How do you tell the difference between linen and cotton?

difference between linen and cotton

How do you tell the difference between linen and cotton? Linen and cotton belong to a common group called natural materials. Both the former and the latter come from the gifts that nature has given us. As the name suggests, linen fabric comes from flax plants, of which there are almost 200 different species. Cotton fabric comes from cotton seeds, which are grown in almost every corner of the world.

Have you ever wondered how to tell the difference between the two fabrics? If so, we hope the following post and 3 tricks we’ve tested will help you understand the fundamental differences and properties of the two fabrics.


How do you tell the difference between linen and cotton? Before we tell you simple tricks to distinguish these two fibres, we have prepared some essential information, thanks to which you will understand which fabric is best for you – linen or cotton?

  • Cotton comes from the seeds of the so-called cotton plant, which forms a bag full of seeds after flowering. When this bag bursts, bundles are formed, which by their form and consistency resemble fluffy cotton wool. This is what is used in the textile industry, for example.
  • Flax comes from the flax family. Among many varieties, 6 of them are cultivated in Poland. The most popular is the so-called common flax, which is typically grown as a fibre fabric. Importantly, every part of the plant is used in the production process – whether for textiles, cosmetics, medicines or food products.
linen muslin runner
linen muslin runner


The hygroscopicity of fabrics, already mentioned on our blog, is an extremely valuable ability – especially in summer when our skin naturally produces more sweat. Fabrics that have the ability to absorb allow this moisture to be carried outside, thus maintaining the correct body temperature. It is thanks to this property, among others, that we have a guaranteed, peaceful and comfortable sleep during summer nights.

How do you tell the difference between linen and cotton? So if you want to find out which fabric is linen and which is cotton, wet your finger in clean water and then press it against the fabric. The fabric where the stain will absorb faster and penetrate the other way will be linen.

Linen bedding 200x200
linen bedsheets


Linen yarn has fewer fibers on the surface than cotton yarn. This means that pure linen fabric is smoother and cooler, compared to pure cotton fabric.

No wonder our linen bedding or linen curtains are so popular especially during the summer months. Interestingly despite these characteristics, the weight of linen is higher than that of cotton. So if you want to distinguish between the two fabrics, put them against your skin and see which one gives a softer and slightly cooler sensation. The more pleasant one will be linen.

linen curtains
linen curtain


Linen has one unique feature that distinguishes it from all other fabrics available on the market today. As the only one, with time and successive use it refines itself and repays with more and more softness. At the same time, other fabrics begin to soften, become limp and less pleasant to the skin. So – the more often you use linen products, the greater the chance that these will become even more valuable. Sounds perfect, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *