This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Poplin. In the 15th century a fabric was woven at Avignon, France, (which at that time was a papal diocese) and calledpapaline, in compliment to the reigning pope. This fabric was made of silk and much esteemed, vast quantities being manufactured to supply the gorgeous church vestments and hangings then in use. An imitation of this material was introduced into England, made with a wool weft, and the name corrupted to poplin. In 1775 the manufacture was introduced into Ireland, by the French Protestant refugees, and from that time to the present, Irish poplin has been famous. The best modern poplins consist of a warp of silk and a filling somewhat heavier than the warp, which gives the surface an appearance somewhat resembling rep. The genuine Irish poplin, made at Dublin, is a light weight variety, and is sometimes called single poplin. It is invariably manufactured from the best organzine silk, which is used to form the warp or longitudinal threads of the cloth, and from yarn spun from wool of the very best quality, which constitute the weft or body of the material. It is celebrated for its uniformly fine quality, much resembling whole-silk goods in appearance, but superior to them in durability, and produced at less cost. Cotton and linen are substituted, wholly or partially in making cheap goods, but they are very inferior in beauty to the true poplins. They are watered, brocaded or plain. Double poplin is a variety in which both the silk warp and the wool weft are very heavy, the heavy woolen weft making the corded appearance very prominent. It is stiffer and heavier than single poplin. Terry poplin is another very durable variety which is woven by throwing up to the surface alternate threads of the silk warp, an appearance somewhat resembling Terry velvet being obtained.