What is Dimity?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While there are a number of cotton fabric blends on the market today, dimity is a type of cotton material that has an interesting look and feel. Here are some of the characteristics of this fabric that make it such a hit with many different applications.

Any linen item made with dimity can either be hand washed or machine washed on the regular cycle.
Any linen item made with dimity can either be hand washed or machine washed on the regular cycle.

Traditionally, dimity is made completely of cotton fibers, although in recent years some synthetics have been mixed in with cotton to create one type. What distinguishes dimity from some of the other cotton based fabrics and blends is both the look and the texture. With a sheer white cotton finish, it has a look that evokes thoughts of pristine cleanliness. Dimity is a tough fabric, in that it does not yellow easily and can stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Along with the sheer cotton construction, dimity has a texture that is uniquely its own. With a raised pattern on one side of the fabric, the weave has a symmetry that gives it visual interest, even if the material is not dyed, appliquéd or patterned with needlework. The corded effects of the raised areas of white cotton make it ideal for use in drapery panels, kitchen curtains, pillow shams, and even bedspreads.

Despite the white cotton construction, it actually is a material that lends itself well to dyes. Dimity will hold color very well, which makes it very easy to take an older item that is beginning to yellow slightly and give it new life by using a tea rinse or a color dye to change the look of the material. The raised pattern will help the item retain its visual interest, and since the material holds up very well, the dyed fabric will look like a brand new household textile.

Since dimity does not require any special type of cleaning, any linen item made with it can easily be hand washed or placed in a washing machine on the regular cycle. Typically, the items are made from preshrunk cotton, so there is not much chance of the material shrinking or losing its shape. In fact, with nothing more than routine care, any dimity material in the home will look like new for many years to come.

Dimity household textiles are usually found at finer bedding outlets and department stores that carry a wide array of linens. Bolts of fabric are also available at most fabric shops, which makes it easy to create your own patterns and linen items with this sturdy and attractive material.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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