The Power of Linen!
Hi Friends! Today’s post is all about a fabric I love – linen! I have written many posts on how to choose the right sheets, pillows and comforters, and I have always gotten so many questions about the use of linen! Well with the temperatures rising in Houston, and hearing that linen is a cooler fabric, I thought this was the perfect time to research!!
One of the world’s oldest fabrics, linen is made from long, thin fibers that are extracted from the flax plant and spun together. Noted for its durability, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing even uses 25% linen to make the paper money we use every day! Unlike other fabrics, washing makes linen stronger and softer over time, and its durability makes it an economical choice for everyday items like clothing, towels and sheets. I found this wonderful source-Magic Linen– for everything linen from bedding to clothing to tableware, so many of the pictures are right off their site!!
Two of the most desirable attributes of linen are its absorbency and breathability. The average person sweats one quart of water per day, and a surprising amount of sweat happens while we sleep—eek! Linen can absorb 20% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet, so it literally pulls perspiration off the body. The fibers in linen release moisture back into the air very quickly and as a result, it tends to feel cool to the touch and extremely breathable.
In clothing, linen is a stiffer fabric that is less likely to cling to skin. When it billows away from the body, it dries out quickly and becomes cool again. Linen garments have high air permeability which allows air to flow through the fabric while cooling down body temperature. It is believed that the breathability of linen is five times greater than wool and 18 times greater than silk. So, whether you are sleeping on it or wearing it, linen will help keep you comfortable and dry. I am at that mid 50’s age, so hot flashes happen 24/7 –ugh! Linen is sounding like a great option!
I found a great web site based out of Lithuania called Magic Linen. A family business of linen textile experts and highly skilled tailors, they offer a wonderful variety of bed and bath linens, curtains, and clothing. I bought this cute dress from their web site and was impressed by the quality. So chic and reasonably priced too! I used many of their pics for this blog post. Beautiful things don’t you think?
Did you know that linen has a natural ability to prevent bacterial growth? It’s an inherently antimicrobial material that unlike cotton, doesn’t provide a breeding environment for germs. Because the growth of bacteria is diminished, your kitchen work space will remain cleaner making it safer for food prep. Some web sites even say it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and hypo-allergenic – a smart choice for your kitchen and dining linens!
I found beautiful linen dish towels on www.roughlinen.com. These towels are 100% heavyweight “Orkney,” which has the traditional texture and color of home-spun domestic European linen. Large in size at 27”x 18” and $145 for a set of seven, they are a great value! What a great gift these would be!
Of course, linen is a perfect choice for creating casual, yet sophisticated and timeless interiors! Just flip through Segreto Style and Segreto Vignettes and you will see room after room with beautiful linen draperies, pillows, and upholstered pieces. I love the linen slip covers Trisha Dodson designed for these dining chairs. Beautiful!
I love to use linen in my own home – I think I have something made from linen in every room! For my most recent bedroom update I used linen for my draperies, duvet and bed skirt, and I used it to reupholster an antique bench and accent chair from Joyce Horn Antiques.
I have found that Interior Fabrics is a great source for quality linen. They stock several colors in two grades – one at $19.99/yard and one that is a bit heavier for $29.99/yard. High Fashion Home is another great source that stocks several different weights and colors. In my family room, I added trim to solid linen fabric to give my draperies a little more personality.
I slipcovered these comfy John Brooks chairs in a blue/gray linen. One tip – always wash your linen fabric in hot water and dry on high heat 2-3 times before having your slipcovers made. This will prevent any further shrinking with repeated washing. Good to know!
Durable, breathable, anti-bacterial, and beautiful, it’s no wonder we love linen! Architectural Consultant Sarah West also loves linen. These linen slipcovers in her own home have stood the durability test of three boys and two pups! With so many great attributes, it’s easy to see why linen has remained a popular fabric for over 8,000 years! I hope you all enjoyed hearing about this timelessly elegant textile! Have a great week and stay cool! xo Leslie