The Benefits of Wearing Linen Clothing
Thousands of Years of Linen Love
The oldest evidence of dyed flax fibers stretches back through history 36,000 years ago to Southeastern Europe. While humans crafted textiles from wild flax that grew in their environment, they eventually learned to cultivate the flax plant and weave its fibers into linen garments. In ancient Mesopotamia, the wealthier classes like royals and priests wore linen clothing. In nearby Egypt, pharaohs wore linen and were buried in it. Linen curtains adorned the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamen.
Linen was extremely prized in hot places like Egypt because of its natural absorbency and breathable fibers. Light and airy, linen has long been the ideal fabric for summer weather and warm climates. Even in northern climes like Germany and Ireland, flax became a staple crop beginning in the Middle Ages. Pairing easily with wool and other textiles, linen has long been used to make both under and outer garments that reflect a myriad of styles.
What Are the Benefits of Linen Clothing?
Airy, comfortable, and elegant--linen has long attracted people with its unique properties, but there are actually many benefits to wearing this type of textile. In case you're not familiar with linen fabric, here are some of the advantages that it offers:
Strong and Durable
Linen is a durable fabric, and there's even evidence that its fibers get stronger after washing. In ancient Egypt, linen was actually used as a form of currency not only because it represented value to people, but because it was known to last. Linen adorning the mummies of Tutankhamun and Ramses II were recovered perfectly preserved when their tombs were open; such is the durability of linen fibers. If you invest in well-designed linen clothing, there's a strong likelihood that they will remain wearable from one season to the next.
People love linenâ€™s durability for clothing, but also for draperies and bedding. In fact, we often refer to our bedclothes as "linen" because it's synonymous with bedding. Known to be 30% stronger than cotton, linen is also used for many other purposes, including as wrappings for billiard cues, as bowstrings, towels, and tablecloths.
Breathable and Absorbent
Wondering why linen is so airy and breathable? Its fibers are hollow, so they allow better airflow than other types of fabric. Linen is also a super absorbent fabric. It can retain 20% moisture and will still not feel damp to the touch. This is why it's the perfect fabric for sweat-prone climates or during the hottest days of summer. Linen will help you keep cool, warding off the dampness of perspiration.
It's no wonder that linen is frequently sewed into the insoles of shoes. It has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help reduce the risk for foot diseases like athlete's foot. It's also hypoallergenic, so if you have sensitive skin, you'll find that wearing linen won't irritate you. It's also interesting to note that linen is one of the only natural materials to be used for suturing. Linen bandages are known to support the healing process during wound recovery.
Many people prefer to sleep with linen sheets or wear linen pajamas, especially if they are prone to night sweats. Linen's natural absorbency and hypoallergenic properties promote a more comfortable night's sleep because skin remains cooler and well soothed by the softness of the fabric.
Ward away Heat
White linen remains a popular clothing option during the summer months because it naturally reflects away the sun and its intense heat. The white color and linen's natural airy properties are the perfect combination for warm-weather garb. Linen is frequently sold in natural hues because of its earthy charm. Although you can find linen clothing in many shades, you'll see an abundance of this textile in shades of white, beige, and tan.
Linen also boasts natural insect-repelling properties. It's known to resist moths, for example, so you'll never have to worry about moth holes in your favorite garments. Linen is also impervious to bugs like carpet beetles.
Resistant to Shrinkage, Pilling, and Static
Linen lovers often rave about linen's less well-known properties. For example, unlike cotton which is prone to shrink when washed in hot water, linen does not shrink. It's also not prone to pilling the way cotton is, so you won't wind up with those pesky, unattractive pills on your favorite linen clothing even after you've worn and washed it numerous times. Linen is not prone to static, and it won't attract lint either.
Linen is a natural, eco-friendly textile that's made from the stalks of flax plants. Flax is easy to grow, even in poor soil, and doesn't require fertilizer. Flax plants are even more eco-friendly than cotton because they require less water as they grow to maturity. That means they have less of an impact on the environment than cotton. Additionally, producers of flax can use nearly the entire plant--even its oils and seeds, which can be sold to the health industry. Flax is associated with very little waste and is entirely biodegradable. If you're looking for sustainable fabrics, you'll be hard pressed to find a more sustainable option than linen.
Linen clothing is incredibly versatile. A linen suit will look right at home in the boardroom or corporate c-suite office while a linen dress can be worn as easily to a wedding as to the beach. Linen fabric has an effortless elegance that makes it well-suited to wear to nearly any venue. You can lounge in it on your patio or wear it out to an upscale restaurant. In this way, linen transcends many fashion trends and never seems outdated or out of step.
Easy to Care for
Linen is a low-maintenance fabric that's easy to care for. Simply wash it in cold water and hang it to dry. Linen does not need to be ironed as its telltale wrinkles are part of its identity and charm. If you do want to iron out the wrinkles, it's best to iron the fabric when it's still slightly damp for best results. Linen garments and sheets can also be tumble dried.
Anja from Our Gabled Home is a linen clothes lover. Watch her explain why she loves to wear linen and how she takes care of it:
For a more complete guide on how to treat your linen garments, check out our blog on taking care of linen clothes.
Different Types of Linen Clothing
Linen is available in many types and styles of clothing, including classic styles and fresh runway looks. Consequently, if you love the look and feel of linen, you'll be able to find linen clothing for any occasion ranging from formal to informal. Linen perfectly complements your best pair of leather high heels as well as your most comfortable everyday sandals. If you choose, you can also pair linen with other fabrics. For instance, pair crisp linen slacks with your favorite silk top. Pair a linen dress with an airy muslin cape.
Of course, you can wear linen on its own or pair it with numerous accessories like a straw hat, a strand of freshwater pearls, coral bangles, or metallic jewelry. Linen is at once luxurious and relaxed. It's unpretentious as well as beautifully upscale. You'll be able to find a myriad of ways to wear linen fashionably every day.
No closet should be without linen dresses. It's been said that every woman should have at least one black dress, but they should also have at least one linen dress--and probably several more. Choose an informal linen dress you can wear to take your children on a walk or to wear around your home. More formal linen dresses can be worn to restaurants, upscale hotels, meetings, weddings, parties, special events, and more.
Because a linen dress, both formal and informal, boasts a natural elegance, you don't need to over-adorn it to achieve a standout look. A single piece of good jewelry will help you achieve a beautiful yet understated look. On the other hand, a colorful strand of bright glass beads can dress up a simple linen dress with boho charm.
Linen Co Ords
Linen tops and slacks brim with mix-and-match flair. Luxurious linen co ords brim with versatility. Wear them with sandals to the marketplace to shop for food or pair them with your best heels and handbag for dinner on the town. Co ords are ideal for any body type. You'll be able to find styles that compliment your shape and pair easily with your favorite accessories like jewelry, bags, shoes, and more.
Linen jumpsuits and one-pieces are great garments to keep in your wardrobe. Like other linen lovelies, they can be worn for both formal and informal looks. Pair them with a terrific leather belt or tie them with a simple sash at the waist.
Find your favorite linen looks at G Linen World. It features an array of timeless linen fashions and is always adding new items to its collections. Shop for linen dressers, trousers, capes, and more. With clothing made with the finest Italian linen, G Linen World is your go-to destination for sophisticated yet comfortable linen wear.