Benefits of linen
Linen is a very durable fibre and has many benefits over cotton.
- Linen is 30% stronger than cotton
- Has a high moisture absorbency
- Highly breathable
- Structurally sound fibre so products keep their shape
- Environmentally friendly – less water and chemicals to cultivate
What is the difference between cotton and linen sheets?
Cotton and linen are two similar products, yet they are quite different in their look, feel and properties. Cotton can be quite soft and silky straight out its packaging, whereas linen tends to be stiffer.
When washed and cared for correctly cotton sheets will last around 3-5 years, before showing signs of wear. Linen fabric, however, is really only starting to shine after 3 years of usage. It becomes softer with every wash and doesn’t break down as fast which is due to the higher moisture absorbency rate of the linen fibres. It is also naturally hypoallergenic which means sweat is less likely to break down the linen fibres, as it would in cotton. Unlike cotton, linen when cared for correctly has the potential to last up to 2-3 decades before needing to be replaced. Hence the reason Europeans prefer to invest in high quality linen sheets.
Egyptian cotton is a much finer fibre, and is made from the bols of the cotton plant. The yarn is very fine and able to be woven into a higher thread count fabric. Linen, on the other hand, is a much thicker fibre, but much more robust and durable. The resulting fabric is generally lower in thread count than cotton, but its properties are far superior.
Where is the best linen from?
Normandy (France) and Belgium are considered the best climates for growing the flax plant. The temperatures and cooler climates are ideal for the cultivation and controlled decomposition of the woody plant.
The processing (spinning of the yarn) is generally done close to the harvesting, but where the linen really comes to life is at the weaving mills. The best weaving mills are undeniably in Italy where knowledge passed down from generation to generation is skilfully used to create the best linen fabrics in the world.