain, cheap, low-textured, loose weave that is heavily sized and stiff. Also, two fabrics are glued together. One is an open weave and the other much finer. Buckram is also made in linen in a single fabric. Buckram is also called crinoline book muslin or book binding. Named from Bokhara in Southern Russia, where it was first made. It softens with heat and can be shaped while warm
A stiff-finished heavily sized fabric of cotton or linen used for interlinings in garments, for stiffening in millinery, and in bookbinding. Softens with heat. Can be shaped while warm. Name from Bokhara in Southern Russia, where it was first made. Also called crinoline book muslin or book binding.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

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Dull 65
a) Descriptive of textile materials the normal lustre (q.v.) of which has been reduced by physical or chemical means. b) The colour quality, an increase in which may be compared with the effect of...
Sisal 61
Sisal or sisal hemp is an agave Agave sisalana that yields a stiff fiber used in making rope. (The term may refer either to the plant or the fiber, depending on context.) It is not really a variety...
These weaves give the characteristic single-diagonal lines noted on the face of the cloth. There are twice as many threads per inch in the warp than there are in the weft. Because of the twist in the...
Cotton and Linen or blend of rayon staple and cotton, usually in a dobby weave with a smooth, clear finish and small diamond-shaped figures with a dot in the center of each. The pattern suggests the...

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