What is ticking? Ticking is a cotton or linen textile that is tightly woven for durability. In times past it was often used for bedding covers to prevent down feathers from poking through the fabric. Today, it is commonly found in upholstery fabrics. Classic ticking is a striped design in muted colors, such as brown, grey, or blue set against a neutral background. Purl Soho was inspired by this fabric and created this beautiful wrap in a linen blend.