How to choose the right linen fabric

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Linen, the natural choice

Choosing the right fabric for your sewing project can be exciting, but can also be challenging, especially when buying fabric online. There are so many different fabrics all with their unique properties!

In this blog post, we'll focus on linen... after all, it's the only fabric you really need, right ! But the question remains : which linen is best suited for my sewing project ?

Linen Weight

The weight of a fabric is one of the characteristics that will influence its drape. As a general rule, the lighter the fabric, the thinner and easier to drape it will be, and the heavier the fabric, the more resistant and opaque it will be. However, this is, as I said, a very general rule, and there are certainly exceptions. Drape will also be influenced by the weave of the fabric, as well as post-weaving processing, such as sanforization or washing, which reduces shrinkage of the finished fabric. 

Linen weight will depend on the weight of the thread used (its thickness) and the density of the weave. It is measured in grams per square metre of fabric, and should be indicated when purchasing linen.

Linen Weight Categories

You may encounter weight mentioned as either light, medium or heavy, depending on the source. This classification is somewhat arbitrary, but here is a table listing the different categories as you may see them on various online fabric stores.

LIGHT WEIGHT : 135 g/m2 to 200 g/m2

MEDIUM WEIGHT : 200 g/m2 to 260 g/m2

HEAVY WEIGHT : 270 g/m2 to 340 g/m2

Post-weaving processing

Once linen is woven, the product is not yet ready to be used in the garment or home textile industry. It undergoes a mechanical softening process (no chemicals or water is used!), rendering it softer and less prone to shrinking. 

Our Marcela linen has been sanforized, a mechanical process that increases the dimensional stability of the fabric. We do still recommend washing your fabric before you start your sewing project, unless you are familiar with calculating fabric shrinkage and applying that to your project.

About Colour (yes, colour with a u)

No matter how well we try to do our product photography, the colours will not appear the same on every device, and will vary. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you want more information on any of our products !

What does Chambray even mean ?

The term chambray, or melange, refers to a colour formed by using a coloured warp yarn and a white weft yarn. In our case, the weft yarn used is natural, giving our Marcela collection a unique sheen and subdued colour.


There you have it! Now you know all that is needed to embark on your next sewing project !

Don't hesitate to share, comment or save this article : I really do appreciate any comments that can benefit this linen loving community, or that give me ideas for our next article!


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