Linen is a perfect choice for sewing very different things. Linen is used for making bed and table clothes, kitchen textile, garments, curtains. Dense linen fabrics are used as upholstery, light and cheap linen-cotton blend fabrics - as lining material. Linen canvas is a traditional base for oil paintings.
Linen is a strong and durable material. If treated correctly, things made of linen will serve for decades preserving nice outlook. Linen fabric absorbs moisture well providing simultaneously perfect ventilation that is especially important for summer garments and bed clothes.
There is a large number of linen fabric types in production and often it is hard to make the right choice. The first parameter to be taken into consideration is density. Density of light fabrics used for summer garments or as lining is up to 200 g/m2. Medium-dense fabrics of 200 - 260 g/m2 are used for sewing garments as well, they are perfect for making towels, napkins and table clothes, such fabrics can be chosen as upholstery material as well. Dense fabrics of more than 260 g/m2 weight are applied generally as upholstery material, for making durable bags and belts.
100% linen is a relatively expensive material. However, in many cases it is possible to use a linen-cotton blend instead. For garments and bed clothes such blend fabrics might be even a better choice due to higher softness.
Non-treated linen fabric is a relatively hard material that is not good for a range of applications such as making garments and bed clothes. However linen has an excellent ability to become softer with time. Already after short-term use and one or two washings a linen thing becomes considerably softer. In case if there is no wish to wait until the fabric becomes soft in the natural way a perfect solution is artificial softening. An additional advantage of artificial softening is lack of shrinkage after washing which may be up to 10% for non-treated fabrics. Besides that softened fabrics may acquire a peculiar texture.