So you’re interested in learning about linen? What is it exactly, where does it come from, how is it made, and why are everyone and their mother going crazy about it. Good, we’re here to answer all those questions. Having fallen in love with linen ourselves, we’ve done yards of research into this amazing fabric and its magical properties, hence our name.
So let’s start with the basics…
What is Linen: Brief History of Linen
Linen is a natural fiber made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum.
It has been used for centuries — since approximately 10,000 years ago — to make everything from canvases and wallpaper to clothing and bedding.
Egyptians utilized linen’s durability for wrapping pharaoh mummies and Medieval knights donned linen shirts and pants under their armor.
Over the years, people started using the word linens to refer to household goods, such as bedding, tablecloths, towels, etc. albeit not always made of actual linen fabric.
Terms like lingerie were derived from the same word.
Benefits of linen
If If you’ve already had some sort of encounter with any linen materials in your life, you might be familiar with its main properties, but for those who are new to linen, here are the main reasons behind its popularity:
Linen is highly absorbent
The flax fiber, from which linen is made, is hollow and absorbs moisture well — to be precise, it can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water before starting to feel damp. This is an important characteristic for towels, bath linens, bedding, and clothing as well.
Linen is breathable
Besides absorbing moisture well, linen fibers are also able to release it fast. The flax plant is hollow allowing for higher air permeability, thus linen fabric dries out quickly and doesn’t stick to the body. Linen is also a natural insulator meaning it keeps you cool in the summer and retains heat from your body in the colder months.
Linen is hypoallergenic
Linen has many health properties — some claim it heals wounds faster and helps cure some skin diseases, such as eczema. But most importantly, linen is hypoallergenic and is perfect for those who have sensitive skin or suffer from allergies.
In order to preserve all the linen benefits for many years to come, it’s important to remember a few simple tips on how to wash linen appropriately.