My love for linen started with my first linen clothing piece, a wonderfully magic, comfortable, and flowy A-line skirt. When I saw it, I wanted to touch it and when I felt it, the slightly knobbly texture, felt so soothing on my hands. I knew I had to have it!
I love the feel of linen against my skin, how it gets better with use and becomes softer and silkier over time. It has a natural lustre which, for me personally, compares to no other fabric. I love that crumply soft breathable comfort.
I can go on and on about my love affair, but here are 7 reasons why you should love linen –
- It is natural and sustainable. The resulting fabric is truly a dream. It is hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial. It is supple. It is sturdy.
- Linen is absorbent, breathable, and stronger than cotton. The fibres are porous, and it is great at keeping you cool in the summer, but it can also be insulating in colder temperatures.
- It gets softer and more comfortable over time. Linen sometimes gets a bad rap for being stiff, but when washed excess fibres are removed to soften the fabric. The more you wash it, the softer and more supple it gets.
- It knows what you need. Can a material be intuitive? Well, yes it can be! Linen is fit for all seasons: wonderfully cool in summer and warm and cosy in winter. Because linen is highly absorbent, it draws moisture away from the body.
- It is kind to the environment. Another bonus of the flax plant is that it is a lot lower maintenance than cotton, requiring less irrigation, pesticides, and energy than most other fibres. It is said that flax needs only one-fifth of the pesticides and fertilisers that cotton requires. So, when you invest in linen, you can feel good about its impact on the environment.
- It is effortlessly stylish. Linen is not try-hard. It does not have to yell or compete with other patterns and prints. It drapes and layers beautifully, and always looks elegant and timeless.
- It is easy to care for. Linen does not want strong detergents or bleach, but it can handle regular machine washing and tumble-drying. A hand wash is even better and drying it flat away from direct sunlight could not be an easier thing to do. Ironing whilst still a little bit damp or investing in a good steamer will remove those niggly little wrinkles and fluff up those fibres for the fresh and wonderful linen look we all love linen for.
The downside –
- The wrinkles – but what about the wrinkles? This is a common concern, and some people just cannot get past the wrinkle part of linen and will never be linen lovers. I say, love those wrinkles, embrace them! The wrinkles of linen are a part of its charm. We love the laid-back relaxed look of pure linen’s inherent soft wrinkles. If you must have wrinkles they should be happy ones.
- The process to make linen takes more time and work, which generally makes it a more expensive material. But it’s oh so worth it, for the joy you get from your linen piece, not forgetting to mention that a linen item can last a good couple of years, with the correct care. A downside with an upside – a really good investment.
For centuries, we have loved this material for the opposing virtues, strength, and gentleness. Linen wrinkles like a smile. Gently and gracefully.