Lately, I’ve been getting emails asking about the big room spanning linen curtain I published years ago that hid a Murphy bed. It was hung on an Ikea stainless steel curtain wire in a bedroom that doubled as a photo studio for magazine shoots; no one I worked with seemed to realize a bed was behind the neutral linen, which also served as a backdrop. It was the model for a perfect room divider.
In our age of diminishing spaces that have to serve many purposes, big DIY-able linen projects like room dividers and curtains, draped sofa slip covers and spreads hold many possibilities. The logistical question is: where to buy really wide swathes of linen so you don’t have to piece together standard 56-inch-wide linen panels with a seam? It’s exactly the question Ramona asked the other day:
Dear Sally, we have 8 (at least) huge picture windows that need approx 102″ x 82″ panels of this linen. That’s for the main living space. Our bedroom needs 4 same sized panels.
I can’t see finding this many Kind sized sheets to do this.
I wish there was a linen SOURCE – has anyone found one?
Thank you (again) for answering this post from 4 plus years ago in advance!
There are a number of ways to go. Here’s what I know, Ramona!
I’ve found that buying linen sheets to be the easiest and least expensive way to buy extra wide linen.
They afford a lot of linen for the buck. Sheets can be less expensive and easier to source than extra wide linen from a fabric store (see below).
The companies whose linen I’ve found to be both affordable and good quality are Rough Linen and Linoto. Both can make custom lengths and sizes on many items. Trisha at Rough Linen is a delight to work with; she’ll help you figure out just what you need. Linoto sheets come in a wide array of vivid colors (make sure the weight is what you are looking for).
These prices from Linoto give a rough sense of relative cost. Linoto. sells an 80″ x 112″ curtain panel for $221. Compare to prices for some of their linen sheets, and to the per yard prices below and at linen stores:
- Queen: 99″ wide x 108″ long $139
- King: 116″ wide x 108″ long $159
- California King: King: 112″ wide x 108″ long $159
- Full / Double: 91″ wide x 100″ long $129
A friend raves about LenokLINEN at Etsy for extra-heavy linen flat sheets. A king size linen flat sheet is $76 plus $19 shipping from Belarus.
For super premium linen in an array of weaves, weights, textures and colors at wide widths, check out Libeco.
Libeco is the preferred linen of a number of stylists and interior designers I know; it is beautiful, incredibly well made material. It’s also on the expensive side.
Visit Libeco’s website to see if there is a local retailer near you who will be able to order you any of Libeco’s products. Be sure to ask for a sample card of their wide range of offerings. (At bottom, see the detailed email I received from Edward Reisert, National Sales Director of Libeco Home*.)
You can also order Libeco fabric online through Belgian-Linen.com. Check out their selection here.
Search ‘where to buy extra wide linen yardage’ online to find promising sources.
Instalinen offers wide linen in a variety of weights. Be sure to order swatches to determine exact color, weight and quality.
Etsy is also a great source.
Good fabric stores often stock extra wide linen as do art supply stores.
When I first started looking for extra-wide linen 20 or so years ago, I found artist’s Belgian linen sold by the yard at art supply stores the most economical and readily available. This selection at Blick will an idea or prices and weights.
While browsing B & J Fabrics in NYC the other day, I spotted several bolts of extra-wide linen ranging from about $43 to $95 per yard retail. Price will depend on the quality and weight. Be sure to get swatches before buying.
If you need a lot of linen, ask if you can buy wholesale (if you have a business), or if they will give you a break on the price.
TWO HOT TIPS:
Consider linen an investment that can be used in a variety of ways over years as your needs change. It’s best to buy something you really love.
Window panels could easily become bed covers or even sheets down the line, or be used to throw over a sofa. I’ve learned by using a variety of linens that “cheap” isn’t always the most economical. (The Company Store’s sheets have a flimsy quality and don’t hold up.)
BEFORE you make something out of your linen, wash and tumble try it several times to shrink it to the max.
This will ensure the linen item you make stays the correct size when you wash it.
Want inspiration for more diy linen projects?
You’ll find them here.
* Here’s what Edward Reisert, National Sales Director of Libeco Home wrote in answer to my inquiry to him:
Libeco does indeed have what we consider to be the world’s finest linen, and we actually weave many different weaves, weights, textures and colors at wide widths. Any retailer who holds an open account for our Home collections has access to these offerings.
The website you mentioned,Belgian-Linen.com, is one of our customers with stores in Massachusetts, as well as a great website, but I’d also suggest having your customer review our stockists on our website www.libeco.com to see if there is a local retailer that they can support.
I supply all of my customers with full sample cards of all of our offerings, which is likely easier than trying to determine if a fabric is right online. Once they’ve made their choice, we are in stock in 95% of our offerings at all times, so delivery is very fast and efficient. You’ll just need a long car to carry home the very long rolls of fabric!
10 replies on “Big DIY Linen Projects and Room Dividers + Where to Find the Extra Wide Linen to Make Them”
Thank you! I have had this question for awhile.
Hi, Sally – This linen store on Etsy is awesome. Their linen is extra-heavy; I ordered a king-sized flat sheet that we use as a bedspread. Prices are low, and shipping takes a while but it’s totally worth it. And I love saying the word “Minsk.”
I’ll send you a beauty shot of our bedspread if you want. See you soon in the City!
We solved a similar problem by purchasing a few packages of IKEA’s Aina curtain panels in light gray (although a quick search seems to reveal that color is no longer sold, sadly) and once we had them lined up so that they looked like one continuous covering, applied clear Velcro “dots” to keep them in place. That curtain covers a Murphy bed so we pull/push it daily and find for the most part that the panels stay together. If anything, Just a minor adjustment of how panels lay at top where there are not dots. As long as the panels aren’t too heavy, this dot method should work with any panels. IKEA does still sell 100% linen curtains in other colors. Pottery barn and restoration hardware do as well – a little more expensive than IKEA, but they do go on sale.
VELCRO Brand – Sticky Back – 5/8″ Coins, 75 Sets – Clear https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001ASD850?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf
Hello! Most things I know about linen I learned from this podcast – maybe your readers would find it interesting?
I’ve found extra-wide linen by the yard for $18/yd at the big-box fabric stores, and linen-look fabric for as low as $7/yd (a poly blend in a weave that looks very similar to linen). If you’d rather buy from a small/independent seller, Etsy is a great resource (just be sure to watch out for scammers there, I’ve come across a lot of sellers on Etsy that are actually just big companies selling cheap knockoffs or misadvertising their products).
How did you hang the Ikea curtain wire? It seems to be attached to the wall rather than the ceiling posts it comes with.
The hardware works fine on the ceiling or the wall. It holds the wire a few inches away.
Hi, I’ve loved Improvised life for years, congratulations and thank you for re-imagining and continuing!
Are the torn linen edges sewn 1/4″ in to stop fraying?
I don’t sew them but you certainly can. If you fray them a good 1/4 inch, I find there’s only ever a stray thread or two.
I just love linen bedding and thanks for the amazing DIY!!