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The Leading Manufacturer & Distributor of Blank and Printed Flour Sack Towels in North America
The Leading Manufacturer & Distributor of Blank and Printed Flour Sack Towels in North America

What Is Monks Cloth: The Ultimate Guide to This Versatile Fabric

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different types of fabrics, each with unique characteristics and use cases. Of these, cotton is the most popular for its natural origins, all-weather appeal, and, most importantly, its versatility.

But cotton fabric is not just one thing. Cotton threads and yarns may be transformed into dozens more different types of fabrics. One of them is monks cloth, a woven cotton textile with an impressive array of uses.

Monks cloth is among the oldest materials around. It has origins in medieval times, but that does not make it any less relevant today. It can be used for trending craft projects like punch needling and rug hooking.

Never heard of monks cloth? You aren't alone, which is why we created this guide. Read on to learn more about this fabric, its uses, and why you should buy your monks cloth from Mary's Kitchen.

What Is Monks Cloth?

Monks cloth is a heavy cotton fabric that is highly durable yet somehow soft to the touch. It has a unique texture featuring a diamond-patterned basketweave produced from cotton, wool, linen, silk, rayon, or synthetic yarn.

This highly versatile fabric traditionally comes in neutral colors like beige, gray, or white. It can also be dyed at home once fabricated or woven from pre-dyed cotton yarn, though colorful monks cloth is less common.

Another benefit of monks cloth is that it is easy to sew on. Making a pillowcase or blanket out of monks cloth is the perfect starting project for a new sewer, but many seasoned seamstresses also enjoy using this fabric.

Why Is It Called Monks Cloth?

Monks cloth gets its name from medieval-era monks, who used it to make apparel, blankets, sheets, and more. Monks would produce the fabric using special looms still used in monks cloth production today.

Is Monks Cloth the Same as Burlap?

No, monks cloth is not the same as burlap, though their weaves are somewhat similar. Burlap is a rougher fabric produced from jute or hemp fibers, while monks cloth is very soft and typically consists of cotton or a cotton blend.

Burlap is also far less durable and versatile than monks cloth. The rough fibers that make it up can start to shed or even disintegrate, especially after washing. Additionally, burlap can be difficult to work with, unlike monks cloth.

Is Monks Cloth the Same as Aida?

No, monks cloth is not the same as aida, though they share many similarities. Both fabrics consist of cotton and can be used for similar types of projects (e.g., punch needle and rug punch).

The difference is that monks cloth is much softer, features handy white guidelines, and has a slightly tighter weave than aida. Meanwhile, aida is widely available in more colors than monks cloth.

Monks Cloth Uses

We mentioned that monks cloth is highly versatile, but just how many uses could it possibly have? Some of the best ways to use this fabric include for punch needling, rug hooking, embroidery, home decor, and apparel.

Learn why monks cloth should be your first choice for these types of projects next.

Monks Cloth for Punch Needling

Punch needle is an old-fashioned embroidery and rug-making technique that has recently become trendy again. It involves creating tight loops of yarn to produce a high-pile pattern or image of your choosing.

Not all fabrics work well for punch needling. The fabric must be sturdy enough to handle the punch needle. It must also have a tighter weave to allow the loops of yarn to wrap around the fabric properly.

Monks cloth is one of the best fabrics for punch needling. It has a relatively tight, uniform weave and is incredibly resistant to snagging. Plus, it's easy to sew on, allowing your needle to glide over the project with ease.

Monks Cloth for Rug Hooking

Monks cloth is not just beneficial for rug punching projects. It also works well for rug hooking, a rug-making technique. This technique involves pulling yarn in loops through a stiff, woven base fabric.

Like punch needling, rug hooking requires specific types of backing fabrics. Burlap and linen are commonly used as backings, but burlap is not very durable, and linen can be cost-prohibitive for larger projects.

Many rug hookers prefer to use monks cloth instead. It is more durable than burlap and less expensive than linen. Plus, it comes with white guidelines and features a two-strand weave to make frogging and stretching a breeze.

