Linen Fabric: History, Properties, Uses, Care, Where to Buy

5 Best Linen Fabric Reviews

Introduction to Linen Fabric

For the majority of its use, Linen fabric is a flax-based material. Aside from linen and cotton is made from flax plants, there are some notable differences. In warm climates, linen clothing is ideal. 

Unlike cotton, which retains moisture for a long time, linen dries fast, reducing heat retention in extremely hot situations. Some nations, like China, continue to create linen in great quantities because of the special qualities of this material. This has prevented the entire termination of world production of linen.

What is the History of Linen Fabric?

As far back as thousand years ago, there is proof of linen being used to weave cloth in Europe. Because of this, linen’s history may go back much further than the earliest forms discovered by current archaeology, making it one of the longest-produced fabrics.

Archaeologists believe that linen was initially developed in Mesopotamia some ten thousand years ago, based on evidence from ancient houses on Switzerland’s lakefronts. In Mesopotamia, linen clothes were reserved mostly for the ruling class, but in Ancient Egypt, linen was far more widely used.  

They needed clothing that was both sun-resistant and breathable in Egypt due to its humid environment. Egyptians quickly adopted linen because of its breathability and lack of moisture retention.

 Linen Fabric was also used as a form of payment in Ancient Egypt. Mummies’ funeral shrouds and covers were also made from this fabric.

The Phoenicians brought linen production to Western Europe from the ancient Greeks, who utilized linen for clothing and household goods. Even during the colonial times, linen remained relevant, but as cotton production got more affordable and quicker, linen’s prominence in Europe’s textile industry began to wane.

Properties of Linen Fabric

  • Does not retain heat
  • Has high moisture wicking abilities
  • Is highly breathable
  • Has a low stretch

How is Linen Fabric Made?

The cellulose fiber found in the stems of linen crops is the raw material for linen fabric. Sticky strands on the outside of linen stalks are identical to the fibers on the inside of the plant. Flax fibers are separated from the wooden core of the stems before the creation of linen.

Traditional means have involved immersing raw flax in water, but today’s producers may use solvents to achieve the same result. These chemicals are washed away before the fibers are woven into yarn; however, lingering hazardous compounds may persist on the flax fiber separated from the chemical.

Where is Linen Fabric Made?

China is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of linen, as it is for the majority of textiles. However, the development of large linen products continues to be an important part of the traditions of many European nations.

Italy and Belgium are among the most prominent linen manufacturers today. Linen, primarily used for household furnishings, is also produced in pretty big numbers in the United States of America.

Common uses of Linen Fabric

Linen fabric is used for a wide variety of accessories and apparel.

Daily wear

The fabric is used in both men’s and women’s apparel wear. It is used to make shirts, blazers, jackets, vests, and other formal and casual outfits. It is also used for undergarments and lingerie. It is a really popular material for dresses and skirts as well.

Home décor

Linen fabric is also used to make table napkins and table cloths. Even though cotton towels have become increasingly fashionable, linen hand towels, kitchen towels, and bath towels are all available.

Cotton has overtaken linen in the bedding arena, yet linen pillowcases and sheets can still be found.

Sewing with Linen fabric

One of the most enjoyable textiles to work with is Linen fabric. If you don’t already have a lot of sewing experience, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make this garment.

Sewing patterns and designs on the fabric isn’t very hard. The fabric creases easily, and it becomes easier to sew the fabric once it is pressed. The sewing thread used can be an all-purpose one. And you can sew either by hand sewing needles or use the best sewing machines like the SINGER Quantum Stylist 9985  for efficient results.

Using the right sewing essential like tailor’s chalk to mark your fabric will make the job easier.

Dyeing with Linen fabric

The Linen fabric can be dyed depending on the composition of the fabric. If made using cotton, silk, and other synthetic threads, the Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye can be used as the best fabric dye available.

How to care for Linen Fabric?

Linen fabrics aren’t so hard to care for and can easily be washed and ironed without a hassle.

Washing

  • Use Luke-warm or cold water to wash the fabric
  • Use a mild detergent for cleaning
  • The machine setting should be set to a delicate cycle
  • Fabric softeners can be used
  • To prevent the linen from becoming firm, remove it from the machine when it is still slightly moist. Hang or lay it straight to finish drying.
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Ironing

  • Using a shark steam iron, press the fabric on the wrong side
  • Use a low heat setting and a press cloth between the fabric and the iron.

