Happy Monday! Woohoo! The beginning of another week. I hope it’s going to be a great one for all of us!
If you’ve been hanging about with me on Needle ‘n Thread for a wee bit, you probably know that I’m a sucker for linen. It is by far my favorite fabric – not just for embroidery, but pretty much for everything.
Linen, made from flax, has been around since the beginning of written history and earlier. It’s the oldest excavated fabric.
It’s beautiful. It’s versatile. It’s rough. It’s fine. It’s sacred. It’s secular. It’s elegant. It’s casual. It’s long-wearing, warm, cool, heavy, light. It’s the stuff of heirlooms.
Linen, in short, is Awesome!
I like to geek out on linen (though, admittedly, not as much as other people I know … you know who you are!).
Part of that geeking out includes exploring the linen industry as much as I can from the middle of Kansas – which means mostly online. Here in Kansas (especially southeast Kansas) flax crops have always been for seeds and seed oil. Where I live in northeast Kansas, flax is also grown for its flowers, for visual pleasure. It grows well, scattered like a wildflower.
But Let’s Talk Linen
Sometimes, the topic of linen fabric can be a bit confusing.
In needlework, we often hear about thread count and weave when referring to linen. Is it a plain weave or an even weave? Is it a high thread count or a low thread count?
But for other uses – for example, in the sewing world – we talk about fabric weight, weaves, and finishes. Is it lightweight linen (like linen batiste) or is it heavy weight (like upholstery linen)? Is it softened (sanforized)? Is it a blend? Is it shot?
There’s a lot to learn about linen – and really, fabric in general!
The Lowdown on Linen Weights
By way of a really good article on the Sartor website, I thought I’d help you learn a little bit about linen weights.
I think this is a great article for understanding what it means when you see a weight next to a commercial description of linen. What does it mean when it says that a certain linen is “3 oz”? This article will tell you.
How does this relate to needlework? Well, the more you know about how different fabrics are explained and described, the better you’ll be at making good choices in fabric.
And while we don’t normally classify needlework linen by weight (at least here in the US), understanding the terminology about linen weights (and other fabric terminology) can help you make informed decisions about the fabric you choose for needlework.
I hope you enjoy the article!