What is Linen?
Linen, the classic breezy summer fabric, is one of the oldest known textiles dating back to at least 10,000 years ago. Before the industrialization of cotton, linen was the staple in households for both clothing and home use. The beginning of linen weaving and trade is credited to the Babylonians, though it became most associated with Egypt in the ancient world.
A vegan option for suiting, linen is made from the inner bark of the flax plant and requires an incredibly labor and time intensive process to become a yarn ready for weaving into sturdy and lightweight fabrics. Despite the industrialization of the textile industry, much of flax processing is still done by hand!
Why Wear linen?
Linen is the quintessential summer fabric for very good reason. It has natural moisture and heat wicking properties, able to draw both heat and moisture away from the body.
Linen is incredibly fast drying. It has a looser weave than cotton or wool meaning a lot of air gets to pass through making it both breathable and quick to dry out. Linen draws moisture away from the body and almost immediately wicks it into the air. Due to the nature of the fibers, linen is not capable of holding heat, giving many linens a cool-to-the-touch feeling.
Flax, though labor intensive to produce a fiber after it is grown, is one of the more naturally environmentally friendly textile crops. It requires less water than the cotton plant and due to cotton monocropping making it more prone to disease, flax requires far less pesticides and herbicides. Untreated, undyed linen is fully biodegradable.
Linen is remarkably durable and stands the test of time. It is one of the strongest natural fibers in use today second only to silk. Linen fibers actually become stronger when wet making linen a staple in utility and housewares fabric historically and today. This means that your linen garments are going to last you a very long time if well cared for.
For all of our suiting, regardless of fabric content, we highly suggest dry clean only.
Beyond that, I’d be remiss to talk about linen and leave out its most signature feature: the wrinkles. Sometimes linen seems to wrinkle without even moving!
If you prefer a crisper look, linen irons very easily. For blazers, a steamer is best. If using an iron, a press cloth to protect the fabric is highly recommended. However, it’s important to note that if you really can’t live with wrinkles, linen might not be the fabric for you as you will be ironing it every time you want to wear it!
Our advice? Embrace the beautiful natural lines of linen! There’s no other fabric quite like it. This classic summer fabric feels right at home at garden cocktail parties and beachside weddings. It is casual and glamorous all at once and makes us feel like we’re on a sailboat in the Mediterranean. So grab your linen suit and beat the heat in perfect dapper summer style.