Focus on…. Buying linen &linen blends for small projects

Getting hold of solid colour Linen and linen blend fabrics are a bit tricky to track down if you just need a small amount for crafting projects –  so my aim here is to identify shops where it’s possible to get smaller cuts and a selection of colours.

Linen comes in different weights and weaves (probably not the right words, but you know what I mean!), and in my experience so far, it’s very hard to know how it’s really going to be to sew with until you have seen it, and handled it yourself. If you are buying a metre or more it’s worth trying to get hold of a sample before you buy, otherwise you could find you’ve made rather an expensive mistake.

Pouch with Essex yarn dyed linen in flax

Photo © Very Berry Handmade
Pouch made with Essex yarn-dyed linen (flax) and scraps

Linen/cotton blends are particularly good for crafting on a small scale, because they have a softer feel (sometimes), can be easier to handle and are cheaper than most 100% pure linens – one brand to look for is Robert Kaufman Essex linen, which is a 55% / 45% linen – cotton mix and comes in a wide variety of colours. Kaufman also do an Essex Yarn Dyed Linen which is another blend, where the yarn is dyed rather than the fabric, so you get that lovely crossweave effect.

So, here are some of the places you can get hold of linen and linen blends in solid colours in the UK. I have concentrated mostly on shops that sell short lengths, have a selection of colours, have other fabrics to buy (so you can buy everything in one shop!) and have been recommended to me. Do give me a shout if you know of other suppliers.  I will update this post as I find out more and will add it to the my list of Fabric Buying Guides.

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If you are after a linen/cotton mix in a particular colour then it’s worth taking a look at the great range at Country Cottage Crafts. There’s over 20 different shades, including pastels, brights and neutrals, and you can buy by the metre or in FQs. I don’t know who the manufacturer is, and I haven’t bought from here myself, so do get in touch if you have any reports about this fabric.

Linen from Country Cottage Crafts

Photo © Country Cottage Crafts

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I haven’t used Ecotale either, but have had some really good feedback about their fabrics and their customer service. They specialize in linen, and this shows in their attention to detail – there are excellent descriptions of what to expect from each of the products they sell. Of particular interest to  me is the beautiful natural softened linen, which looks great for Zakka-style projects – although you can’t buy in less than metre lengths, it is excellent value at just £10/m. I also love this very pretty linen lace.

Linen lace from Ecotale

Photo © Ecotale

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Ditto Fabrics have a good selection of 100% linen from Italy, in a variety of colours. You can get up to 3 free samples of fabrics from Ditto, and you can buy small lengths too (starting at 0.3m) which is a real bonus. I’ve bought from Ditto, and found them very helpful and reliable.

Natural washed linen from Ditto fabrics

Natural washed linen from Ditto
Photo © Ditto fabrics

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The Eternal Maker have a couple of linen buying options – the easiest way to find them is to browse for Linen in their Fabric by Type menu, and in amongst all the lovely linen-mix prints from Kokka & other Japanese manufacturers (oops, I said I wouldn’t mention prints!) you will find Essex yarn-dyed linen (I think the flax version is particularly pretty used with lots of brightly colour prints, Zakka-style, as in my pouch above). If you’re after something bright and beautiful, they also have some colourful linen-cotton blends from Echino (keep scrolling down the page, you’ll find them).

Essex yarn dyed linen at The Eternal Maker

Essex yarn dyed linen in black
Photo © The Eternal Maker

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Seamstar have a selection of cotton/linen blends in  a good variety of very pretty modern colours. I’ve bought and used these, and always have been very pleased with the quality and the quick delivery.

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Fabric Rehab also have linen-cotton blends in a variety of brights and a couple of neutrals.

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Quilt Me Happy have Essex linen (not the yarn-dyed kind) in 4 of the most useful shades – black, ivory, natural and sand.

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The Fabric Loft also stock Essex linen  in 3 neutral shades.

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M is for Make also have a small selection of Essex linen (yarn dyed and standard).

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Calico Laine have a 55% / 45% linen-cotton mix called Blades linen in a selection of colours.

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Ebay seller Fabric*Garden has a few plain Japanese linens in pastel/neutral shades. It’s not stated, but I’m assuming these are 100% linen.

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If you find this info useful, you might like to check out my other fabric buying guides.

10 thoughts on “Focus on…. Buying linen &linen blends for small projects

  1. hi, i’m looking to buy a cotton linen blend in bulk. Do you have any recommendations for large linen orders? I have been looking for ages with no luck. thanks

  2. Wow! this post couldnt have come at a better time. I have been looking around for linen over the last few days. With not much luck though.
    Thanks so much = very useful.

  3. Just to say that I recently bought some linen (well, lots reaslly(!)) from Tinsmiths in Ledbury. They have a wide range of linen and will send samples. They also have a website so you can order online but, if you are in the area, they are well worth a personal visit. No affinity just a very happy customer.

  4. I got some Essex linen from Mandy at Simply Solids. You have to search linen…to find it….but I love the fact that she has free postage…so great for small projects.

  5. I love your fabric recommendations, through this post I have already placed an order with M is for Make for some linen! Although my husband is less pleased!! Thanks

  6. Thank you for producing the fabric-buying guides. I hadn’t seen them before today but they are great! I’m so glad I found you as you provide such useful information. Keep it up and thanks.

  7. I use a lot of linen in small projects. I really love it. I’ve never bought it from a fabric store though. I get all mine from the thrift/secondhand shops! There are always skirts, dresses and pants very reasonably priced. Most clothing items are made from a linen blend, in a natural colour. However, I’ve found plenty of variety in blend/weave and colour.

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