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Fabric Guide: Linen

Author Editor - 1 minute read
Versatile, long-lasting and perfect for warm weather, linen is our fabric of choice for summer.

What is linen?

Linen is a natural fibre made from the stalks of the flax plant. The fibres from within the stem are extracted, then spun and woven into linen. Traditionally linen was primarily used for commercial furnishings and upholstery however its usage in apparel has grown significantly in recent years. 100% linen pieces are prone to creasing easily which is why many clothes are a blend of linen and cotton or silk. The result is a lightweight piece that will last.

What are the benefits of linen?

1. Thermal Properties: Flax is known for its heat conducting properties. The flax linen fibres will conduct heat away from the skin, making linen clothing a great choice for warm weather.
2. Highly breathable: Linen has a lower thread count than other fabrics and as such it allows more airflow. It is also more absorbent than many other fabrics, able to absorb up to 20% of moisture before it feels wet. Again, this makes it well suited to hot or humid climates; the breathable cotton keeps you cool and the fabric absorbs any perspiration without feeling damp. 
3. Longevity: When kept in the correct conditions, linen products will usually last several years, on average about 30% longer than cotton. Flax fibres don’t stretch easily and as such can withstand multiple washes. Unlike most fabric it actually becomes softer after each wash, making it a good choice of fabric for lasting basics. 

How do you care for linen?

First and foremost, check the washing instructions when caring for linen however there are some tips to help you get the most out of your linen pieces.
If using a washing machine, wash on a gentle cycle with as few other items as possible. This prevents pulling the fabric out of shape.
Similarly if hand washing, avoid twisting or wringing the fabric, instead use a gentle motion.
Use a mild detergent.
To dry, lay the pieces flat. Hangers or pegs can leave marks or affect the shape of the item.