Lawn cloth or lawn is a plain weave textile, originally of linen but now
chiefly cotton. Lawn is designed using fine, high 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.
Lawn is a lightweight, sheer cloth, 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. Lawn can be white, or may be dyed or printed.
The term "lawn" derives from "Laon", a city in France, which produced large
quantities of linen lawn.
Lawn cloth commonly is used for dresses, blouses, nightwear, underwear, lingerie, curtains,
collar cuffs, shirting, infant wear, and handkerchiefs.
It is also commonly used in liturgical vestments in the Anglican churches, such
as the surplice and episcopal rochet.