The main difference between muslin and cheesecloth is that muslin is versatile and is used in dressmaking, quilting, home décor, cleaning, arts, cheesemaking, etc. Meanwhile, cheesecloth is mainly useful for cooking.
Both muslin and cheesecloth are light, loosely woven fabrics. Therefore, we can use both fabrics in cooking, especially in the process of cheese making, to drain and wrap curds.
Key Terms Covered
Cheese, Cheesecloth, Muslin
What is Muslin
Muslin is a light and breathable loosely woven cotton fabric. It’s a durable and comfortable fabric. Also, it is made with a plain weave technique, and it dates back to ancient India. This means it has a single weft thread that alternates over and under a single wrap thread. And, this single layer of weaves and the thinness of the fiber makes this fabric soft, delicate, and lightweight. Moreover, it’s affordable to make and versatile to use. One of the uses of muslin in the fashion world is to test patterns before cutting and stitching the final garments.
Furthermore, there are four main types of muslin: gauze, mull, Swiss muslin, and sheeting. Gauze is an ultra-lightweight, sheer muslin we use for clothes, as a filter, and to dress wounds. Mull, on the other hand, is a plain lightweight cloth made from cotton and silk. We generally use it for underlining and pattern testing. Swiss muslin is sheer and lightweight with raised patterns and is regularly used in warm clothes. Sheeting is a thick and coarse form of muslin, and we use it in both clothing and homeware.
You should treat muslin fabrics gently when washing. First, you should hand wash or machine wash it using cold water with a gentle laundry detergent. Then you should hang or lay the muslin flat to dry.
What is Cheesecloth
Cheesecloth is a lightweight, cotton light-woven gauze with an open texture. Therefore, it has a light and airy texture. It’s used mainly for cooking and cheesemaking. As its name suggests, people originally used it to drain and wrap curds in the process of cheese making.
Furthermore, there are various grades of cheesecloths. These range from open to extra-fine weaves and differ in thickness and durability. These grades differ by the number of threads per inch in each direction. The grades are represented in units of 10, with each unit meaning a sturdier and more durable cloth. A cheesecloth with a grade of 10 or 20 has a more open weave. The open weave allows more material to pass through it. Similarly, a cheesecloth with a grade of 90 is more durable, but it would be harder for liquids to pass through it.
Difference Between Muslin and Cheesecloth
Muslin is a light and breathable loosely woven cotton fabric, while cheesecloth is a lightweight, cotton, lightly-woven gauze with an open texture.
Muslin is used for dressmaking, quilting, home décor, cleaning, arts, cheesemaking, etc., while cheesecloth is mainly used for cooking.
There are four main types of grades of muslin as gauze, mull, Swiss muslin, and sheeting, while there are at least seven grades in cheesecloths, differing from each other by the number of threads per inch in each direction.
Type of Cheese Produced
Muslins are useful in producing soft cheeses, whereas cheesecloths are useful in making hard cheese.
Muslin fabrics are more durable than cheesecloth as it has a finer weave than low-grade cheesecloths.
The main difference between muslin and cheesecloth is that muslin is versatile and useful in dressmaking, quilting, home décor, cleaning, arts, cheesemaking, etc., while cheesecloth is mainly useful for cooking. Moreover, muslin fabrics are more durable than cheesecloth.