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Different Types of Linen Fabric: Its Features, Uses & Myths

Linen fabric upholstery depicts a very wide range of fabric types. It has been here for the past many centuries. So, this article is here to help them decide.   Read more

Different Types of Linen Fabric: Its Features, Uses & Myths

Have you ever wondered why we call the bedsheets and sofa covers “Linen”?

Well, sometimes, we don’t actually use the exact word for an article, but instead, prefer to use the name of the brand or the material that is mostly used. In upholstery, linen is definitely that material. So, even if it is something else, we still call the bedsheets and sofa covers linen.

As for its history linen is a traditional upholstery material. It is manufactured from flax plant fibers. According to some historians, linen was once employed as a form of currency in ancient Egypt, ain’t it cool?

It was also utilized to create lavish gowns and garments for the elite men and women in society. As popular today as it was thousands of years ago, linen has a pleasant feel, is long-lasting, and is affordable.

Just like that, today linen is lightening the world of bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets, dish towels, bath towels, wallpaper, skirts, shirts, suits, dresses, luggage, thread, aprons, handbags, tablecloths, diapers, etc.

If you are not thinking of linen as an upholstery material then there is something seriously wrong here.

If not then you’re on the right track and also in the right place.

In this article, I am going to discuss the linen fabric for upholstery, its types, its characteristics, and its overall aura in illuminating your homes. By the end of this article, you will surely start loving linen and will surely start thinking of its application in your home. Can’t wait? So, let’s start with the key features of linen.

Characteristics of Linen Fabric; 4 Reasons to have it

  1. One of the best things about linen is that it gradually becomes softer as you use it. Because it is a strong fiber and is two or three times stronger than cotton, hence it is a perfect choice for clothing and upholstery.
  2. Compared to other fabrics like cotton, linen fabric maintains color better due to its absorbency and therefore is simpler to dye. This characteristic enables the fabric to be found in a wide range of shades.
  3. Because it is a porous fiber and cannot retain heat or air, linens dry almost rapidly. Because of its permeable qualities, linen is a preferred fabric for summer apparel and bedding.
  4. The washing machine can be used to clean linen. Similar to cotton, it tends to shrink, so washing goods in cold or warm water is a wise choice. You may also go for the dry cleaning if a strong outcome is desired.

10 Famous Types of Linen in Upholstery

There is a wide range of linen upholstery fabric if you’re seeking it for projects like recovering a favorite chair or redesigning your sofa.  

But you only need to be aware of how much you require before browsing this article. When you go through the categories and types the selection of quality, machine-washable linen textiles will become easier.

Pure Linen Upholstery Fabric

pure linen fabric for upholstery

Pure linen is made up of flax. It is among one of the earliest fibers that have been worn by people throughout history. Its uses in home design include soft furnishings like upholstery and drapes.

What do we often do when we just enter our houses after a long day in the office? We want a sigh of relief. It is not only given by the members of the house but also the furniture on which you sit. Let me tell you what pure linen has to give you in this regard.

About 20% of the moisture in pure linen’s weight can be absorbed in it. After silk, it is the second-strongest fabric. Because linen is around 30% stronger than cotton, linen clothing can last for many years. It drives bodily heat outward. Since flax is used to make linen, even a small amount of flax fibers added to a piece of fabric will be enough to lessen or completely eradicate the static electricity impact.

Scientifically and monetarily it would be a good choice for your couch or sofa.  

Types, with respect to weight:

Which linen is good for upholstery? It all depends upon the weight of the linen fabric. Linen fabric comes in a wide variety of weights. For upholstery, it is definite that our sofa must wear what it holds for a longer period, for random use, and for a variety of users.

Very lightweight linen: It might be used for handkerchiefs, summer blouses, or window sheers.

Light to medium weight linens: These can be used to create tablecloths, beds, draperies, and traditional linen suits. Even quilting can be done with cotton and lightweight linen.

Heavyweight linen: It is ideal for items like upholstery or cushions due to its durability and strength.

Types, with respect to the regions:

Do you have an essence of your traditions? You may be in any part of the world. You are always dragged by the traditional attractions. Regions always add culture, color preferences, norms, excellence, and values to any material. When talking about upholstery it becomes a spectacle for culture lovers.

Belgian Linen

belgian linen fabric type

Belgian is known for its artistic touch due to the enormous historical buildings in it. They preserve their history either in the form of buildings or in the form of traditions. They added their tradition in their wearing and also in their furnishing.

