Linen is made from the flax plant and is one of the world’s oldest textiles, which is ideal for hot temperatures as it’s incredibly breathable and absorbent. This ultra-versatile fabric can be used in home décor, dressmaking and even quilting, but its main use is for summer clothes, coming in a variety of weights. But why should you choose linen for your next sewing project?
As we have previously touched upon, linen is known to absorb up to a fifth of its weight in moisture, which is one of the main reasons why it is such a popular choice for summer dressmaking projects. It is lightweight and breathable, which also makes it perfect for spring, autumn, and even winter, garments. In winter, linen is a natural insulator which is capable of releasing excess humidity, retaining the heat from your body and releasing the excess - leaving you feeling warm and cosy.
Being far more durable than cotton, linen is actually known as the world’s strongest fibre which makes it incredibly long-lasting. The linen garments you create can be machine washed and hung to dry naturally, achieving effortless elegance. After washing, linen clothes will not lose their shape, actually becoming softer and more pleasant to the skin over time. Although it’s not completely indestructible, linen is very resilient if it is well looked after - making it a perfect addition to any conscious, capsule wardrobe.
No matter whether you are looking to dress up for a formal event, or looking to achieve a more casual look, linen can be styled accordingly. For example, medium or heavy weight linens can be made into a classic linen suit, whereas the more lightweight varieties can be used to design a summer blouse. Linen is also usually designed to have a loose-fit, making these pieces perfect for people of all ages, sizes, and shapes - just proving its versatility as a fabric.
As linen is breathable and allows air to move around freely, it is one of the rare types of fabric which should not irritate anyone suffering from allergies and various skin conditions. This is because linen does not allow moisture to build up, which can be the perfect ecosystem for bacteria and microbes to breed. Although you cannot guarantee your experience sewing with linen to be 100% allergy-free, linen is a safer choice for anyone who regularly suffers from discomfort caused by allergies.
Caring for Linen
It is advisable to pre-wash linen before embarking on your sewing project as it can shrink with the first wash. Wash linen at cool temperatures with a mild detergent to protect the fibres and avoid washing brightly coloured linen prints on a hot wash in case they fade or bleed. When ironing linen, it is best ironed damp if you want a crease free finish but as a precaution do use a protective cloth in between the iron and linen fabric.
Buy your linen fabrics from Fabrics Galore
Overall, linen is a very good choice for either a home furnishing or dressmaking project, the different weights available allowing you to create the bespoke blouse, skirt or dress of your dreams. Across the Fabrics Galore website, we stock a variety of different linen fabrics - such as the washed 100% linen we have in a range of modern colours such as teal, ocean, sunshine, coral, denim and orange.
In our home furnishing fabric range we have some fantastic metallic linens which are a linen cotton mix as well as a choice of linen viscose patterned furnishing fabrics. Don’t forget to check out our traditional natural linens in neutral colours too.
We have a wide range of gorgeous linen fabrics for you to choose from, and we would be more than happy to help you if you require some assistance.