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 atthe 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.

 

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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.

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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).

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Ray Stitch have a lovely selection of plain fabrics of all kinds in a fabulous range of colours. Their selection of linen/cotton blends is no exception. They have a lovely range of 13 colours at the moment, available at £10 per metre. Sadly, I don’t think it’s possible to buy less than a metre, but this selection is definitely worthy of inclusion in this list.

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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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Dragonfly Fabrics have a beautiful selection of bio-linen which is particularly suitable to dressmaking because it is less prone to creasing.

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.

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

  1. Hello! I am trying to figure out what kind of linen I need to make new liners for my bread proving bannetons. Any suggestions of type or weight or somebody who might know? Thanks in advance, so much great information here. Emily x

  2. Thank you so much for this amazing resource, I found it really helpful 🙂
    I normally pick up bits of linen here and there at shows for my magazine projects but it’s great to have some regular suppliers to contact

  3. Hello! Firstly i’d like to say that i really enjoy reading your blog and the ‘linen buying’ information has been so helpful. I wondered whether you might have some advice on where to buy small amounts of brightly coloured velvets from (reds, pinks & purples). I have been looking on line for sometime now but am having trouble finding some that are reasonably priced and brightly coloured.

    Hoping you can send me in the right direction! Many thanks in advance!!

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