The Belgian Linen is very self-explanatory, it is made in Belgium but from European flax yarn. To qualify for this label, the linen fabric must be woven in Belgium with at least 85% of the flax used being naturally grown in the EU.

Belgian linen is the epitome of traditional artistry performed to the highest standards. As you are aware, one of the world’s most sturdy and environment-friendly textiles is linen. Belgian linen in upholstery is renowned for its high degree of comfort, quality, and endurance because they combine these natural features with Belgian art. A lifetime relationship with the furniture can be attained by utilizing Belgian linen for the upholstery.

If you are a history and culture lover simultaneously, you must try this one. This will adore your houses as once done by the royals.

Damask Linen

damask linen fabric upholstery

Damask linen has a smooth texture and a bidirectional pattern. It has a lovely satin and plain weave combination. Since it is typically created in block colors, it is frequently used for tablecloths and sofa upholstery.

Venice Linen

venice linen fabric type for upholstery

What comes to your mind when you listen to the word “Venice”? Yes, I can hear your answer. It is “love”. And we can’t imagine the word “love” without flowers, their aroma, their soft touch, and their calmness. Venice linen adds all these to your couches, sofas, and armchairs when they are upholstered with it. This is a derivative of Damask fabric. Large flower designs and delicate and elegant textures are its distinguishing features.

Are you thinking of going for one of them? There are many more to come. Hold your decision until you go through the other types as well.

Types, with respect to blends with other fabrics

 Why do we use blended stuff? The simplest answer is to add extra features to our fabric. In upholstery, linen is blended with other fabrics for additional features. It is done to add extra pleasure in life when one is deciding on the upholstery either for his/her home or office.

Linen/Cotton blend

linen contton blend fabric

There is a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton in this fabric. Cotton provides the fabric with more body and makes it less likely to wrinkle. It is used for sheets, drapes, and even jackets and aprons. Blending the fibers is advantageous because it preserves the linen-like quality while adding body, which is crucial for upholstery.

Linen/Silk blend

linen silk blend fabric

How well are you familiar with silk? You know it for its shininess, water resistance property, royalty, and softness. Silk gives all these to linen when blended and gets sturdiness from linen. This relationship of giving and taking adds more smoothness and durability to your sofa or couches. Blends of linen and silk have the appearance of linen but have more gloss from the silk. It sophisticates your surroundings when used in upholstery.

It is expensive compared to other blended linen fabrics. Royalty, as you know, can never be achieved easily. If you want a classy touch and your pocket allows then you may opt for upholstery.

Linen/polyester blend

linen polyester blend fabric

Pure linen has the property to wrinkle abruptly when used. Imagine you sit on a sofa upholstered with pure linen, nice color, and texture. When you leave the sofa the sofa leaves wrinkles. Isn’t it an embarrassing situation? I am not saying you are wrong in the selection of upholstery fabric. You just need to add features of polyester to your linen fabric.

The other advantage of this blend is cost reduction. Do you love linen and don’t afford it? No problem. Go for linen/polyester blend.

Assistance in decision making

Are you ready to go for the linen upholstery fabric?  These are some queries that might come into your mind when you think of linen in upholstery. Make sure that you have answers to these questions before making any purchase. Don’t worry, we have a checklist for buying linen fabric.

Is linen good for my sofa?

 Not only is linen an excellent choice for a sofa, but linen is a good option for all of your home’s furnishings. No other material is as versatile as linen. Because of this, you’re undoubtedly already familiar with bed and kitchen linens. There is linen everywhere. Linen is an obvious winner when it comes to sofa upholstery material.

Linen is sturdy and long-lasting for your sofa. It’s one of the coziest materials for seating. Couches with upholstered linen fabric are more comfortable to relax on during the warmer months as well as warmer during the colder months since it also resists moisture.

But linen is more than just cozy, it’s luxurious as well. Your home can have an elegant ambiance with linen upholstery on the sofa that just cannot be achieved with any other sort of fabric.

How much do I have to pay for it?

It all depends upon the type you wish for in upholstery. You reside in a locality where Belgian, Damask, or Venice linen is imported, so you have to pay extra as compared to local markets in the above-mentioned countries. If you have traditional and cultural respect for these countries and your budget allows then go for it without thinking much. These will be good for your bedroom or study.

If you want to apply linen upholstery fabric in a high-traffic area. Pure linen fabric will uphold the frequency of usage. Their durability will keep your mind in peace even if you see your upholstered sofa being used randomly.

If you like linen and have a small budget. Yet, you need not worry. Go for blended linen. It is available in almost all countries and is manufactured locally. The amount of import taxes is not added to this which causes the prices to be high.

