Linen Upholstery

Linen upholstery has been around for a while and you will find it on many different furnishings. Upholstery itself emerged as a popular craft during the Middle Ages. The popularity continued well into the 18th and even the 19th centuries. Before fabrics like linen were popular or even known, upholsterers used all sorts of materials such as horsehair, hay, or even grass to stuff furniture.

Linen comes from flax fibers. It is a very old fabric and its uses date back thousands of years. It is one of the oldest fabrics in the world. Linen is a very good fabric for many types of upholstery, and as such, in recent years, many people are using this fabric in their upholstery. Being cool to touch and with low elasticity, the fabric is was an amazing choice to upholster all kinds of furniture such as chairs, seats, drapes, and even beds.

Because of the fact that linen is versatile, soft, and comfortable, it is becoming increasingly popular in upholstery. Moreover, some linen upholstery is machine washable, so you can take care of it yourself. If not, then a professional upholstery cleaning service will be needed to maintain it for you.

The history of this amazing fabric goes several thousand years back. Linen fibers are found in prehistoric caves, ancient lake dwellings, and even from Egyptian sites. This particular fiber was extremely precious and valuable that it was even used as currency in Egypt at some point in time.

Linen was very popular in the past and you will still see a lot of furniture that are decades old with the original upholstering still intact.

Linen Upholstery

How is Linen Upholstery Made?

Linen is formed from the flax plant. Once the seeds get planted, it will take about a hundred days for the linen plant to be ready for harvest. The flax usually gets planted between June and September, and any later in the year will depend on good rainfall for optimal conditions. The seeds also should be planted in a shallow manner, either by hand or even machine. Continues weeding is a must as flax performs poorly when weed grows beside the flax plants.

Harvest time usually comes after three months or ninety days. When the leaves of the flax plants start to wither, and the stem of the plant turns yellow in color, it’s usually indicative of harvest time. The seeds will turn brown when the plant is ready to get harvested. It is also important to harvest as soon as they turn brown, as any delay will affect the quality of the linen.

Once harvest gets completed, the flax stalks need to be left in the open air to dry. This process will take several weeks, after which the seeds are removed from the plant. A process called retting separates the stalk from the fiber. After the retting, they get dried and undergo breaking and scutching, which eventually releases flax fiber from the stalk.

The fiber gets combed and straightened as well to prepare it for the spinning process, which eventually gives produces linen that can be used for upholstery.


There is a reason why linen remains a popular choice of fabric among upholsterers. There are many upholsterers out there who love working with this fabric. Moreover, not just the upholsterers but consumers as well love linen upholstery for the many amazing benefits and merits it has. There's no denying that is fabric is amazing, and that is why it is an incredibly popular choice for upholstery.

The first and foremost reason why linen upholstery is among some of the best upholstery is that it’s durable and long-lasting when properly taken care of. Linen upholstery can last a long time and does not wear and tear easily. Hence, linen upholstery performs exceptionally well even as it ages.

The only characteristic we don’t like about linen is that it does not hold up well to everyday use. It does not like moisture and most stains can end up being permanent. Because of this, a lot of upholstery cleaning companies are too scared to clean linen and will not touch it. Although, the best ones will use the dry cleaning method and get amazing results.

If you are considering getting sofa covers, cushion covers, or even bedspreads and covers, linen is an excellent option. This fabric is also a good choice for warm places as the fabric is smooth and cool.

Popular Uses

Linen upholstery find uses for a lot of things. Being durable and comfortable, linen upholstery is ideal for home spaces that won’t receive too much traffic or exposure to liquids and food.

Furnishings that are commonly upholstered with linen include lounges, sofas, couches, cushions, and chairs. You can use it for dining chairs, living room sofas, or even your bedroom furniture. Moreover, it also pairs well with office furniture such as chairs and seats. Linen upholstery can also easily enhance the interior of homes and office spaces and now takes on a more classic look.

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