Cheesecloth is a specially designed fabric originally used in cheese production, hence the name. It usually takes the form of a loosely woven cotton gauze, and is readily available from culinary supply stores as well as some sewing shops. Superficially, cheesecloth looks like a mesh cloth, since the open weave leaves a number of small holes. The holes are close together enough to prevent solids from going through the cheesecloth, but open enough to allow for plenty of drainage. For this reason, cheesecloth is often used as a straining cloth for wood finishes. It is usually made from undyed cotton, so that it will be as neutral as possible and come in different grades depending on threadcount: Grade 20 cheesecloth is called open weaves, Grades 40 & 50 cheesceloth are called fine weaves, Grade 80 cheesecloth is referred to as extra fine.

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