Hemp vs Linen: Differences and Comparison (With Table)

When it comes to breathable fabric types, hemp and linen are two common ones that are first into consideration. Both offer great features as natural fibers and often confuse people when buying relative goods.

Actually, the main difference between hemp and linen fabric is minimal, the apparent difference is that hemp has much longer fibers than linen, making the hemp fabric more durable than linen ones.

comparison between hemp and linen

In this article, you will learn about the basis of hemp and linen. You will discover the comparison and the key differences between hemp and linen fabrics. Besides, you also can learn about the differences between hemp and linen products.

Hemp vs Linen: Comparison Chart

The following chart shows the primary comparison of properties and uses of hemp and linen fabric.

Fiber TypeNatural fiberNatural fiber
CompositionHemp is woven with fibers from stems of the Cannabis sativa plant.Linen is woven with fiber from the stalks of flax plants
Extract raw fibers from the stalks of hemp plants, the raw fibers will be treated into woveable fibers, and then spun and woven into hemp fabric.Break the flax plants and pull out the stems, remove the straw and short fibers, and the remaining long flax fibers will be used to weave into linen fabric.
PropertiesBreathable, soft, lightweight, good absorbent, durable, as well as anti-bacterial. Hemp fabric also wrinkles easily. Easy to dye.Breathable, moisture-wicking, durable. Good for reducing allergies. Easy to wrinkle, easy to shrink, easy to dye.
Common UsesSweaters, underwear, men’s clothing, and even sneakers; Kitchen towels, aprons, bed sheets, baby bibsVarious types of clothes suitable for summer, bedding sheets, curtains, etc.
PriceRelatively highHigh

What Is Hemp?

Hemp is a linen-like fabric. It comes from a crude and coarse fiber of cannabis plants. Hemp is a purely natural fiber that similar to linen and cotton. But hemp doesn’t have the same high production quantity as cotton, because it was often mistaken as the prohibited marijuana. Actually, hemp doesn’t contain the delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, the common active ingredient in marijuana. And hemp fibers have no relation to the prohibited marijuana.

Hemp fabric has great characteristics that are suitable for garments. It is stronger, more absorbent, and more durable than other natural fibers like cotton. Though hemp is not popular as cotton, it also has various advantages. For example, hemp fabric is soft, breathable, lightweight, and anti-bacterial.

Due to the low production, ready-made fashion hemp products are rare and expensive. And similar to other natural fabrics such as cotton and linen, hemp fabric is also easy to wrinkle and has low elasticity. That’s the main reason why hemp often blends with other materials.

What Is Linen?

Similar to hemp, linen is also a natural fabric derived from flax plants. Linen fabric is durable, breathable, lightweight, strong, and anti-bacterial. Different from hemp, linen fabric has a much better reputation and its production is higher too. So you can see there are versatile linen textiles in the market, such as beddings, napkins, tablecloths, curtains, and various wears.

The price of linen fabric is also not cheap due to its complex production process. Linen fabric is woven with long flax fibers but taking the long flax fiber out is a time-consuming and laborious process. Therefore, the production and weave process will cost a long time, making the price of linen high.

Hemp vs Linen: Similarities and Differences

When it comes to hemp vs linen, both of them are breathable, sustainable, and eco-friendly because they are made from natural fibers. Apart from that, hemp and linen fabrics have many similarities.

● Both hemp and linen fabric will become softer after repeated use and washing.

● Both fabrics are highly absorbent.

● Both hemp and linen fabrics are good insulators due to their hollow fibers.

There are many slight differences between hemp textile and linen textile that make them each unique. The following part will explore the differences between hemp and linen including their fiber properties, properties, and environmental impact.

1.Hemp vs linen fibers. Hemp fibers and linen fibers are natural, but they have different fiber shapes. Hemp fibers have a polygon-shaped cross-section with rounded edges, and linen fibers have five to seven peaks with sharp edges.

The hemp fiber and linen fiber show different colors. The color of hemp fiber varies from yellow or gray to dark brown, while linen fiber is much paler. Both hemp and linen fibers can be dyed to any color the users love.

Besides, hemp fibers are much longer than that linen fibers. Usually, hemp fiber can be 3 to 15 feet, while linen fiber is about half of that.

2. Hemp vs linen properties. As mentioned above, hemp and linen are durable and eco-friendly fabrics. But their properties still have slight differences.

For example, hemp is reported to be up to eight times stronger than linen fabric. And they have the longest shelf-life of any natural fabric. So it’s common to see there are various types of unearthed hemp clothing in history. Besides, both hemp and linen are easy to wrinkle, but the elastic recovery of linen is better than hemp.

Hemp fabric has good resistance to ultraviolet light, making it won’t fade or be damaged by sunlight.

3. Hemp vs linen environment impact. Though hemp and linen derive from nature plants, their cultivation still has some impacts on our environment.

Hemp is growing quickly and densely if there are enough nutrients and water. The use of fertilizer can cause side effect on effects on the environment. But the good point of hemp cultivation is that hemp is naturally resistant to many pests so it needs fewer pesticides. Compare to hemp, linen is much more eco-friendly even though it may need to use some herbicides.


Hemp and linen have many similarities such as breathability, durability, water-absorbent, and anti-bacterial, etc. And they also have several small differences that you may need to know. As fabric production technology develops, we may find more types of clothes, and daily used products made from hemp and linen, knowing their differences and similarities is beneficial for you to choose the suitable one for yourself.

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