It's had a huge resurgence into the fashion scene over the past year, and it's not going away any time soon. But what is Linen, and why is it so amazing to have as a staple in your wardrobe?
Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world, made from the fibres of the flax plant. Its history has been dated back to the Ancient Egyptians where they used to use Linen for mummification as it symbolised light, purity and even wealth. The oldest evidence of civilisations using woven Flax textiles dates back around 36,000 years ago!
So you may notice that the price of quality Linen is always a little higher than say, Cotton, and this is because quality is of the highest importance, and the fibrous Flax plant is not always easy to work with. The Flax thread lacks elasticity and the threads can break easily when woven into cloth. For this reason it's important to know that folding or ironing Linen repeatedly over time can also risk breakage of the fibres. However the benefits of having Linen around your home or in your wardrobe totally justify the higher cost.
The positives of purchasing and wearing Linen far outweighs the higher price!
Linen is a great sustainable product.
Far less water is needed to grow the Flax plant than Cotton, and does not need pesticides for production. The Flax plant happily grows in poor soil and does not require as much land to grow. For this reason, and that sustainability is becoming increasingly important for the health of our planet, is why so many of our brands are beginning to introduce Linen into their collections crafting beautiful Linen dresses, Linen shirts, pants and shorts out of Linen and Linen-blended fabrics. It just makes sense.
Linen is a great summer fabric to wear.
Wearing a Linen dress or shirt will absorb moisture on a hot summer's day. It is a great conductor of heat and with the open weave and stiffer fabric, it does not cling to the body, allowing it to dry as quickly as it absorbs moisture. It can actually absorb 1/5 of its body weight in moisture before feeling wet to the touch. I read that back in the 1500 and 1600's, it was more important for hygiene to change Linen undergarments, than to actually bath!
(The Tulum Tops by Lokoa are the perfect light-weight oversized shirt style for Summer wearing)
You cannot go past Linen around the home!
If you live in a hot and humid climate you MUST invest in Linen bed sheets! I can personally vouch that it is the best sleep I have had since making the investment. Plus linen sheets give a gorgeous rustic and natural look to your bedroom. I'll admit I was extremely dubious about the feel of the stiff fabric, but wow, no more hot restless nights!
So how can we introduce Linen into our Bohemian Wardrobe?
If you are on the search for something a little new and you feel you may like to jump on the Linen Bandwagon, check out our 100% Linen apparel in store by Lokoa, as well as various pieces in Linen blends by Rowie and Spell.
Labels are becoming more and more adventurous with their designs, adding frills, embroidery and trims on structured and feminine silhouettes. As the fabric is quite stiff, designs tend to have less drape, but that doesn't mean one can't relax the look with a belt, or a great hat and boots! This is the chance to let your accessories shine!
Although it is possible to print on Linen fabric, we are finding that are labels are celebrating the sustainability of the fabric by using dying techniques that are more eco-friendly than printing. Not to mention the added costs of the final product would be quite high if using multiple coloured prints.
There are so many options for stunning designs using Linen with belts, ties, embroidery and mini frills, it really is an amazing fabric to introduce into your bohemian wardrobe.
(Images via: @linenfox | La Confection | Free People | Before Anything Else)
Read about Ruth Goodman, the historian who tested the cleanliness of Linen vs bathing the Tudor way here: 'Getting Clean, the Tudor way'
Looking for Accessories to wear with Linen? Checkout St. Agni and the making of their footwear here: St. Agni | The Original Woven Mules