Crafters, whether they’re hobbyists or making a living from their handicrafts, no doubt use a variety of materials. One thing they need to have in their arts and crafts box is linen thread. It is a highly versatile thread with plenty of creative and practical uses. Adults and children alike can use a linen thread for various art and DIY projects.
Understanding Flax Fibers
Linen thread is made from the flax plant, whose fibers are sturdy and strong. Researchers say flax fiber is comparable to synthetic fibers because of its strength and other physical qualities.
Part of the reason flax fiber is strong and durable is it has a crystalline structure and cellulose chains. When woven into a thread, it has a high tensile strength of 6.5 to 8 gm/Denier (in contrast, rayon is 1.4 to 2.6 gm/den while wool fiber is 1 to 1.7 gm/den).
Flax fibers dry quickly; they can withstand exposure to the outdoors. Unfortunately, strong acids can weaken them, and mildew can reduce their strength. They also wrinkle easily, and repeated creasing on a single spot could weaken the thread. So to maximize linen thread, crafters have to use a spool instead of tying the thread when in storage. They should also leave behind as few creases as possible.
A Natural Touch to Arts and Crafts
Linen thread is often mistaken for jute twine because they both have a natural, rustic appearance. This quality is an advantage for crafters who enjoy creating decorative and practical items using sustainable products.
In its natural form, linen thread is brownish-white with lots of tiny, stray fibers getting loose from the twine. Manufacturers also offer a waxed variety to accommodate the preferences of crafters who like their linen thread neat and compact.
Like all other types of thread, linen twine is available in various colors. Fiber strands remain visible, however, so linen thread tends to look rustic despite getting color treatment.
Given its strength and appearance, crafters can find plenty of uses for linen thread. Below are some examples.
- Hanging Crafts – Linen thread is an excellent alternative to jute twine. In its waxed form, it is thinner and easier to knot and thread into beads than fibrous string. Also, linen thread can lift heavy items like bottles, stones, and steel and metal pieces without a problem.
- Filigree Designs – Linen thread has just the right blend of stiffness and bendability that it’s perfect for creating embossed filigree designs. The thread will hold the shape it’s molded into when supported on strategic points with strong glue.
- Weaves and Knots – Crafters can transform plain, empty bottles into decorative items by dressing them up with a basket-weave wrap using linen thread. Even simply winding the thread around an object (e.g., a bottle, cardboard cutout, pencil) elevates it from being a random, everyday item to a rustic piece of decor.
- Gift Wrapping – Tying up gift pouches or affixing tags with linen thread makes the present look more refined. It’s the simplest way to use the thread, but nevertheless makes a great impact.
There’s a lot that hobbyists and professional crafters can do with linen thread; it would be worth their money to stock up on it.