by Shirley Wang

Cotton Vs. Linen - What Fabric You Should Choose?

Are you looking to add new clothes to your wardrobe? That's great! But before buying clothes, you must decide what fabric you should go for, considering your requirements. For instance, if you are looking for clothes for the warmer months of the year, then you should look for lighter fabric. It should also be breathable and give you maximum comfort. 

Cotton and linen are two of the most popular fabric options all over the world. Despite being natural fibers, both fabrics have many differences that you must keep in the count when choosing one. They are often used interchangeably, and you may find the same clothing options in both fabrics. This is why; you easily have the option to choose between the two keeping all the factors in mind. 

To help you make a decision, let's discuss the differences between cotton and linen. 

Cotton: Why is it a Top Choice?

It will not be an overstatement to say that cotton is a very popular choice and many people all over the world consider it to be the first option when they are looking for garments. Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the cotton plant. Because of its distinct features, cotton is in high demand, and 27 million tons of it are produced every year. 

First, the cotton is separated from the plant then all the dirt is removed. The fibers are separated to turn the cotton balls into strands. These fibers are stretched into strands of cotton and then later spun into yarn. 

Cotton in its raw form is white in color, but after it is spun into yarn, you can dye it any color you want. The fabric made of cotton has a higher thread count, and this helps make the fabric silky. Other than its silky feel, it is also highly absorbent. It is considered the most absorbent fiber in the world, as it can absorb approximately 27 times more than its actual weight

In the aspect of convenience, a cotton is a good option; it does not wrinkle as easily as other fabrics. You can easily pull off an un-ironed cotton t-shirt. You can also get different types of cotton fabrics, including woven or knitted cotton. The two types come with different features; the type of cotton affects the stretch or the breathability of the fabric, so you can decide accordingly. 

Benefits of Cotton 

  • Breathable 
  • Durable 
  • Softer 
  • Cheaper 
  • Versatile 

Linen: Why do People Love it? 

Linen is also a natural fabric sourced from the flax plant. Much like cotton, linen is also one of the most popular fabrics out there. It dates back to 8000 BC and is one of the oldest fabrics in human history. The fabric is made by cutting and pulling mature flax plants. The stalks of the plants are used to make the fabric. 

Machines are used to separate the leaves and the seeds from the stalks so they can be broken up. This helps to separate the inner fibers from the outer fibers. Only the inner fibers are useful as they are soft. The outer fibers are too hard and need to be discarded. The inner fibers are stretched into thinner fibers and spun into yarn which is later woven into fabric. 

Linen fabric is always woven, and you cannot find any other variants. You can only find one texture of the fabric with a standard thickness. Naturally, linen fabrics are not white and can be found in a grayish-brown color. However, you can dye it in any color you'd like. For different styles, you can also bleach the fabric. 

The fabric is extremely breathable and strong. This makes it a perfect match for people who live in warmer climates. Typically, you can use the fabric for years without it losing its quality. Its durability makes it a great choice for many. 

Benefits of Linen 

  • Highly Breathable 
  • Lightweight 
  • Durable 
  • Moisture Wicking 
  • Breezy 

What Fabric Should You Choose? 

Both the fabrics are a great choice, but there are several differences you must consider when choosing one. Let's take a look at some of the most prominent discriminatory factors. 


Since both of these fabrics are in abundance, they are considered an affordable option. However, cotton is the cheaper option between the two as it is more commonly grown and is grown in over 80 countries. If you are looking for a more pocket-friendly option, then you must go for cotton.  


During the summers, you may want to wear fabrics that are super lightweight so they do not cling to your body and you can be as comfortable as possible. While both the fabrics are considered light, linen takes the cake here. It is scientifically lightweight as its fibers are hollow and has a loose weave. 

Depending on your needs, if you are looking for a fabric that gives you a breezy feel, then you must get linen as it's breezier. 


Cotton and linen are both considered fabrics for the warmer months. These fabrics are not of much use during the winters; however, if you use different types of cotton, such as flannel, then you can expect to wear them during the colder months. On the other hand, linen is not a good match for warm clothes because of its hollow fabric that allows air to pass easily. 


With good care, both the fabric options can last you a long time. You may be able to wear them for several years but be wary of shrinking as both fabrics have the tendency. Linen is more likely to shrink, which is why you need to take good care of it. 

These differences can help answer some questions you may have and help you decide what fabric you should go for.