I have been discussing blends and their possible advantages with a sewing friend. We both agree that linen’s strength might be an advantage if blended with wool in a small percentage. Is this ever done, and if so, how did/would it drape? Was there any change in sheen, for better or worse? How much more or less expensive is/would this be, in that it might not be a common item? Have you ever seen it in a commercially made garment?
I have never seen this blend, although I think you are right in that the strength of linen would be a good addition to wool, especially when wet... Much better than the nylon they often use for strength, IMHO.
You really don't see a lot of protein/cellulosic fiber combinations at all.
To theorize, the sheen of the fabric would depend on the quality of wool and linen used. If we assume the highest quality for discussion's sake, then I really don't think the sheen would change too much, as high quality wool has a lovely sheen as well. It would be more expensive, I am sure, due tor rarity. I think that the linen would give a bit more body to the fabric, but depending on the weave may not affect the drape too much.
Now that I think about it, I guess I have seen silk blended with cellulosics quite a bit... Hmmm. There has to be a reason it is not done as often with wool.
What do you think?
Heather M. Claus
*They do make this kind of fabric, but it's mostly a specialty fabric. It's known as linsey-woolsey and was a very popular fabric up until the late 1800s. The sample I have at home is rather bulky and scratchy--not as smooth as either linen or wool. Not something I'd really consider sewing an outfit from. Check out companies catering to reenactors.
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