Word Origin & History
1609, "delicately woven cotton fabric," from Fr. mousseline, from It. mussolina, from Mussolo "Mosul," city in northern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) where muslin was made, from Arabic al-Mawsul, lit. "the joined," a reference to the bridge and ford over the Tigris here. Like many fabric names, it has changed
meaning over the years, in this case from luxurious to commonplace. In 13c. O.Fr., mosulin meant "cloth of silk and gold." The meaning "everyday cotton fabric for shirts, bedding, etc." is U.S., 1872.