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Linen & Linen Blends

Linen & Linen Blends

Originally made from the fibres of the flax plant, linen is a classic natural fabric. These days, other loosely woven fabrics are also sometimes referred to as linen, or as linen-blends. The loose weave of linen and linen blends makes it very comfortable to wear in hot climates, and it can also be used for a variety of items including aprons, bags, towels, napkins, bed linens, tablecloths, runners, and chair covers.

At Spotlight, our collection of linens includes plain, embroidered and printed linens in different colours and traditional as well as modern designs, including florals and geometric prints.

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Can I purchase woven apparel fabrics at Spotlight?

Yes, you can. Woven fabrics account for a large percentage of all dressmaking and apparel fabrics and we are pleased to be able to offer you a wide choice of these fabrics here at Spotlight. Woven apparel fabrics are available in many weights, fibres, colours and designs, making it easy to find the right fabric for your next sewing project here.

What are the features of woven apparel fabrics?

Woven fabrics are made up of a weft - the yarn going across the width of the fabric - and a warp - the yarn going down the length of the loom. The side of the fabric where the wefts are double-backed to form a non-fraying edge is called the selvedge. There are at least three distinct types of woven fabric, which are:

Plain weave: In plain-weave fabric, the warp and weft are aligned so that they form a simple criss-cross pattern. Plain-weave is strong and hardwearing, so it's used for fashion and furnishing fabrics.

Twill weave: In twill-weave fabric, the crossings of weft and warp are offset to give a diagonal pattern on the fabric surface. This means the fabric is strong, drapes well and is used for jeans, jackets and curtains.

Satin weave: Satin-weave fabrics consist of a complex arrangement of warp and weft threads, which allows longer float threads either across the warp or the weft. The long floats mean the light falling on the yarn doesn't scatter and break up, like on a plain-weave. The reflected light creates a smooth, lustrous (shiny) surface commonly called satin.

What are the advantages of woven apparel fabrics?

Here are some of the main advantages of woven fabrics:

Cost: As in all industries, time and labour have an effect on the cost of items. Woven fabrics are formed on looms and are made to be sturdy. The fabric cannot be stretched and does not shrink. While this does produce high-quality material, it does increase production costs.

Washing: Most woven fabrics are simple to launder and typically will not shrink or wrinkle. The main exceptions to this are linen and silk, which it may be better to dry-clean.

Durability: Woven fabrics by far outlast most other fabrics such as knits, and this is why so many heavy-duty fabrics are weaves. Examples of woven fabrics include denim, linen, corduroy and tweed.

Does Spotlight also sell other types of fabric?

Yes, as well as woven fabrics, Spotlight also stocks a large collection of knitted fabrics. Knitted fabrics are generally more stretchy than woven fabrics and the stretch means they are less prone to wrinkling too. Woven and knitted fabrics cannot usually be interchanged, so if you are unsure as to which fabric you need, check your pattern for information or ask advice from our sales staff.

Of course, there are special fabrics for sale here at Spotlight too, that are neither woven nor knitted, such as bonded fabrics, imitation leather and vinyl, and other specialty fabrics such as lace, nylon tulle and nets.

Can I purchase linen and linen blend fabrics at Spotlight?

Yes, you can. Linen is a classic, natural fabric, originally made from the fibres of the flax plant. These days, other types of loosely woven fabrics are also sometimes referred to as linen, or as linen-blends. The loose weave of linen and linen blends makes it a very comfortable fabric to wear in hot climates. Here at Spotlight, our collection of linens includes plain, embroidered and printed linens in different colours and traditional as well as modern designs, including florals and geometric prints.

What is the difference between cotton and linen?

Cotton and linen are two terms that are often confused. To make matters worse, household textiles such as sheets and towels, which are more often than not made from cotton, are often referred to as linens. But although both cotton and linen are natural fibres, there are differences. Linen fibres are thought to be among the strongest natural fibres on the planet. The fibres are also longer than those of many other plants, including cotton. This contributes to its strength. Linen has been used for clothing, to make table cloths and upholstery fabrics, and even to strengthen money!

Does linen fabric have disadvantages?

Although, as stated above, linen has a huge number of advantages and is great to wear against your skin, it must be said that its main disadvantage is that it wrinkles so easily. This means that even if you have ironed your linen garment carefully, just folding it up can mean it starts to get a wrinkled appearance. For best results, always hang linen garments up and wait for them to cool before handling further. Some people think rolling linen clothing rather than folding reduces the chance of wrinkling.

For this reason, it may be worth looking at linen blend fabrics. Linen that has been blended with some man-made fibre will still have much of the look and feel of linen, but will be less likely to crease easily.

Is sewing with linen easy?

Linen is a lovely, lightweight material that lends itself to many types of clothing. It does tend to fray, so make sure you finish off seams with a zig-zag stitch or rolled edges if you want your garment to stand the test of time. Some thicker types of linen can be tricky to sew when you have several layers together, so make sure you clip or pin layers together securely to avoid the fabric from slipping and twisting. Linen does not hold creases well so is best used for garments that do not involve pleats. It can be embroidered, dyed or embellished in other ways and will soften over time, which makes it a great favourite for table cloths and napkins which can last for decades.

Does Spotlight sell other fabrics too?

Yes, as well as linen and linen blends, Spotlight stocks a huge range of natural fabrics and man-made fabrics in a variety of colours, weight and styles, all available by the metre. If you want to sew your own projects, you will find materials here for everything from soft toys and babies clothing to bridal wear, industrial work garments and interior design projects like upholstery and curtains. Browse the range today to see the many different fabrics on offer.

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