Linen Yarn – Guide To This Yarn Material & Best Uses

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

Looking for a soft, breathable yarn? Linen fibers might be the perfect choice. I explore what linen yarn is, and ways to use it for knitting.

Linen yarn in light blue up close

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 16, 2023.

Table Of Contents

What Is Linen Yarn?

Linen yarn is a plant fiber sold at expensive prices. This fiber is popular because it’s soft, lightweight, airy, and smooth. They’re lovely to wear and great for garments. It’s available in all colors of the rainbow and in any weight, though sport is one of the more popular strand thicknesses.

Where It Comes From

Linen comes from the flax plant, and the fiber comes from the stem of the plant. The plant grows best in warmer climates.

How It’s Made Into Yarn

Once the flax is harvested, the stem is stripped, and the fibers are separated. The long strands of fiber are combed and spun into yarn.

How To Wash Linen Yarn

Here are the care instructions for linen fibers. Linen yarn is best hand-washed in cool water with a mild detergent. Machine wash it on a gentle cycle in a garment bag. To dry, lay flat or hang to dry. Don’t put linen yarn in the dryer.

Does It Shrink When Washed?

Linen fiber is a plant-based fiber, and all plant fibers will shrink when wet.

How To Soften Linen Yarn

Here is a quick and easy method to soften linen yarn.

  • Add one teaspoon of fabric softener to a sink full of cool water
  • Soak the garment for 20 minutes
  • Rinse well
  • Lay flat to dry

Washing it after you’ve finished knitting always helps!

Pin For Later

Linen Yarn Pin

What Do You Use It For?

Wondering whether you should use it to make a project? Here’s why this fiber is used to make yarn. It’s often used for projects and things like a wrap, shawls, clothing, shirts, dresses, skirts, pants, and other garment knits.

Here is a video tutorial by Crazy For Ewe Yarns on how to create with this yarn. 

This in-depth video is a must if you want to learn about how to knit with this fiber.

Common Blends Using This Fiber

Here is a list of common blends using this yarn, and why they’re created.

  • Linen/Cotton – This cotton fibers add strength
  • Linen/Silk – The linen adds durability, while the silk adds sheen
  • Linen/Wool – The linen fibers add strength, while the wool adds warmth
  • Linen/Bamboo – The linen fibers make it strong, while the bamboo adds softness and luster

It is much more commonly found than nettle yarn which is another plant fiber that is used for summer projects. For more about yarns for summer months read my post here.

Interesting Facts

  • It comes from flax not to be confused with hemp, one of the oldest fibers used to make yarn. Evidence of it being used in garments as long as 36,000 years ago was discovered in Caucasus, Georgia!(1)
  • A skein of this is usually expensive.
  • Linen yarn is known for its strength and durability. It’s often used in garments to last a long time.
  • Linen is an absorbent fiber, so it keeps you crisp
  • It’s also known as flax yarn

FAQS About Linen Yarn

Is Linen Yarn Safe For Babies?

Yes, linen yarn is safe for babies. The fiber is hypoallergenic and won’t irritate sensitive skin.

Is Linen Yarn Ethical & Eco-Friendly?

The flax plant it comes from doesn’t require pesticides/herbicides to grow. The manufacturing process is relatively low impact.

What Can I Make With Leftover Linen Yarn?

You can make a summer top, a light scarf, a dishcloth or a simple baby blanket.

Is Linen Yarn Itchy?

No, linen yarn isn’t itchy. The fiber is smooth, making it comfortable to wear. It absorbs moisture, too.

Is Linen Yarn Good For Winter?

No, linen yarn isn’t good for winter. The fiber is lightweight and airy, making it better suited for hot weather.

Is Linen Yarn Good For Summer?

Yes, linen yarn is good for summer. The fiber is absorbent and breathes well.

Do Linen Yarns Pill?

Yes, your knit projects will pill.

Can You Dye Linen Yarns?

Yes, you can.

What Are The Differences Between Linen And Wool?

Here are key differences between linen and wool.

  • Linen is a smooth fiber
  • Wool is hairy
  • By nature, linen is absorbent
  • Linen is better for hot weather
  • Wool is ideal for cold weather

What Is The Difference Between Linen And Cotton?

Here are key differences between linen and cotton.

  • Linen is a smooth fiber
  • Cotton is more fibrous
  • Linen is absorbent by nature, cotton isn’t as much
  • Linen wrinkles easily
  • Cotton doesn’t wrinkle as much


Happy crocheting or knitting! Hope you enjoyed this article. Do you have questions? Please leave them below!


  1. “Chico Flax.” n.d. Accessed October 15, 2022.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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