Cotton comes from cotton plants, and linen comes from flax plants. Both are popular materials found in clothing and domestic textiles, although the considerable differences between them make each fiber better suited for specific applications. These differences become apparent once the fibers are wov
Cotton goes from fiber balls on a plant to fabric through a multi-step mechanical process. Cotton fibers, known as lint, are separated from the seeds then organized in lengths that are eventually spun into yarn.
Cotton is a durable fabric that does not require delicate handling to keep it looking its best. It can handle high temperatures and rough use, which is why it's a popular fabric for children's wear and sports clothing.
To turn cotton into fabric, grow and harvest cotton plants, separate the lint and seed, make the yarn and weave the yarn into fabric. This process requires cottonseed, a cotton harvester, a cotton gin, a carding machine, a spinning machine and a weaving machine.
When cutting a yard of fabric, the material is unrolled from the bolt, measured and cut at 36 inches or 3 feet in length. As fabrics come in varying widths, measurements only consider the length of the fabric when cutting.
Linen is a fabric that is made from the cellulose fibers of the Linum usitatissimum flax plant. The process of making linen is quite labor intensive, but it results in a fabric that is very lightweight, strong and absorbent and conducts heat well.
Linen comes from the stems of the flax plant. Humans have used flax to make linen for over 10,000 years. The plant is native to lands from the Mediterranean to India but is also grown in the temperate places of the world, including Europe, Canada, the United States and China.
Machine washing linen fabrics is perfectly safe and is the preferred method for cleaning clothing and linens such as shirts, handkerchiefs, bed linens, and table linens. Repeated machine washing of linens will cause the material to become more luminous and softer.
To make waxed cotton fabric, melt beeswax onto flat pieces of cotton fabric. Working with small pieces of fabric and melting the wax in the oven makes this project much easier.
While it depends on the size and style of the shirt, 2.75 yards of fabric can usually make a comfortably large long-sleeved shirt for an average-sized woman, and men's shirts will require about 15 percent more fabric. A simple T-shirt for a small child can be made with 1 yard of fabric.