Can I clean linen fabric easily?

Linen upholstery fabric is quite simple to maintain. You can simply wash and dry slipcovers at home, or take them to the dry cleaners, based on your preferences. If your furniture is covered in linen, the linen fabric can also be hand-washed or spot-cleaned by following the DIY cleaning guide.

What are the Home Remedies to Clean Linen?

You must follow these simple steps for it:

  • Vacuum the area first. Keep in mind not to rub it.
  • Then use distilled water and a white cloth to spot clean the area. Avoid using tap water as it impacts how quickly stains, filth, and dirt can be penetrated. Distilled water is more effective, chemically and mechanically, since it contains no minerals.
  • The next step is to use distilled water and mild soap. Use club soda, baking soda, or even a little amount of white vinegar to spot clean linen upholstery fabric.

What matches linen the best?

The neutral, mellow color of natural linen works well with a wide variety of different tones and textures. Bold, rich colors, especially blue, look fantastic because they counterbalance the beige’s warm tones. Natural linen is very adaptable to color. It looks great in both light and dark contexts. You might not expect a beige tone to shine out in white decor, but it actually can, when used in even lighter spaces, such as white ones.

Is linen eco-friendly?

  • This is the most commonly asked question about any product in the world.
  • Let me tell you some facts and you will decide for yourself about linen’s love for the environment.
  • Linen is a natural fiber produced from flax.
  • Plants flax requires less water than cotton.
  • Flax can be grown without fertilizer or pesticides.
  • Flax lowers carbon footprint.
  • Flax aid in maintaining ecological diversity.
  • Flax-made linen is biodegradable.
  • No waste is left as a by-product in its production.

Five Typical Myths About Linen

Are you reluctant yet? Is it just because of your belief in what you hear? Stop believing in rumors about linen. It gives you more than just a fabric. Let me clear up some common misconceptions about linen.

It is plain fabric.

Although linen has a luxurious look, it is much more than that. Because of how well linen takes the dye, you may buy linens in an incredible range of colors and designs, from wild citrus brights to quiet muted tones. You can be sure to discover the ideal fabric for upholstery because there are thousands of different types of linen.

It’s just for the summer.

Linen is a fantastic fabric for hot weather because it keeps you cool and comfortable. But it’s also a fantastic option for the winter. Due to linen’s ability to adjust the temperature, you will always remain comfortable and warm, even on chilly days. Linen gives warmth and texture without adding too much bulk.


It has a lower thread count, so it is a lower-quality fabric.

Again, this is incorrect! Manufacturers and retailers of cotton frequently utilize thread count as a quality indicator; the greater the thread count, the higher the quality. But linen is an exception to this. In comparison to cotton, there will naturally be fewer because the fibers in linen are thicker. In reality, linen is better for the environment as well as better in terms of quality, toughness, and feel. In a comparison between linen and cotton, linen comes out on top.

It gets wrinkled fast.

Yes, this is somewhat true, but the attractiveness of linen fabric also comes from its inherent crinkles. They will appear wrinkled but on purpose. Linen can be cut at an angle to avoid wrinkles if you truly want to keep the fabric absolutely flat for an upholstery job. Linen is a jewel of casually elegant, simple, and effortless wear.

It’s hard to take care of.

This is just inaccurate! Steam drying and machine washing are both options for linen. There is no need to be concerned if you purchase pre-shrunk fabric as long as you adhere to the manufacturer’s care instructions. In fact, linen gets softer and more supple with each wash, making it a durable and long-lasting fabric.

Final Verdict about Linen in Upholstery

When you go through the categories and have a volume of knowledge about linen upholstery, then why wait? Why confuse your mind? And why not apply this beauty to your home?

Linen is a very robust natural material. It has a supple, shiny finish that comes naturally. Although it can wrinkle readily, linen is naturally resistant to pilling and soiling, making it more suitable for casual settings than formal ones. In order to increase flexibility, it is frequently used with cotton.

The mass of printed fabric is on linen, which is fantastic because it lowers the cost of decorative patterns. When washed, linen may shrink. To avoid destroying or altering the fabric’s size, it must be professionally cleaned.

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Aleksy Kazmer

Aleksy is a full-time blogger born and raised in Warsaw. After earning a degree in MS English from Oxford University, he began utilizing his skills as a content writer to express what he’s most passionate about. Whether it's home improvement, decor, furniture, cleaning products, or DIY projects. Aleksy has a natural curiosity to pursue hidden tips and share them with readers.