The origin of the word Muslin is much debated. Some say it came from Marco Polo’s description of the cotton trade in Mosul, Iraq. Others say it's the Bengali word mul mul. 18th century historian Susan Greene thought it came from mousse, the French word for “foam.”
What has never been in debate is that historically muslin was a cotton fabric of extraordinary lightness and softness.
Originally muslin was produced solely from Phuti Karpas, a cotton plant which grew along the banks of the Brahmaputra river. Hand-spun into an extraordinarily delicate yarn and then hand woven into fabric in villages near Dhaka, muslin was sought after by royalty and traded globally during the 16th and 17th centuries, earning enormous revenue for those involved in its trade.
Tragically, the industry was practically erased by India’s colonial rulers and replaced with their machine-made fabrics in the 19th century. The surviving practitioners are our inspiration.