Where to buy Linen Fabric?

Linen fabric can be purchased from fabric and garment retailers. Clients can also purchase Linen fabric from online stores and websites like Fabric.com and Amazon, which have the best linen fabric available, like the stunning Brixton Linen Fabric.

It can be sold in several ways depending on the seller;

  • By yard
  • By Inches
  • Can be cut to order

Price

The price of raw linen yarn per pound is not accessible. However, woven linen fabric ranges from $4 to $11 per yard, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications. However, despite its high price, it is obvious that linen continues to be popular for a range of specialist applications.

Conclusion

Linen fabric has been around for a long time, and the fabric has been used for multiple products and apparel.

Sources

While there are various types of sewing fabric options to choose from, nothing is quite like linen. It’s lightweight and breathable, yet it’s extremely durable, and it offers a uniquely polished look like no other material; hence the reason why it’s one of the most beloved textiles in the world. In fact, it’s also one of the oldest fabrics in the world; the ancient Romans crafted it into togas, and the ancient Egyptians wrapped their mummies with it; that’s how much linen was beloved!

There’s a lot more you can do with linen than wrap mummies or make togas (though you can use it to craft some awesome Halloween costumes!); it’s the perfect material for comfortable apparel and lightweight bedding. No matter what you are planning on making with this material, you’re going to want to make sure that you are using the highest quality linen. After scouring the market and testing out so many different types of linen, we’ve narrowed down the options and compiled a list of what we consider to be the best linen fabrics on the market:

Best Linen Fabrics

ImageLinen FabricRating
Eroica Linen Fabric 1. Eroica Linen Fabric99%
Fabricut Linen Fabric 2. Fabricut Linen Fabric96%
Brixton Linen Blend 3. Brixton Linen Blend92%
Splendid Home Linen Fabric 4. Splendid Home Linen Fabric89%
Andover and Makower Linen Fabric 5. Andover and Makower Linen Fabric86%

1. Eroica Cosmo Linen Fabric

First up on our list of the best linen fabrics is the Cosmo Linen from Cosmo. It’s not traditional linen, but rather, it’s 100 percent polyester that has been woven to create the look of linen. Though it’s made of synthetic fibers, it is extremely durable and easy to work with. In fact, it is so well-made that you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell that it isn’t the real thing!

Since this linen fabric has a medium to heavy weight, it is would work well as a drapery or an upholstery fabric. It would look lovely as window panels or a valance, or even as a slipcover for a chair or sofa. You could also use quilting batting to turn it into a lovely spread for a bed.

However you plan to use it, you will love that it has 50,000 double rubs, as it will retain its look for a long time. The fabric is dry clean only, though, so do be aware. While we are featuring the linen color in this review, there are several other colors available, including stone, caramel, latte, black, taupe, aqua, and even taupe – just to name a few. This linen material is sold by the yard and half-yard and is cut to order. It’s also affordably priced, which is definitely a plus.

What We Like About It

  • Made of 100 percent polyester
  • Medium to heavyweight
  • Sold by the yard and half yard
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Durable
  • Can be used in a variety of applications
  • Easy to work with
  • Affordably priced

Reasons to Complain

  • It’s dry clean only

Final Verdict: Overall, we were very pleased with the Erocia Cosmo Linen Fabric. It is durable, beautiful, and comes in a wide range of colors. It’s also affordably priced, which we really like.

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2. Fabricut Linen Fabric

Fabricut is a highly reputable supplier of all types of fabrics, including faux fur, faux leather, lace, suede, and taffeta; among others. Their coarse linen is one of the highest quality options on our list, as it is authentic linen, which means that it is 100 percent natural.

This linen material has a very heavy weight, yet because it is completely natural, it is still breathable. We think that it would be well-suited for home décor items, such as window treatments, duvet covers, and throw pills; however, you could certainly use it to create hand-stitched apparel. For example, you could use a dress form to make a uniquely stunning gown.

The width of this material is 55 inches and it’s sold by the yard and half yard. It’s made in France, so you know that it is an exquisite textile. The color is Oceanside, which is similar to sage green, and serves as a unique neutral.

