The Obvious and Unseen Qualities of Linen

“I’m off to ____ Hampton, and am making sure to pack a l___n shirt and a l___n suit. Since it’s summer, I’m going to purchase new l___n sheets for my bed upon my return.”

Whichever Hampton you filled in is completely your choice but if you chose linen for the above then you may be wrong. Why? Advertised linen is sometimes blended; this is important to know because true, pure linen can become quite expensive very easily, and rightfully so. No need to overpay for borrowed accolades.

Here’s the breakdown:

Linen_2The value is all in the harvesting and milling of the flax plant’s stem fibres, from which linen comes. Think of the strands that surround fresh corn, except the linen fibres are about 100 times smaller. This living product has ideally long stem fibres which produce silk-like strands, known as stapes, that are set aside for a more focused manufacturing process. The shorter strands are processed en masse to be shaped into a long chain. These are used for more accessible linen products that will have a much more affordable price tag, such as a $5 shirt.

Linen_4Ironically, the broken white lines associated with linen are usually evidence that the quality of production is poor (unless, of course, the lines are produced by design). Because well-harvested linen is breathable, non-pilling, durable, and resilient, it’s worth investigating what you are investing in. Will that $5 shirt last one round of washing if its construction are broken strands held together?

On the sartorially-minded side, you should know that pieces that are 100% linen will not stretch. This means that it can easily become un-flattering if purchased at too large a size. Stretch fabrics hug the body, they are all around more forgiving, so if you decide to go with linen make sure the cut is either spot-on or appropriate for its intended use.

Linen’s breathable attribute also renders it highly susceptible to shrinking. Always air-dry your linens, gents.

It’s impressive how prevalent the origin of linen’s plant is to our lives. There isn’t enough space to fill this blog as to its uses.

Wherever you’re tr_veling to this s_mm_r, take a compare price in conjunction with quality; as you build/utilize your wardrobe, empower yourself to know what it’s really comprised of.