What is "Tarlatan" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 16-Jan-2023 (1 year, 4 months, 13 days ago)
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Tarlatan is a versatile fabric that has been widely used in the textile industry for various applications. This detailed article explores the meaning, history, types, handling tips, and top international users or manufacturers of Tarlatan, targeting advanced readers in accordance with the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition style guide.

History and Origin

Tarlatan originated in the 19th century and was initially used as a stiffening material for collars and cuffs in men's shirts. Its name is derived from the French word "tarlatane," referring to a stiff fabric. Tarlatan was popularized during the Victorian era when fashion trends embraced crisp and structured garments. It quickly gained recognition for its ability to provide body and shape to clothing items.

Meaning and Definition

Tarlatan is a lightweight, semi-transparent fabric with an open weave structure. It is typically made from cotton or a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers. The open weave allows air circulation, making it suitable for garments worn in warm climates. The fabric has a slightly stiff hand feel, providing body and structure to garments.

Types of Tarlatan

1. Plain Tarlatan: This type of Tarlatan has a simple plain weave structure with evenly spaced warp and weft yarns. It is commonly used for petticoats, interlining, and stiffening purposes.

2. Striped Tarlatan: Striped Tarlatan features thin vertical stripes created by using different-colored warp yarns. It adds a decorative element to garments and is often used in collars, cuffs, and other trimmings.

3. Printed Tarlatan: Printed Tarlatan has patterns or motifs printed on its surface. It offers versatility in design and is used for a wide range of applications, including dressmaking, millinery, and crafts.

Tips for Handling Tarlatan

1. Pre-Washing: It is advisable to pre-wash Tarlatan fabric before using it in a project to remove any sizing or chemicals and to allow for any shrinkage.

2. Cutting and Sewing: Tarlatan has a tendency to fray, so it is recommended to use sharp scissors or a rotary cutter for clean, precise cuts. When sewing, a fine needle and a small stitch length are preferable to prevent snagging or pulling of the fabric.

3. Pressing: Use a low to medium heat setting on the iron when pressing Tarlatan, and avoid excessive steam to prevent flattening or damaging the fabric's natural texture.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Tarlatan is widely used by various international users and manufacturers in the textile industry. Here are some notable examples:

1. Chanel: Chanel, a renowned fashion house, incorporates Tarlatan in its collections to add structure and texture to garments. They utilize Tarlatan for elements such as ruffles, bows, and collars.

2. Valentino: Valentino, a luxury fashion brand, often features Tarlatan in their designs. They use the fabric for its ability to create volume and enhance the architectural elements of their garments.

3. Marc Jacobs: Marc Jacobs, a prominent American designer, has utilized Tarlatan in his collections. He employs the fabric to create crisp and structured silhouettes, particularly in dresses and blouses.

4. Prada: Prada, an Italian luxury brand, incorporates Tarlatan into their designs, often using it for overlays, flounces, and other embellishments that require stiffness and body.


In conclusion, Tarlatan is a lightweight, semi-transparent fabric with an open weave structure. It provides body, shape, and crispness to garments, making it suitable for various applications. Tarlatan comes in different types such as plain, striped, and printed, offering versatility in design. Handling Tarlatan involves pre-washing, careful cutting and sewing, and proper pressing techniques. Prominent international users and manufacturers of Tarlatan include Chanel, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, and Prada. The enduring popularity and utilization of Tarlatan in the fashion industry is a testament to its unique properties and aesthetic appeal.

Tarlatan is a starched, open-weave fabric, much like cheese cloth. It is used to wipe the ink off a plate during the intaglio inking process. The open weave allows for the tarlatan to pick up a large quantity of ink. The stiffness imparted by the starch helps prevent the fabric from taking the ink out of the incised lines.
A sheer cotton fabric in open plain weave usually heavily sized for stiffness.
Starched cotton gauze used by printmakers for wiping intaglio plates.

Some other terms

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Chintz 71
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A finish that has the purpose of increasing the absorbency of a fabric. on durable press blends. The finish allows the stain to leave the fabric faster, increases the wicking action for improved...
A term used in identifying the structure of a yarn, fabric, or other textile material. For example, details such as denier (decitex), filament count, twist level and direction, and number of plies...

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