Why am I still banging on about linen? Because it’s still hot enough to wear it round here: Sunday it’ll be above 80℉/28℃. ‘Nuff said.
Besides, the Southern half of our world is going into Summer. 😎 First, some piccies from my collection.
Puh-lease click a pic so you can read all the captions ’cause you’ll miss words if you’re only hovering.
Linen is described by different terms:
- gauze – light weight, very loose weave, and see-through (think sheer curtains)
- handkerchief – light colours might be sheer, but generally very good for dresses and blouses; Threads‘ article suggests 2.8 to 3.5 ounces per square yard
- medium – firm enough for lightweight jackets and trousers, also possibly some home décor; Threads’ article lists 5 to 7 ounces per square yard
- heavy – think coats, handbags, home décor (including wallpaper!); Threads’ article suggests over 7 ounces per square yard.
Then there are linen blends, which should always be noted if the fabric isn’t 100% linen:
- linen and cotton
- linen and rayon
- linen and wool
- linen and silk
- linen and wool and silk, etc.
If you’re getting the idea that all linens are not created equal you’d be spot on.
How to tell the difference between good and not-so good? Know the fabric and the supplier:
- read the fabric description carefully
- if in doubt, order a sample piece
- look at the weave
- look at the weight (ounces per yard or metre)
- purchase from a company you’ve learned to trust!
Slubs: What the heck are they and are they good or bad? Neither! You see them in just about any fabric woven from individual fibres of wool, silk, hemp, cotton, etc. It’s the place where each piece has been joined together to form a longer thread, which is then woven into cloth. Obviously, the longer the original pieces, the fewer slubs, but remember that slubs don’t weaken the fabric.
According to the Threads‘ article, “Slubs are more likely to be a sign that the flax fibers were cut shorter in order to process them with equipment designed to process cotton, which is less expensive.”
- indicates either the presence of another fibre (such as cotton), or
- lower quality linen
Ready to run screaming back to easier fabrics?
RESIST! Just an ickle bit more and you’ll feel better. Promise. Think SILK!
Huh? It has slubs too, right? (Silk fibres joined together, just like linen.) Think of the luxurious feel of a heavy silk – the lustre, the smoothness!
Good linen’s the same. But without the slippery factor ~ a-ha and he-he!
If you’ve watched the Fabworks video above, you’ll see the examples Dawn gives of linens available from their mill store. And while you don’t see close-ups of weave, seeing how the fabrics handle is very important. Dawn writes the descriptions of fabrics for their online store, and I’ve found them accurate. (Close-ups are on their web site.)
Julianne Bramson, author of the Threads article, suggests Fabrics-Store.com as another good online source. She councils if in doubt, order a minimum amount of the linen, look at the fabric and launder it before making a large purchase.
HUGE thank you’s for getting to The End! (Chocolate, anyone?)
❤ ❤ ❤
Next up, after you’ve chosen your linen, you can read how to launder and care for it.
Note that the Threads‘ article referenced here is not available online at this time.
For the record: Nobody mentioned here or elsewhere on this blog contributes anything to me or my blog. My opinions are my own!
Edited to add: linen #1: learning about linen