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Linen Fabric • Sew Linen Fabric

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Linen

Linen Facts

About Linen Fabric

Linen fabric has been in use for over 10,000 years and may be the oldest fiber used by man.

Linen fabric is made from the fibers found in the flax plant.

Egyptians used linen fabric extensively. From wrapping mummies in long lengths of linen to walking in sandals woven from twined linen rope, the strong supple fibers contributed to an Egyptians’ daily life. Many linen fabric artifacts have been found in tombs and pyramids dating from 4500 years ago!

The ancient Phoenician's made sails for their ships from heavy weight linen fabric.

The famous Shroud of Turin is a strip of ivory linen fabric 14 feet long, three feet seven inches wide and is thought by some to be the funeral cloth of Christ. It may be the most studied piece of cloth in history.

The finest lace produced in the 16th century was created from delicate linen threads. To keep the linen fibers supple enough for the tiny knots and twists, lace makers would work in humid rooms. To keep the lace from getting soiled or discoloring, often a single candle was all the light allowed.


Linen creates a fine writing paper sometimes referred to as ‘rag bond’.

U.S. currency, made from recovered cotton and linen fibers is one of the most durable papers in the world.

Since about the 15th century artists have used linen fabric canvas stretched over a frame as a ground for painting. The durability and strength of the linen fabric when wet make it react well during the painting process. The fibers have a hollow core which wicks moisture away and helps to keep mold and fungus from growing between the layers of paint. This wicking also helps keep the layers of paint from separating and flaking off the ground. Linen fabric allows us to enjoy great historical paintings.

Ireland is a major linen producer, manufacturing 20% of the European Union’s linen yarn, and weaving on average 2,000 tons of fabric per annum. Fabrics labeled Irish linen and Irish linen fabric are some of the best produced.

The properties of flax make it a desirable finished product. Other than ramie, it has the greatest tensile strength of any natural fiber, and is 20% stronger when wet. It is highly absorbent and dries quickly, and its high wax content gives linen fabric it's characteristic luster.

Historically, Linen and wool were the two common fibers, often combined in linsey-woolsey, a fabric with warp threads of Linen for strength and weft threads of wool providing bulk and warmth.

Seeds of the flax plant are pressed to produce linseed oil – a base for paint, varnish, soap, cosmetics, linoleum and synthetic resins.

The bark of the flax plant has a market in a variety of consumer and industrial products, from horse beds to chipboard.

Linen is thermo-regulating, non allergenic, anti static and antibacterial. Because it can absorb up to 20 times its weight in moisture before it feels damp, linen fabric feels cool and dry to the touch.

Linen fabric, easily produced in an ecological way, uses five to twenty times less water and energy than the production of cotton or synthetic fabrics.

Linen rugs are strong and durable, resistant to wear and abrasion, yet are lustrous and flexible.

Shaatnez is the combination of wool and linen fibers in one garment. The Torah states that one may not wear such a garment. For example, in a wool suit, the thread used to connect the buttons, and the interfacing inside the jacket are two places where linen fibers might be. If this were done, the garment would no longer be Kosher.

Although a very strong fiber, linen is even stronger when wet.

Our site offers a variety of linen fabrics suitable for apparel and home decorator projects. We also offer a large selection of patterns, many suitable for linen fabric. You can also find books and a full line of notions to help you complete your linen fabric project.