What We Like About It

  • Pure linen, so it’s 100 percent natural
  • Heavyweight, yet breathable
  • Extremely durable
  • Sold by the yard and half yard
  • Cut to order
  • Can be used in various applications
  • Easy to work with
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Reasons to Complain

  • It does have to be dry cleaned
  • The cost is pretty high; however, given the quality of this fabric, we think that it’s well worth the price

Final Verdict: If you’re looking for a completely natural linen material, then you should definitely check out Fabricut Coarse Linen. It’s completely natural, heavyweight, durable, breathable, and just beautiful. While the price is a bit high, we do think that it is worth the investment.

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3. Brixton Linen Fabric

Next up on our list of the best linen fabrics is an option that comes from Brixton, another high-regarded distributor of various types of materials. This linen is different than other fabrics featured in this review, as it’s blended with chenille, so it has a very soft hand. Back it with fleece or flannel to make a stylish, yet totally comfortable and cozy throw blanket or duvet for your bed! It would also look wonderful as a blazer, vest, or even a skirt. You could even use it to create a tufted headboard or an ottoman!

Since this linen is blended with chenille, it isn’t 100 percent natural; instead, it’s made of 20 percent linen and 80 percent polyester; however, that adds to the durability of the fabric. This linen fabric is heavyweight, which again, adds to the durability. It measures 57 inches wide and is sold by the yard and half yard, and it’s cut to order. It’s also available in several colors, including feather (a grayish brown, bayou, kale, ruby, indigo, and amethyst. We think that this material is quite beautiful, sturdy, and easy to work with.

What We Like About It

  • It’s blended with chenille, which makes it truly soft and luxurious
  • Made of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent linen
  • It has a very heavy weight
  • Sold by the yard and half yard
  • Cut to order
  • Available in several colors
  • Can be used in various applications
  • Easy to work with
  • Affordable

Reasons to Complain

  • It does have to be dry cleaned

Final Verdict: The Brixton Linen Blend Chenille Fabric is quite unique and simply stunning. Since it’s blended with chenille, it has an incredibly soft hand. It’s also very durable and can be used in a myriad of ways.

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4. Splendid Home Colby 100% Linen Fabric

Another 100 percent all-natural linen fabric, this option from Splendid Home is just lovely. It is exactly what comes to mind when you picture fabric in terms of the feel, the construction, and the breathability. The material has a very heavy weight, which makes it suitable for a variety of uses; for example, you could use it to create a beautiful valance, swag, drapery, or any other type of window treatment you can think of.

It could also be used to create a lovely natural-looking throw pillow or it could even be used as the basis of an embroidery project, as you can easily pass a hand sewing needle and embroidery thread and floss through it.

Like all of the linen fabrics mentioned in our review, this one is sold by the yard and half yard and cut to order. The width is 55 inches. There are so many different colors to choose from, too, such as pomegranate, rain, taupe, greystone, glacier, sky, and denim. We found that this material was very easy to work with and that it had a lovely finish.

What We Like About It

  • 100 percent natural linen
  • Sold by the yard and half yard
  • Available in a wide range of colors
  • Cut to order
  • Very heavyweight
  • Easy to work with
  • Can be used in various applications
  • Highly durable

Reasons to Complain

  • It’s dry clean only
  • The price is a little on the high side

Final Verdict: If you want a natural linen fabric that is available in various colors, then you should consider the Splendid Home Colby 100% Linen Fabric. It’s completely natural, heavyweight, and super durable. It comes in so many colors that you will be sure to find one that suits your needs.

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5. Andover and Makeover Linen Fabric

The last option on our list of the best linen fabrics comes from Andover and Makeover, yet another highly regarded distributor of various types of materials. This linen is made of 100 percent cotton, so it’s lightweight and very breathable. Additionally, it can be machine washed and tumbled dry, which makes it super easy to care for; in fact, it’s the only fabric in our review that can be machine washed!

While the fabric isn’t pure linen but rather cotton, it does have the same look and feel as natural linen. As a matter of fact, if you put it next to natural linen, you’d probably struggle to tell the difference; that’s how well-crafted it is! This linen material is 44 inches wide and it is sold by the yard and half yard, so you’ll be able to get the exact amount that you need. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, such as charcoal, lime, baby blue, tomato, heather, smoky blue, turquoise, magenta, black, fuchsia, pink, and pale cream. All colors are very vibrant and feature variations in shade and a subtle sheen.