Monks Cloth for Embroidery

Punch needling may be a trendy way to embroider right now, but it is not the only method. You can also try other types of embroidery like cross stitching or needlepoint.

Embroidery has traditionally been done by hand. Modern sewing machines come with embroidery options to greatly decrease the amount of time and effort needed for these art forms.

Not all traditional embroidery fabrics are suited to machine embroidery, though. Monks cloth is the ideal choice. It glides beneath the needle, allowing for better control while reducing the risk of snags and other mishaps.

Monks Cloth for Home Decor

Rugs are not the only type of home decor you can make with monks cloth. Its durability makes it well-suited to DIY accents and upholstery that will go in high-traffic rooms in your home.

Consider using monks cloth to upholster chairs, couches, or headboards. If you don't want to make a permanent change, you could also use this fabric to make chair and couch covers that drape to the floor beautifully.

Curtains, throw pillowcases, blankets, and curtains are other projects that would benefit from monks cloth. This fabric adds a pop of texture but is still soft enough that you will actually want to use the designs you create.

Monks Cloth for Apparel

One of the original purposes of monks cloth was to create clothes. It may have been chosen over other medieval fabrics due to its superior drape. Monks cloth is stiff enough to prevent cling yet flowy enough to shape the figure.

With its heavy weight, monks cloth is an ideal fabric for producing practical items like aprons as well as fashion-forward jackets and longer coats. The loose weave allows for airflow, making these items suited to transitional weather.

Of course, you can also use monks cloth for costumes. Create a medieval monk's robe or a design inspired by ancient religious leaders of the Far East. With such incredible versatility, there are limitless ways to use this fabric in apparel.

The Benefits of Mary's Kitchen Monks Cloth

Monks cloth is available at many fabric retailers, both online and off. So, why should you buy monks cloth from Mary's Kitchen Flour Sack Towels? Aside from superior quality, excellent service, and competitive prices, here are the main reasons you should buy monks cloth online from Mary's Kitchen.

High-Quality Materials

If you've bought monks cloth before, you may have come across the lower-quality kinds. These cheaper fabrics can be very rough to the touch and not so durable, as they are prone to fraying.

You must invest in a high-quality monks cloth product to harness the full range of benefits this fabric can offer. But buying high-quality monks cloth doesn't have to break the bank when you shop at Mary's Kitchen. Our 100% cotton monks cloth is currently on sale for only $24.99!

White Reference Lines

Poorer quality monks cloth manufacturers may not weave white reference lines into the product. Or they may use a marking instead of a thread, which may or may not stand up in the wash.

Our monks cloth features an interwoven reference line in a contrasting color. Plus, the weave is straight and even, so your project will stay on track even if you lose sight of the white reference lines.

Elegant Beige Color

Though monks cloth is available in other colors, you'll most commonly find it available online in white. White is fine as a background you plan to cover up if you're making a rug or a piece of punch needle art.

But what if you want to design something more elegant? Our monks cloth comes in a natural beige color that can serve as a tasteful background or even stand alone as upholstery, clothing, and more.

Whipstitched Detailing

If all these benefits were not enough already, we also added whipstitched detailing to the edges of our high-quality cotton monks cloth. Your crafts and sewing projects will look cleaner and more professional as a result.

Whipstitching the edging also serves a functional purpose. Though more durable than most fabrics, monks cloth is still prone to fraying at its edges. The whipstitch detail reinforces the weave, ensuring your project will never unravel- unless you want it to!

Monks Cloth for Sale by the Yard

Monks cloth is a tried-and-true fabric with roots in the medieval period. It offers benefits like durability and versatility, making it suitable for embroidery, rug-making, DIY home decor, and apparel.

Are you looking for the best value on monks cloth for your next project? Mary's Kitchen specializes in high-quality textiles at competitive prices, and our monks cloth is no different.

Shop our monks cloth fabric today to take advantage of our current deal!

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