Saturday 25 September 2010

Japanese Linen...

The first time I tried to sew with linen it was a disaster, I didn't leave a big enough seam allowance and the treads all unravelled so I was left with hole in my bag! The main problem was that I used a really loose weave, lesson learned! It took me a while to pick up any linen and try again - I don't take failures well, but this time I fell in love. I actually used linen/cotton blend and it is a dream to sew with, linen is notoriously horribly for creasing but the linen blend creases much less and irons much more easily.
Linen and hemp have a long history in Japan, they were the main type of fabric used until the 16th century when the foreign trade ships started bringing in wool and cotton. Over the years linen has had it's ups and downs but it is most definitely back in right now. Every time I go to buy fabric I see more and more linen and linen blends, even double sided linen, how cool is that?
Generally it is a heavier weight than quilting cotton which means it lends itself well to be made into bags, home wears and clothes. The more you wash it, the softer it gets, the colours are don't run and the ironing really isn't that bad! Many Japanese handmade store are packed with linen goods and the Japanese sewing magazines and books that are so popular these days are also heavy on the linen features. Where to buy beautiful Japanese linen, well the first stop should be my shop....

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