Linen is the most popular way this season to beat the impending summer heat, and as an all-natural fibre with a long list of benefits its hard to look past the style. In itself linen has become a trending look which once was avoided due to its easy crushing, but lends an effortless and carefree look.
The natural fibre is made from the stalks of the flax plant Linum usitatissimum, with evidence suggesting that linen was in production in Egypt, over 4,000 years ago. From there, the knowledge of linen was brought to southern Europe and through to northern Ireland, where it was adopted world wide. Mostly used for bed linen, its benefits of being cool and dry became apparent across the wealthy who could afford it.
- Coolness – Compared to the higher thread count of cotton, Linen and its relatively low thread count allows for breathability. For example, a fine Egyptian cotton bed sheet will start at about a 200 thread count, while a similar quality linen sheet will have a thread count of between 80 and 150.
- ABSORBENCY – Linen has a very high moisture absorbency rate and due to its hypo-allergenic qualities, sweat is less-likely to break down the fabric. Its lack of elasticity causes its easy creasing but also has the ability to quickly wick away moisture from the body.
- Resilience – According to studies, linen is considered 30 percent stronger than cotton, meaning its main advantage is longevity. Although it is not quite as soft to touch as cotton, the fabric ages much nicer and after each wash will become softer. Dues to its lack of elasticity it will also hold up against abrasion.
How to care for Linen
Caring for linen is much easier than you’d expect. Avoid dry cleaning unless needed – a lukewarm hand or machine wash is the best way to clean linen, and if especially creased, will hold up to an iron when damp. Because linen wont lint, you don’t have to worry about continued wear.
Key styles to wear line
Linen has always looked best casual, but as the workplace has become more open to flexible dress-code relaxed suiting and linen blazers can be a great addition to the work kit. Great for the warmer seasons when you still have to suit up, a blazer with a contrasting coloured shirt paired underneath is a sure way to summer style.
There is nothing else more ‘summer’ than the addition of a linen shirt. Not only does it give a relaxed vibe to any look, the multipurpose shirt can be put under a suit to relax the look, or over a t-shirt for an off-duty uniform.
Linen pants always look great in a summer look, but due to its sometimes sheerness and absorbency, the linen fabric can often look scruffy and unclean. To avoid this, opt for darker colours or a linen-blend pant if you want to try light colours.
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