Image Credit: Kasia Sikorska
Linen is considered the world's oldest textile, dating back some 36,000 years. Boasting a rich and romantic history, linen has been used for everything from formal daywear to hospital bandages and mummy wrapping. Associated throughout the ages with light, purity, and a display of wealth, in many countries from Egypt to Mesopotamia and across Europe, linen has been worn mainly by priests and the wealthier class of the society.
Even today, linen carries a higher cost to produce than other fibres, with the flax plant that becomes linen cloth, taking significantly longer to harvest than other fibres. Linen also requires more careful steps to produce and weave than other fabrics, but the end result is worthwhile - a durable, sustainable and natural fabric that boosts many surprising and relatively unknown benefits, which make linen history's most enduring textile trend.
Made from the fibres of the flax plant, linen is a natural fabric produced with few, if any, chemical pesticides and fertilisers.
"Often flax comes close to the organic standard, without even trying," say the Council of Fashion Designers in America.
Boasting a unique set of properties, linen's little known benefits include:
1. High Absorbency: Linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture, facilitating the evaporation of sweat and leading to greater comfort in both colder and warmer climates.
2. Strength: One of the world's strongest plant-based fabrics (bettered only by spider silk and hemp). 30% stronger than cotton, linen that is cared for correctly will last for several decades or more.
3. Thermoregulation: Linen draws heat away from the body, keeping the body cooler in the warmer months and giving warmth during the cold months. It has great heat conductivity. This makes linen highly desirable for sheets, clothing, and drapery in warm climates.
4. Comfort: Being a natural fibre, it feels cosy and comfy to wear.
5. Abrasion resistance: While linen is outstandingly strong, it also boasts good abrasion resistance. Abrasion resistance refers to a fabrics ability to resist surface wear caused by flat rubbing contact with other materials. Linen surpasses in tests commonly used by the textile industry for testing fabric durability.
6. Antiallergenic: Since linen comes from natural flax, which has had no recorded allergic reactions, wearing linen is deemed helpful in treating and preventing a number of allergic disorders.
7. Not electrifying: Even a small addition of the flax fibres that make linen are considered sufficient to reduce or eliminate the static electricity effect.
8. Sustainable: Linen production uses the whole flax plant, leaving no waste. It is fully biodegradable, making it one of the most sustainable feel-good fabrics in the world, with little to no environmental footprint.
9. High frequency fabric, associated with health and healing: According to some recent studies, all things on earth have frequencies that can be measured, including fabrics. Linen (and wool) had the highest frequencies of all fabrics - 5000millihertz (mHz)- thought to give both energising and healing properties.
Fascinated by the fabric frequency study, we are writing another article looking only at that study. Stay tuned!
Mandorle prides itself on it's 100% linen ranges. If you would like to check out our exclusive linen collections, please click the button below:
For more information on how to care for your linen, please visit our website so you can reap all these little known benefits for many decades to come.
Click the button above to be directed to our linen care tips.