Come, know Linen better!

Fashion trends are glamorously aesthetic, but it’s hard to keep up with them. To make things easy yet stylish, a new fabric is taking over the fashion industry, known as Linen. Linen shirts and suits can be flawlessly be pulled off & styled, with a bit of additonal accessories. The fashion trend of a slim fit shirt or a laid-back look of a loose shirt, is well delivered by linen fabric. 

Comfort is what one looks for while buying clothes. Linen shirts are flexible, and can be effortlessly matched for a casual night out or a formal affair. So much so that a wrinkled white linen shirt will give you a relaxed and comfortable look. 

About your fabric

Linen is one of the oldest fabrics of the world and is a textile made from the fibers of flax plants. The linen fabric was used in ancient Mesopotamia, where linen was produced because of the habituation of the flax plant.

But which plant is this?

Belonging to the family of Linaceae, is the flowering plant Flax. The fiber of flax is removed from beneath the surface of the flax plant stem and from the bast of the plant. Linen clothing is made from the natural fiber of the flax plant and the uses of these fibers dates back to several thousand years ago. 

Where can I find this plant?

The flax plant requires seep loams with a portion of organic matter but it flourishes in regions with humid, damp and cool conditions. It cannot withstand any hot climate and hence the cultivating period varies from country to country. Major countries growing flax are France, Russia, Belgium, parts of Italy, Canada, the United States, Egypt and China.

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Creation of Linen

The fiber obtained from flax is flexible, soft and glossy. It is strong and sturdy, unlike the cotton fabric. There is a simple yet detailed process for the production of linen.

  • After planting the flax seed in a rich soil, it is time to harvest the plant. Harvesting the plant on a dry day is accurate. Since it is harvested for fiber, the plant is pulled up right from its roots, to keep the fiber length long.
  • The plant is kept in bundles to dry. 
  • The seeds are removed from the plant by a process known as rippling.
  • In order to extract the fiber, it is necessary to detach the flax fiber from its stem. For this, a process known as retting is to be done. This is done by the natural process of exposing the stem to dew and rain, with a required amount of sunshine.
  • The process of retting is followed with the process of scutching, where the wooden portion is separated from the stalks. 
  • Then the fibres are segregated into short fibers from long fibers by the process of heckling.

Processing the fiber

  • Post retting, the flax plants go through a process called breaking, after the plants are squeezed and dried completely. 
  • The woody stalks are then broken up into small pieces from the stem and the external fibers is separated from the bast, to make linen. This process is completed by putting the flax through fluted rollers and these small pieces of wooden barks are known as shives. 
  • The shives are then scutched i.e., the fibers collected are ridden from the leftover wooden stalks. 
  • The fibers collected are then combed and polished, separating the shorter fibers from the otherwise longer and richer linen fibers. The tow or short fibers are spinned into a coarse yarn, that is used to make mediocre linen products.
  • The finest long fibers are known as dressed flax or linen flax, which is made ready for spinning. These fibers are spun from distaff, making the fibers into a very thin yarn.
  • The flax threads are then weaved on a loom with loops of long length threads resulting in linen fabric. 
  • The final process is the bleaching process, where the linen fabric is bleached white and then can be dyed into different colors. 

What makes Linen unique and different?

The linen industry had since the 18th century, gained a particular reputation, and was thus of great advantage to the economies and wealth of the countries. The linen fabric is well known for its summer clothing style because of the level of comfort and flexibility the fabric offers. Linen is a natural fiber that is soft, durable and strong. After every wash the linen fabric becomes better and softer. Along with this, the fabric is also highly absorbent, which helps you remain cool especially in hot weather.

The fabric is found to be popular because of its stylish yet charming clothing fabric. If you are environmentally cautious, linen fabric is the best choice. The fabric is environmentally friendly and is biodegradable. You can forget worrying about insect invasion, as linen acts as a natural insect repellent, and will live long in your wardrobe. Due to its high durability, this fabric lasts as long as 2-3 decades, making it a fashion investment that will never go out of style. A linen shirt is lightweight and can be easily carried for travel journeys. Though it wrinkles quite easily, the fabric can be worn even with wrinkles, giving you a relaxed, stylish look.

Various types of Linen fabric

  • Plain-woven linen 

Plain-woven linen fabric is best used for cleaning purposes of glassware because of its absorbent and durable features. 

  • Cambric linen

Cambric linen is part of the plain-woven linen family, and is used to produce delicate clothing such as lingeries and handkerchiefs. The name is derived from a place where its production was started, called Cambria in France. This fabric is one of the finest and thinnest of all linen fabrics. 

  • Butcher linen

Butcher’s linen is used to make hard clothes such as aprons and is another type of plain-woven linen that is coarse and stiff. 

  • Damask linen

Damask linen is designed and used for everyday decorative purposes such as table runners, napkins, and tablecloths. This fabric is weaved on a jacquard loom, making this type as a delicate and ornate linen fabric. 

  • Loosely woven linen

Commonly used for making highly absorbent sanitary napkins and diapers, is the loosely woven linen fabric. 

  • Sheeting linen

Another linen fabric is sheeting linen which is used for linen clothing. Its heavy fabric with a soft surface and close weave is made to manufacture stylish and elegant fabrics for dressers, linen shirts and suits.

Linen is the perfect wearable fabric, especially during summers, casual and warm outings. Linen fibre materials dry faster and are therefore highly absorbent, and will help you avoid those sweat patches that you are conscious about. Although you might find this material a tad bit cost effective to your pockets, this material is long-lasting. You can check out some elegant linen shirts at the Linen Shirts Club (https://www.linenclub.com/), the ultimate shopping destination for simple, comfortable and charming linen clothing.

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