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This is a wonderful material for all types of hand-stitched projects. It can easily be used as a quilting fabric; use a single color, or you could purchase several colors and use quilting cutting mats to create a patchwork quilt. You could also use it to create some super stylish and very comfortable clothing; for instance, you could combine it with knits to create a one-of-a-kind jacket or vest – or anything else that you can think of! We found that this material is quite easy to work with, as it cut well and we had no trouble passing it through a sewing machine.

What We Like About It

  • Made of 100 percent cotton
  • Lightweight and very breathable
  • Easy to care for; it can be machine washed and tumbled dry
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • All colors have a slight sheen and feature variations of shades for a totally stunning effect
  • Sold by the yard and half yard
  • Cut to order

Reasons to Complain

Honestly, we couldn’t find any reason to complain. This faux linen fabric is simply divine!

Final Verdict: This linen fabric from Andover and Makeover is just stunning. It’s 100 percent cotton, lightweight, durable, breathable, and available in so many colors. Best of all – it’s machine washable!

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The Best Linen Fabric: A Buyer’s Guide

Whether you have been sewing for years or you are just learning the ropes (with the guidance of a sewing help book), every seamstress needs to have the basic sewing essentials on-hand – and the fabric is one of the most basic of all sewing essentials. Having a nice collection of various types of materials available will allow you to create your masterpieces whenever creativity strikes.

There are so many different fabrics available, and linen is certainly one of the most beloved. It’s versatile, durable, and relatively easy to work with. If you’re thinking about stocking up on some linen material, there’s no doubt about it: you’re going to want to purchase the best.

In this section of our buyer’s guide, you’ll learn more about this wonderful textile and find out why it is such a commonly used material.

What is Linen?

Linen is, of course, a textile; but what’s so special about it is that it is the oldest fabric in the world; it’s believed that it originated some 8,000 years ago. Initially, it was made from the fibers of flax, a plant that looks like a mix between lavender and cornflower. Ancient civilizations discovered that the fibers of the stalk of the flax plant could be turned into thread. The fibers were woven to create various things, such as linens, clothing, and as we mentioned in the beginning, even the wrappings for mummies!

Linen was hand-woven for thousands of years; however, during the Industrial Revolution, the spinning machine was invented, which change the shape of linen production. The fabric became more widely available and more affordable, as it could be produced a lot faster. Eventually, it became one of the most commonly used fabrics around the globe. Today, linen continues to be a popular fabric, which is evidenced by the wealth of items that are made out of the material. However, it’s not just made of natural flax; it can also be made from various other fibers, including cotton and polyester.

The Benefits of Linen

There are several reasons why linen is such a popular fabric. Some of the biggest benefits of this material include the following:

  • It’s lightweight. Linen is a rather lightweight material; even the heavier weighted linens are lighter than many other types of fabric, such as satin and silk.
  • It’s breathable. Since linen is a woven material, it is quite breathable.
  • It’s cool. Due to the lightweight of linen and its breathability, it is an extremely cool fabric; hence the reason why it is so commonly used for summer apparel.
  • It’s durable. Linen is an extremely durable material; in fact, it is often referred to as the strongest natural fiber in the world. It’s so strong that the currency of the United States of America is printed on paper that is comprised of linen!
  • Lint-resistant. It’s also resistant to lint, which makes it quite appealing; you won’t find bits of linen rubbing up onto your cotton pants.
  • It doesn’t pill. This fabric is also able to resist abrasions, so it doesn’t pill, either.
  • It’s anti-microbial. Natural linen is an antimicrobial fabric, so it’s quite hygienic.
  • It’s a “green” material. Flax doesn’t require excessive watering, and it is resistant to many pests, so little to no pesticides have to be used; therefore, natural linen is also environmentally friendly.

Of course, the natural look of linen makes it quite appealing, too. Given all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why linen is such amazing material and why it is so popular.

Summing It Up

Whether you choose natural or faux linen, this is a material that you are definitely going to want to work with at some point. It’s soft, durable, breathable, easy to work with, and simply stunning. If you’re on the hunt for the best linen fabrics, we highly recommend the materials listed in our review, as they are all well-constructed and just beautiful.

Sources:

Online Fabric Store

Threads Magazine

Fabrics Store

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