Linen is a natural fibre (like cotton or bamboo) which has been used for centuries because of its amazing properties. The more it’s used and washed the softer it gets and it's extremely durable – 30% stronger than cotton, meaning it can last decades when cared for correctly. Linen fabric is also fully biodegradable which makes it a fantastic option for those who shop with an environmentally conscious mind. Vintage linen is very desirable, it’s soft and the feeling is very hard to replicate by any mechanical process.
Why Linen Sheets?
- No Ironing Required
Linen is one of the few fabrics where you actually want to see a few creases throughout the fabric, it’s part of its charm and complements the naturally textured look of the fabric. If you choose linen bedlinen put away the iron and embrace the creases, the result will be a relaxed, lived in look that is effortless to create and looks beautiful.
- Static Free
Linen is one of the few fabrics not to accumulate static electricity, which is great news for your bed hair. Studies have shown that fabrics need to include just 10% linen in their composition to eliminate the pesky electric charge. Linen sheets are also far more resistant to pilling, meaning you won’t experience the frustration of those little balls forming on the surface of your sheets.
- The Good Kind of Absorbent
Linen fabric can absorb as much as 20% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet, so your linen bedlinen will always have a pleasant, fresh feeling when touched or slept on. This also means you won’t wake up to that clammy feeling and the fabric is less likely to cling to your skin if you perspire.
- Suitable All Year Round
Linen bedlinen is the perfect choice if you’re looking for something you can use all year round, not just for one or two seasons. Its temperature regulating properties keep you cool in Summer and warm in Winter. This is also good news if your partner is a hot sleeper and you tend to get chilly, or vice versa.
- Allergy Friendly
Linen is hypoallergenic meaning it is suitable for those with allergies or sensitive skin. This stems from the fact that linen fabrics are usually made from materials that are not exposed to harsh chemicals or pesticides.
- Environmentally Friendly
Linen is a natural fibre made from the flax plant. It doesn’t require any pesticides or any additional water other than rain water and every part of the plant is used. Linen is also organic, biodegradable, recyclable.
How is Linen produced?
The flax plants are harvested by being pulled from the ground, rather than being cut, in order to retain the full length of the fibre. After being pulled the plants are left in the field to soften to the point where bacteria and fungi become present. This allows the woody section to start breaking down and makes it easier to separate the fibre from the plant. The fibre is collected from the plants and then rolled and stored in shelter for 2-3 months, where it continues to soften. The fibres are then combed to remove excess impurities and shorter or broken fibres. The long fibres (usually used for bed linen) are slightly twisted and then processed using a ‘wet spinning’ technique in order to achieve a smoother and softer yarn, which it’s much nicer to sleep on or wear. Alternatively, the short fibres are collected and spun together using a ‘dry spinning’ technique. This creates a stronger and heavier yarn which is ideal for heavy duty uses such as upholstery or heavy apparel fabrics like tarps or tents.
The linen yarns used for sheeting are carefully graded and sorted into different qualities ranging from the extremely fine (Como Linen) to a high standard of regular linen (Dublino and Citi Linen). Linen fibre is naturally thicker than cotton fable. An average linen fabric used for sheeting has a thread count of between 80 and 150. If you were looking at a cotton sheet this would be considered very low, however linen quality is not based on thread count, because the fibre is thicker there is always going to be less in a sheet compared with cotton. Higher quality cotton fabric starts at around 200 thread count, a result of the finer yarns being used and therefore more of them can be woven into the fabric. Linen quality depends on the flax plant; if the source is low quality the fabric produced will be of similar quality.
Benefits of Linen Bedlinen
One of the primary benefits of linen fabric is its durability, because of the thickness and strength of the fibre it is able to withstand a lot more than just cotton or polyester. A mark of its durability is how it becomes softer with every use and wash - instead of sacrificing stability, the fibre slowly changes texture.
The weave of linen fibre and specifically linen fabric allows more airflow, and its structure means it wicks away moisture from your skin allowing better airflow over your body. Linen is a "stiff" fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin; when the fabric billows away, it quickly dries out and becomes cool again. Blankets made of linen possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe. Used in sheets it affords an extremely comfortable sleep especially in extreme climates; as we said it’s been used for centuries and for good reason. The ancient Egyptians used, wore and grew linen themselves and we see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t too!
Another point that can’t be missed when looking at linen is its texture and the effortless style it produces. Clean cut and with deep coloured fabrics linen is an incredibly understated fibre and completely on trend. Whilst it doesn’t afford chic lines and smooth effects, it achieves simple lines with textured edges that really call to a minimalist aesthetic.
Because dye takes so well to linen as a fabric, often you can get really deep rich colours and because the texture is very tactile you can add a lot of depth to a space with a strong colour and this beautiful natural fibre.