How to prepare linen fabric for sewing

Every unique fabric has its own distinct character. It is a fact well-known for anyone who had to sew at least once. And of course linen is no exception. Moreover, in addition to all its amazing qualities like breathability, durability and long-term strength, linen fabric has its “whims”. So, if you want your handmade linen blouse, trousers or dress to serve you for a long time, you must consider some peculiarities of linen material as early as when buying the fabric. 

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So, when buying a natural linen fabric remember that it will shrink by about 10% after washing. That’s why you should consider in advance how much material you need to make an item and add 10-15% more on top.

After buying fabric, take your time before you start cutting. Linen fabric must be “prepared”. First, it must be soaked in water and then dried completely.

The best option is to soak fabric in as much water as it can take up. The water must be of room temperature.

Let the fabric soak in water for 10-15 minutes.

Important! Linen fabric should not be squeezed or span. Just fold it carefully or hang it to drain.

If your fabric colored the water during soaking, then it is likely prone to fading. The item made of such fabric should be hand-washed with regular hair shampoo.

It will be easier to iron linen items if the iron is heated to its maximum temperature and the fabric itself is still damp.  

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So, you soaked, dried and ironed your linen fabric. The fabric has already shrunk, so your final item made of this fabric will be exactly the size you meant for it. Now you can start cutting. Please keep in mind that if the linen fabric you chose has net structure then you should choose relaxed fit or the item may come apart at seams.

Perhaps you have not yet dealt with linen fabric when sewing or wearing. So you should know that things made of linen tend to stretch out and lose its shape with time.

Don’t worry!

Immediately after washing your linen item will miraculously come back to its original shape.

When choosing an item of clothing to be sewn of linen, think about summer clothes. Linen is a perfect fabric for a hot day - it lets your skin breathe while keeping your body chilled.

However, do not forget that, like many other natural fabrics, dyed linen fabric is prone to fading. To avoid that you should use special laundry detergent for colored items and wash the item on part-load mode.