A linen and cotton mix fabric that combines the best qualities of both fibres, often called linen union. Being comfortable to sit in, it is a particularly useful material for loose covers: good tempered to work with, it is more crease resistant than linen alone, takes printed designs well and very importantly has a very good rub test ( abrasion test.)
The natural properties of the fibres affect the look of this fabric – linen doesn’t dye to its core, so that over time the linen fibres fade and whiten as the print or dye wears off – especially on arms and cushions. This gives the furniture a softer look that easily accepts the odd patch repair and scuff, especially useful in a country house and possible for a shabby chic environment.
A change of cushions every so often to revitalize and a union covered sofa/chair can last the good part of a lifetime.
I’ve known drawing room linen union covers that are over fifty years old, and twenty-thirty years in a family room – something to bear in mind when you’re choosing colour and pattern…