Posts Tagged ‘linen clothes’

Quote of the Week:

Be still my heart! Give me a moment please to wax poetic about the simple, yet complex, beauty of that figure of speech comparing two unlike things . . . Reed’s simile “Like a leaf of lavender in a store of linen, so does memory make life sweet.” Both a leaf of lavender and memory sweeten life. One with a tangible and immediate sensory perception. The other in an emotional reckoning with the passing of time after the pain of heartache. Would that my writing could conjure up a simile of such unexpected and pleasant surprise. I feel a challenge coming on. Am I up to the task? Stay tuned!!

Let’s see. Where was I? Ah yes! Thank You! I am back to reality and why I even found that quote to begin this post. My intention here is to offer up a few pointers about the qualities, benefits, and wearability of linen.

Don’t stop reading now please!

Give me a chance to plead linen’s case. I do know that many of you love linen and wear it with ease and beauty. However, there are many, like myself, who have had a love/hate relationship with linen over the years. Love it in the store and on the hanger but not so much on our bodies. . . for all the obvious “wrinkly” reasons. Then there are those who just plain dislike it and won’t go near it. Perhaps it is to the two latter categories that I write here and did some research in hopes of us all becoming more accepting of what is actually a very remarkable fiber.

Turns out that once upon a time, linen clothing was worn only by the upper eschelon of society. . . monarchs, knights and priests. Us commoners were denied the luxury of linen until the propagation of flax plants became widespread sometime during the 16th century and led to everything linen from bedding to kitchen towels to clothing. There are even those who claim that linen has healing powers and wouldn’t wear any other fabric, especially in hot and humid weather.

So… just what is it about linen that makes it so sought after and superior to other fibers? I learned some interesting details while searching for an answer to that question.

Ready! Set! Go! Here comes the infamous list!

  • DURABLE: If the strength of the fiber directly contributes to the strength of the fabric that a garment is made of, then linen has optimum longevity. Buy a linen top or dress or pair of pants and you can count on it to stick around for decades ’cause linen is considered the strongest of natural fibers… much more so than cotton.
  • SUSTAINABLE: Linen ranks high in the category of environmentally friendly and ethically sourced clothing. Flax plants are resilient, can grow in poor soil and require very little water or fertilizer. Being a natural fiber also makes it biodegradable and recyclable. Buying and wearing linen means you won’t be adding to the growing pile of textile waste all over the world. With all that said, you might be wondering why linen is considered a luxurious fiber and thus more costly. While easy to grow, the process of getting the flax plant ready for spinning is a lengthy one requiring several months of softening before it is ready to process as fabric.
  • SUITABLE: What do I mean by suitable? Here’s something new that surprised me. Hard to believe but one of linen’s more magical properties is that it can keep you both cool and warm. Because it is breathable, moisture wicking and lightweight, linen is the obvious perfect summer fiber. But think Spring and Autumn as well because flax/linen is a natural insulator and capable of releasing excess humidity. You won’t get sweaty in linen clothes as you can in cotton or wool because linen retains the heat from your body and releases the excess making you feel nice and cozy during cooler transition months.
  • EASY-CARE: While considered a luxury fabric, linen doesn’t need special or expensive care. Machine wash in cold water just don’t use bleach or detergents with whiteners in them as they tend to weaken the fiber. You can tumble dry your linen or hang them to dry naturally. As for ironing, much of linen’s charm is in those wrinkles so ironing is not necessary. A smoothing out by hand can accomplish much in the way of softening the look. Now, whether you succumb to its charm or not is a personal choice.

I hope that I’ve given you some new thoughts to ponder and consider when looking for or deciding whether to choose a new linen garment. Right now Sound Styles has a great selection to choose from so come see us before the weather heats back up again.

Remember to wear your linen in seasons other than just Summer.

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