Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Love of Linen

Wool may be my mainstay, but confidentially, linen is my first love. Long before I delved into the world of wool appliqué, I had begun my collection of linen tow grain bags. Tow is the rough, heavy, but beautiful material that was sewn into bags to transport grain. Farmers would take their re-useable bags with them to the mill to be filled with their milled grains. Often these bags are found with a name, a number or both.

My collection of linen includes many items from a variety of eras. These pieces are for wearing, table covering, displaying, and working. Stitching to linen is one of my favorite ways to blend two textile mediums together. The wool lays so nicely on the surface of the linen and your floss just glides through their layers.

Linen is the end result of processing the flax plant. I have grown flax, and it has the most beautiful tiny blue flowers, and it is quite a site when grown in large quantities. The stalks of the flax plant are fibrous. This is what is broken down into string and spun into thread.

Linen is beautiful in the endless amount of colors available to dye it with, but it is just as wonderful in its natural color. 

How do you like to use linen? 


  1. I grew up with fields of wild flax and always loved their delicate blue flowers. Didn't realize back then that it was used for thread.

  2. Love to stitch on Linen!

  3. I have collected linen for years too. I even have some old bank bags. I make dolls with old linen clothing, some of my own old clothes and some from Good Will. I recently bought a skirt from Good Will, natural linen color with white embroidered flowers. Since it wasn't my size, I will use it for a doll or creature.

  4. I fell in love with linen when I learned costuming for our medieval reenactment group--the SCA. (Society for Creative Anachronism) After years of costuming my family with make-do cotton (sometimes bedsheets), I finally bought some linen...and never used anything else after that. Now I wear it, create with it, and have it for home decor as well. Best fabric in the world.