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

Purchased By: 6676 people!
$16.77 per yard
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Fabric By The Yard $16.77

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

Customer Questions and Answers


hello, approximately how much does this shrink with a warm wash and tumble dry warm low

Mairi • May 17, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

We have experienced no more than 7% total shrinkage on the length and width of the fabric when washing on warm and tumble drying on low.

Lauren • May 17, 2024

I'm looking for lightweight, somewhat sheer for drapery panels. This sounds good, it is a good use for it? Panels about 90" long.

R • March 24, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Yes, this fabric is ideal for sheer curtains which have light filtering and some privacy properties.

Lauren • March 24, 2024

which linen would you recommend for women's tee shirt?

Kristin • March 23, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Our IL019 medium weight linen or IL019 in the medium to dark colors as the lighter colors can be a touch sheer.

Lauren • March 23, 2024

I looked at the swatches, but am unable to tell if the weave is tight or loose? Can you help?

Paula • January 9, 2024
Lauren profile image F|S Team

The weave on this fabric is tight.

Lauren • January 9, 2024

Does this linen take machine embroidery well? I am looking for the best option for making altar linens.

Jennifer • December 20, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Hello, this is a lightweight linen which can be used for altar linens and embroidered on, but our customers will usually opt for a more substantial fabric like our 1C64 medium weight fabric, or IL019 medium weight since they are a little thicker. It completely depends on your preference as all fabrics will work.

Lauren • December 20, 2023
Carolyn profile image

Why doesn't it say anywhere (I can find) in your website how wide the fabric is? I am interested in optic white but can't tell if I can cut the curtains selvage to selvage without the width of a yard of fabric. Makes a big difference in how much yardage to purchase.

Carolyn • September 16, 2023
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

Every item has a description page that has all of the specifications including width. If you re looking at a smaller swatch in the group, you would click on that to get to the description page with all of the information or a quick search by color and item will being up that swatch to click on that will also get you to the larger description page.

Maureen • September 16, 2023

How much shrinkage should I expect if I follow your instructions? This will be my first purchase. Anna

Anna • September 15, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

For this fabric we have estimated 7% shrinkage.

Lauren • September 15, 2023

Hi! I want to make pijamas with this fabric, do you think it is the best option? Its going to be see-throw? Regards Judith

Judith • August 27, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

This fabric is going to be sheer. We recommend the IL019 mediumweight linen fabric. All linen fabrics will be somewhat sheer in the white and very light colors, unless you are using a heavyweight fabric.

Lauren • August 27, 2023

I am looking for a linen to make baptismal towels. They measure about 12in by 7 in. Do you think this fabric would work for this project? The towels will be monogrammed after they are stitched.

Mel • July 20, 2023
Lauren profile image F|S Team

Yes, this is a lovely lightweight linen with a beautiful drape and ability to be embroidered. If you would like something a little thicker and more absorbent around the font, our 1C64 is a lovely smooth handed medium-weight linen which also takes embroidery beautifully.

Lauren • July 20, 2023

In reference to Gail's question...what is 'the optic'? What issues does its have with dye, and which dyes in general?

Lynda • June 20, 2023
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

Optical brightener, which is a type of dye is used to achieve the bright white color. It may not be compatible with some dyes or dye stuffs which is why we recommend testing first. to make sure your dyes and or dye methods will take (affix) when used in conjunction with the optic.

Maureen • June 20, 2023

Before I purchase the IL020 I need to know is this optic white and softened version dyeable? Thanks

Gail • April 29, 2023
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

We have had some customers dye off of the optic with success but it depends on the dye method you are using as the optic can react adversely to some dyes. It is best to test this first with the method you will use to make sure you will not have any issues.

Maureen • April 29, 2023

Wondering about using this in place of silk crepe if it's washed a couple times? Would that work out?

Rachel • April 20, 2023
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

Silk Crepe and Linen share many of the same qualities and are used for many of the same items so it would depend on the item you are making . We have samples for purchase, this would be the best way to make sure it will work for the project you have in mind.

Maureen • April 20, 2023

Is this fabric suitable for altar linens.

Pat • March 6, 2023

Yes this linen is often used for altar linens.

Patricia • March 6, 2023

I love the asymmetrical black white top Lesey sewed using the 1L029 optic white and black linen. Is there anyway Lesley can provide the pattern information so that I may buy it. BTW I have just started buying linen from you 3 different times and absolutely love the fabric you sell.

Catherine • February 20, 2023

She used our linen to create this. Unfortunately she did not share her pattern with us.

Patricia • February 20, 2023

I want to use this for brides handkerchiefs

Deborah • February 7, 2023

The Il020 is used by several customers for handkerchiefs.

Patricia • February 7, 2023

I'm hunting for the right fabric to make lots of white pillowcases. Is this the #1 best choice? --> IL020 Handkerchief Optic White Softened - What is your recommendation for softness on the skin?

Deborah • January 12, 2023
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

Although some customers have used the lightweight IL020 for pillow cases, most will use the middleweight IL019 which also comes in Optic White. If you have time purchasing a sample of each may help with your decision.

Maureen • January 12, 2023

How wide is your linen?

Linda • November 29, 2022
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

This particular linen is 58" wide. Our widths may vary from item to item so please refer to the specification area located on each articles description page.

Maureen • November 29, 2022

In what country is this linen made? What's the country of origin?

Susan • September 22, 2022
Maureen  profile image F|S Team

This information is located in our help center found here

Maureen • September 22, 2022
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Sunlit mist

When I washed this fabric it came out so soft and airy. It will make wonderful veiling fabric (I sew for re-enactors).

Ellen • November 24, 2023
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I bought 2 three yard cuts of the optic white handkerchief linen to make dining room curtains. I pulled a thread to get the linen squared after prewash. I am using a hem stitch needle to hem the sides, top and bottom. Beautiful fabric. Starches beautifully.

Martha • November 6, 2023
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Beautiful quality linen with a fine hand

I use the optic white for all my client commissions for historical costumes. The "bleached" version doesn't have as nice a hand (feel) as the optic white. It's the best I have found when my source for Belfast handkerchief linen became far too expensive for me to continue to offer.

Christine • July 3, 2023
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Beautiful weight for curtain

I used one yard of this to make a simple curtain for my bathroom window. It is sheer enough to let in light but allows for plenty of privacy too. And I love seeing the sunlight showing off the weave of the fabric.

Robin • August 15, 2022
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Lyn profile image Great fabric to work with!

Not too light and not too heavy! Perfect for making children's linen shirts for any event.

Lyn • January 25, 2022
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Made this shower curtain for my daughter using the optic white and signature black. I sewed french seams to make it neat inside and out. No vinyl liner needed! It keeps all the water in the tub and dries nicely.

Rebecca • September 25, 2023

Using the very last 23 inches of my IL020 optic white, I made the bodice and sleeves for this duster. I am so grateful for the current sales, time to stock up..........again."

Donna • July 25, 2023

Made a beautiful chemise! It's light and cool for summer nights!

Jodi • July 25, 2023

I created this pattern from scratch, collared crop top and shorts I also did a long wide leg pants and an off the shoulder top. I sell these on my website,

Dawnita • July 24, 2023

16th Century Women's Smock with redwork. Optic White Handkerchief weight linen.

Christine • July 3, 2023
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