Difference Between Cotton and Linen

Cotton vs Linen

If cotton is considered to be the most comfortable, natural fabric in the world, linen takes the cake is being considered the most refined and luxurious fabric. There are many who think that linen is just more superior cotton but this is not true. Cotton and linen, though both are natural fabrics come from different plants. There are many more difference in the features and qualities of these two super fabrics used all over the world that will be discussed in this article.


Linen is a fine fabric that comes from a plant known as flax. The fibers of flax are one of the strongest vegetable fibers and they make linen that is a beautiful, refined and durable fabric. In fact, the fabric is so durable that table covers and napkins go on and on for generations. It is not just durability that linen is known for; it is one fabric that has extreme smoothness and a natural luster that enhances the beauty and elegance of bone china, candles and silver ware used on a dining table. This luster is long lasting and comes from a natural wax content of linen fabric. Natural linen is available in creamy and tan colors though it can be easily dyed in many colors that do not fade even after washing many times.

One disadvantage of linen is that it crushes easily which is why it is not a fabric to be used roughly or daily. Being costly, people keep clothing made of linen for use on ceremonies and functions. Like cotton, linen is highly absorbent and gives a cooling effect when worn in summers.


Cotton comes from cotton plant and mankind has known about the versatility of this wonderful fabric since ancient civilizations. Because it is natural, cotton is suitable for all skin types and is therefore grown in all parts of the world. Not just for clothing, cotton is also used for bed sheets, upholstery and curtains. Cotton fibers are separated from the seeds of cotton through a process called combing afterwards are spun to convert into threads that can be both knitted and woven to manufacture fabrics.

Cotton lends itself to be dyed in all sorts of colors to make beautiful fabrics. Cotton is very versatile and can be used to make sub varieties of fabrics such as corduroys, muslins, flannels etc. No wonder than cotton is referred to as fabric of life. Cotton is a must for use of toddlers and infants as they have very sensitive skins.

Difference Between Cotton and Linen

• Both cotton and linen are vegetable fibers though coming from different plants. While cotton comes from cotton plant, linen is obtained from flax plant.

• Linen is finer and has more texture than cotton

• Linen requires more ironing and is more prone to wrinkles than cotton

• Cotton is more popular for bedding purposes

• Linen is more expensive than cotton

  • chatterbox12

    But linen grow more easily without fertilizers and without pesticides, and it lasts a very, very long time. And it grows softer with age and washing like cotton. It is the more sustainable choice.