Natural Yarns

These types of yarns are derived from fibres which commonly occur in nature, either from plants (e.g. cotton/linen), animals (wool), or even minerals (basalt) where fibrous materials are spun into filaments which can then be further processed by weaving.

Historically, natural yarns have been the material of choice for weaving, only being surpassed in the last century by synthetic yarns and (in more recent years) further advances in high-performance yarns.

Nowadays, however, natural fibres are becoming more up-to-date than they have ever been. In some cases, they demonstrate unique mechanical properties and characteristics, with the added advantage of being derived from a 100% sustainable source.


Cotton is a naturally occurring fibre which is derived from the cotton plant and is widely used in the weaving of fabrics for clothing, fashion and furnishings.

For technical applications it has certain useful characteristics which can be difficult to reproduce with man-made fibres, so can sometimes be found at work combined with other fibre types for best effect.

Variants: Spun staple, ring-spun, carded, combed, low-shrink, medium tenacity
Characteristics: Comfortable, good drape and feel, high absorbency, temperature regulating, breathable
Typical End Uses: Apparel, PPE, workwear, seating, aircraft restoration and cladding

Linen (flax)

Linen is a more durable, stronger fibre than cotton, gaining extra strength when wet. The fibres are resistant to stretch and wear less with abrasion.

When cultivated, the flax variety of plant tends grow taller, more slender and with less branches, as such it tends to have longer fibres that are extracted from inside the wooden stems of the plant which are then spun into yarn.

Variants: Spun staple, ring spun, carded, combed
Characteristics: Good heat conductivity, higher rip resistance, resistant to alkalis and cleaning solvents
Typical End Uses: Process belting for food industry, ropes, sheeting, webbing, archival materials for book binding and preservation

Technical Specifications

You can compare some of our most commonly used technical yarns in the table below. If you have any further queries, or are interested in a yarn not listed, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Yarn Type

Yarn Count

Twist (tpm)

  Min Max Min Max
 Cotton Ne 130/2 Ne 8/6 Flat 600
 Linen Ne 40/2 Ne 20/2 Flat 300


Related Resources

Want to know more? Here are some technical brochures that may be of interest, or if you would like to see our full range of PDF downloads then please go to our Technical Library

  • Weaving

  • High Performance Yarns

  • Man-Made Synthetic Yarns

  • Natural Yarns