What is Linen Fabric - All You Need To Know

What is Linen Fabric – All You Need To Know

As soon as summer arrives, you always look for linen fabrics in your wardrobe. Linen works like wonders and is the most common and oldest textile used for garments and beddings. But it’s still confusing why many of us don’t have in-depth knowledge related to linen. What is linen fabric, how it is made, how you can sew it, its advantages, disadvantages, and the basic common characteristics of linen, all are key points that will be answered here in this article.

Because being one of the oldest clothing fabrics, linen has now transformed and undergone certain changes. Why is it versatile and how can you use linen in various ways? Everything is detailed here. Stay tuned and make sure you focus on every detail if you want to get the maximum out of this masterpiece. Without spending any more time, let us initiate the information related to linen fabric and all you need to know about it.

Everything You Need To Know About Linen Fabric

The following written article will tell you about the knowledge related to linen fabric, how it is made, its basic characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. We will cover every detail related to linen including its uses and benefits. Make sure you do not skip any part, as you may miss any important information.

What Actually Is Linen Fabric?

what is linen

The origin of the linen is the Flax plant. This is the most versatile and durable fabric used worldwide for the making of different garments. Because linen is derived from the Flax plant, it is a natural fiber that is renowned for its strength and comfortability. It is made up of very fine Flax plant fibers, making it ultra-soft and smooth to wear and use for bedding and garments purposes. Let us look into the in-depth details of the construction method and how linen is made.

How Is Linen Made?

how is linen made

Linen is constructed with the use of the finest fibers obtained from the Flax plant. The procedure of making linen starts right after the harvesting of the original plant. The following detail tells you about the step-by-step guide on how linen is made and what are its construction steps.

  1. As soon as the Flax stalks are harvested, they are moved through a machine that is responsible for separating leaves and seeds.
  2. After this, it is time for the retting process. It involves the separation of the soft interior and hard fibrous exterior of flax stalks from each other. Make sure it is done only by a professional.
  3. In the third step, the Flax stalks are crushed after moving through the rollers.
  4. These stalks are passed through rotating paddles, responsible for separating outer and inner fibers from each other.
  5. Now is the time for combing. You need to comb the separated inner fibers, to get fine and thin strands.
  6. After properly combing the strands, they are ready for the spinning process.
  7. Because these combed fibers are shorter in length, they are combined with a device named spreaders. When you connect these fibers with spreaders, you will obtain the strings that are called rovings.
  8. In the presence of a spinning frame, these rovings are then spun thoroughly
  9. Reeling is the next step after spinning. It should be done in wet and humid weather conditions. After the spinning, the yarn is reeled into a bobbin and then is run in hot water to make sure it is strongly intact and coherent together.
  10. The last step of linen construction involves the drying of the yarn obtained from the result of the reeling process.

Common Characteristics Of Linen Fabric

  • Linen is greatly renowned for the good absorbency of the water. It can absorb around 20% of its weight, in the presence of moisture. This is the reason why linen dries quickly.
  • This fabric is said to be the second most strong and strengthened fabric popular in the world. It can tolerate various certain surrounding impacts, without affecting its functioning.
  • Linen has a great tendency of thermoregulation, making sure you feel cooler in hot summers.
  • It is highly comfortable and easy to wear for longer times.
  • If you are sensitive to allergies, linen is a great recommended fabric for you. This is because it is obtained from natural plants and does not involve any artificial chemicals and procedures in its construction.
  • It is soft and fine to touch and is comparatively affordable when compared with other fabrics.

Difference Between Linen And Cotton

The most commonly compared fabric with linen is cotton. You often get confused between both of them because they both look almost similar to each other. The following details tell you about the basic differences between linen and cotton. This guide will help you in understanding both linen and cotton and the basic differences between them.


The texture of linen is slightly rough when compared with the texture of cotton. Cotton is often perceived as smoother than linen fabric.


Cotton is more flexible and is easy to adjust in any shape when compared with linen fabric. Linen, somehow, is less flexible and does slightly retain its shape.


There is no match to the durability of linen fabric. They are more durable than any other fabric, including cotton material.


Because linen is comparatively more rough than cotton, cotton is taken as a more smooth and soft fabric when compared with linen.


Although there is no noticeable difference between the weights of both linen and cotton. Still, linen is comparatively heavier than cotton.


Linen is more breathable and can cross air efficiently, making you feel cooler in hot summers. Alternatively, cotton, because of its rigid and congested construction, is less breathable than linen fabric.


Cotton is more absorbent and takes time to dry. On the other hand, linen dries quickly without taking much time because it is comparatively less absorbent.

Pros And Cons Of Linen

Just like any other fabric, linen also consists of its advantages and disadvantages. The following detail tells you about the advantages you can have, owning a linen fabric, and the disadvantages it carries.

Advantages Of Linen

  • It is safe and hypoallergenic because of being natural in production.
  • No chemicals and heavy treatments are involved while constructing linen.
  • It is among the top biodegradable fabric materials in the world.
  • The linen is exceptionally strong and sturdy.
  • It is breathable and is ideal for all-year wearability purposes.
  • It helps you in keeping you cooler in the hot summers and warmer in the cold winters.
  • The linen is comfortable and soft enough to give you a nice cozy feel.

Disadvantages Of Linen

  • Linen fabric can get wrinkles in a quick time.
  • When treated with chemicals, it does not stay biodegradable.
  • When compared with cotton, linen is slightly rough in texture and is less smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Linen

Is it easy to stitch/sew linen fabric?

Yes, it is very easy to stitch linen fabric. It does not slip nor stretch when you are cutting it. It is easy to handle and makes the cutting and sewing of itself easy. One thing that should be kept in mind before stitching a linen fabric is that it is prone to shrink. So make sure you take extra care while dealing with linen sewing and stitching.

Is linen better than cotton?

Certain aspects make linen better than cotton. Such as in absorbency and breathability. Moreover, when it comes to durability, you cannot defeat linen in any way. It serves you for longer as compared to the cotton fabric.

Is linen absorbent?

Yes, linen is much more absorbent and is renowned for absorbing 20% of its weight in the presence of moisture. Alternatively, when it is compared with cotton, it is less absorbent. It holds only 20% of water, whereas, cotton can hold up to 25% of the water.

What is linen material?

Linen is derived from the fibers of natural Flax plants. It is the most versatile and durable fabric used worldwide. Linen is constructed with the use of fine fibers that are responsible to make it ultra-soft and smooth, ultimately resulting in increasing its versatility.

Final Thoughts

Linen is a greatly versatile fabric that is used worldwide for multiple purposes. It is soft and smooth to wear and can hold up to 20% of water, making it ideal for summer seasons. Linen dries quickly and does not take much of your time in maintenance. It is all-natural in construction and is derived from fibers of the Flax plant, making it hypoallergenic and chemical-free to use.

This above-mentioned article tells you about all the details related to linen, how it is made, what are its advantages and disadvantages and what are the common characteristics of the linen fabric. If you want to learn everything related to linen, here is what linen is and all you need to know.

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