IL020 Handkerchief Bleached Softened - 100% Linen Fabric - Light (3.7 oz/yd2), Width 58"

Purchased By: 6601 people!
$16.31 per yard
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Fabric By The Yard $16.31

Bleached color is achieved by "stripping" the natural pigment out of the fibers( just like you would with bleaching hair). What you are left with is a very soft shade that is just ever so slightly an off-white color. 
Bleached is the basics of any project and loves being dyed. It is actually what we use to dye the colors. A truly versatile base and a must-have addition to your fabric repertoire.

At a lighter weight of 3.5 ounces this 58 inch wide 100% linen is woven with finer threads to give it a smoother appearance. Referred to as lightweight or handkerchief linen, this fine, but surprisingly sturdy linen brings new meaning to the term "sheer elegance".

The cloth is Softened so we have added a softener to give it a silkier hand. The fabric has not been laundered so shrinkage will still have to be taken into consideration (shrinkage depends on fabric weave and laundering method).

Fabric specifications:

Article IL020 Handkerchief
Content 100% Linen
Width 58 inch
Weight 3.7 oz/yd2
Thread size warp 33.3
Thread size weft 33.3
Thread count warp 57
Thread count weft 44
Fabric By The Yard

Customer Questions and Answers


Is the softener used in the softened handkerchief weight linen permanent? Or does the softening wear off if washed?

Aevery • February 19, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

The softener is a permanent application.

Lauren • February 19, 2024

How white is this linen

Karen • February 10, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

This is a white bleached color with a creamy undertone. For bright white, please consider the Optic white. To see the fabric in person, please order a sample :)

Lauren • February 10, 2024

I'm thinking about using a lightweight linen for curtain sheers but worried about wrinkling after washing. Does the softening potion prevent permanent creases? Any other advice?

Margaret • October 16, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

The softening potion softens the fabric and can help minimise wrinkling. For wrinkle free sheers, be sure to iron your fabric, or air dry flat and smooth out the fabric by hand.

Lauren • October 16, 2023

Is the IL020 Bleached Softened Linen- 3.5 oz. or the 4C22 Linen 7.1oz better for draperies? I will be using interlining and regular lining. So I just want to be sure to have the right size french pole to hold them up as well. I need you advice. I have purchased from you before as a designer and can't remember how you do your pricing! Thank you so much for your assistance! Carol Lund- Carol Lund Interiors

Carol • September 3, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Hello Carol, We recommend getting some samples so you can have a feel for these fabrics, and see which weight is what you have in mind. This is because you can use either of these fabrics but the look will be quite different. You may also consider getting a sample of our medium weight IL019 so you can see our three main weights at once. Please call or email us directly if you would like further assistance.

Lauren • September 3, 2023

I would like to get the Charlie shirt when it is available again. Can the armholes be sewed smaller????

Mary • June 29, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Hello, the Charlie pattern collection is available for purchase now. And yes, you can make the armholes smaller to your tastes. If you would like assistance with that, our premium patterns come with 1:1 fit advice, just contact us via email :)

Lauren • June 29, 2023

Is the Charlie Blouse pattern still available? I see a poster made it with this lightweight linen.

Patricia • May 5, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Charlie is coming back to the shop VERY SOON! Keep a look out over the next couple of weeks :)

Lauren • May 5, 2023

Can I use this weight linen to line the bodice of a dress using one of the 5.3 linens? I want a green linen for the dress, still waiting for a sale. Sheila

Sheila • October 20, 2022
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

Yes many of our customers use this lightweight linen as a lining.

Maureen • October 20, 2022
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So soft

So soft yet a lot of structure. Used to make a blouse for myself

Alena • March 22, 2024
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There is nothing like linen for embroidery. The order was delivered promptly and was totally satisfactory. The lovely texture and lightness will be a special ground for handwork.

Virginia • July 24, 2022
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Lovely, light linen!

This was a joy to work with. I made a Roman tunica for SCA summer events as ideal nursing garb, and am using it also for cuffs and collars in drawn-thread embroidery. The even weave and slight sheerness look amazing, and its a joy to work with. Hemstitching is a dream - once I square the linen, pinching the hem and running a fingernail down it creases nicely so I need minimal pins to do my hand work. I will buy this again and again for shirts, chemises, Roman undertunics, embroidery and lace ground, and maybe eventually some hand-dyed and embroidered curtains or pillowcases. Strongly recommended!

Katia jade • January 1, 2018
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High quality fabric except for hard creases

I love this white linen but I am unable to get the hard creases out. I used a hot steam iron which improved it greatly, but hard creases from the folds are still perceptible. Any other suggestions?

Melissa • January 1, 2018
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Future Heirloom

I haven't yet used this linen. For 15 years during the 1980s and 1990s, I traveled the US/Canada, teaching fine hand sewing to adult women who were sewing primarily for young children. Christening dresses were a favorite and, for little baby boys, Irish handkerchief or tissue linen was the fabric of choice. I haven't done much sewing in the last decade, but my niece (my surrogate daughter, as her mother passed two years ago), after 4 years of fertility treatments, is finally pregnant, and this fabric will make an heirloom Christening garment for many generations to come. I was delighted when I received this lucious, lustrous fabric, and can't wait for this little blessing to arrive so we can decide whether pin-tucks or ruffles, lace or tatted insertions and edgings, ribbons or twisted cord!

Connie • January 1, 2018
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I've been ordering from Fabrics Store since 2017 and they never miss! The quality and the color range of their linens is incredible. I would say the Bleached White is a true white, but not a bright or blue toned optic white. It's truly beautiful. The 3.7 oz weight is perfect for apparel— it has structure and a beautiful drape, but doesn't feel bulky. I use this lighter weight for projects with finer details or lots of pleating or gathering. I exclusively use the Fabrics Store linen for my Etsy because of their high standards and consistency. You can find my giant scrunchies on Etsy at!

Rebecca • March 29, 2024

Used white linen in handkerchief weight to make a light blouse. See through, but fine with an undershirt or nude undergarment. Very soft.

Alena • March 22, 2024

1 yard of handerchief linen made 15 napkins

Myra • August 24, 2023

FS CHARLIE Blouse Made with FS BLEACHED Lightweight Softened Linen. I went with the FS Softened lightweight linen in the bleached colourway to further play into the white-tee-alternative look. The fabric was just a dream to work with and I think it's the perfect match for this pattern, I can already tell how nice and cool it will feel in the dead of summer.

Nisan • March 31, 2022

I got a doggie bag of 3 yds. of this linen and decided to make my husband a Regency shirt. It's so soft and really nice to sew. The shirt is entirely handsewn with silk thread. I used the method from Matthew Gnagy's Regency shirt YouTube tutorial (with some modifications, including adding ruffles to the cuffs). I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Madeline • December 29, 2021
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