What is Linen? The History Behind
Maybe you have heard of the fabric linen, maybe you haven’t. but word has it that linen is one of the oldest fabrics in the world. So the chances that it has crossed your fashion road are pretty big.
Back in time (I mean way back in time) linen was actually used for armament because of its strength and durability.
Traditionally, linen was seen as a one of the finer fabrics, and was used by the upper class. It was so high valued in ancient Egypt (yes, it’s that old!) that it was used as currency. The Egyptians at the time even used it for mummification which shows how strong and durable linen is.
But enough of the history class. Let’s jump to the interesting part – whether or not linen is sustainable.
Is linen a sustainable Material?
Linen is a natural fabric, which automatically makes it way more sustainable and environmentally friendly than synthetic fabric that needs to go through a lot of chemical processes to become a fabric.
On top of that, linen is strong and has long durability, which also means it is a great piece to invest one because it can last many years without getting worn-out.
All in all, linen is a great choice of material if you are looking for a sustainable fabric.
Apart from that flax plant, which linen is made from, it does not demand a lot of things in order to grow. Which only makes it even more eco-friendly.
So yes, linen is a sustainable material. And a damn good one. All in all, linen is a great choice of material if you are looking for a sustainable fabric.
Why you should love linen as a fabric
If you don’t already have a favorite sustainable fabric you should consider reserving the spot for linen. If you already have a favorite eco-friendly fabric then maybe it is time to consider whether or not it is time to change that.
Because linen has a lot of great qualities. I mean a lot. The fabric is extremely strong, is gentle to your skin, which means it is amazing if you have sensitive skin.
But one of the most amazing qualities of linen is, that it has the ability to keep to warm in cold whether – and cold in warm weather. How amazing is that.
Linen is especially great to wear during humid, hot weather, because the the flax fibers, which linen is from, help to remove moisture from the skin.
Actually, it might be easier to ask yourself why you shouldn’t love linen instead of why you should. Because that list will be a lot shorter. But more on the (one) negative side of linen later.
How does linen affect the environment?
Linen is a natural fiber, which means it does not need a lot of chemicals or synthetic proses to turn into structured, beautiful, and unique, sustainable linen clothes.
No clothing production can help but affect the climate in some way, but linen is more gentle to the environment than a lot of other fibers. Both natural and man-made.
Linen does not need a ton of water to grow, and it doesn’t need a specific type of soil in order to grow.
But does this also mean that linen is an ethical fiber?
Well, of course, it depends on the brands who make linen clothes. Just because linen is a sustainable fabric in itself does not mean that linen pieces from a fast-fashion brand all of sudden become sustainable.
But there isn’t a need for a lot of harsh chemicals in the production of linen, and often linen clothes are made in natural and light colors, which are more healthy for the workers to use.
So because linen can be made without the harsh chemicals which are used to produce and dey other fabrics, it can be more ethical production-wise.
Is linen natural or synthetic?
Linen is actually known to be one of the strongest natural fibers in the world. Linen has long natural durability, which makes it a great investment if you are looking for a piece of clothes with a long lifetime.
The natural durability of linen also makes it an ideal sustainable material, because it is so difficult to break. Because linen is a natural fiber it is also decomposable, compostable, and can be recycled. All qualities that make linen a sustainable fabric.
Is linen better than cotton?
Even though organic cotton is quite a popular material among sustainable fashion brands many tend to argue that linen actually is much more sustainable than cotton.
But how can you actually tell the difference between the two natural fibers? Well, let’s start with the basics.
First of all, linen is thicker and stronger than cotton. The texture of linen is also more “raw” and unpolished than cotton, since it has linger fibers than cotton. Linen arguably have a more natural look and feel to it, so of that is what you are going for then linen is just your fabric.
The environmental benefits of linen compared to cotton
The production process of linen requires far less water than it does to produce the same amount of cotton. Linen is then a more sustainable alternative of the two. The cultivation of linen is also more eco-friendly, since flax plants need much less pesticides than cotton growth does.
Flax plants also don’t mind growing in poor soil and don’t need nearly as much land as cotton growing does. In total, Linen needs fewer resources, less land, and has longer durability than cotton. If that isn’t a kick-ass sustainable material I don’t know what is.
How to iron linen clothes
One of the downsides of the fabric linen is that it is almost impossible to iron….
You can easily choose to wear linen without iron it, and that will give it a more natural and relaxed look.
But if you want a more crispy and polished look you have to get your iron and some water in a spray bottle. Because otherwise, you are one an almost impossible mission that will end in frustration and probably some cursing.
Tips to Iron Linen
- First of all, don’t use a dryer for your linen clothes. Airdry it. That will save you from a lot of trouble.
- Steam is needed. Use a spray bottle to damp the linen clothes before ironing. That will save you a lot of time.
- If your iron has a linen setting (or cotton setting) then set it on that.
- Use as high a heat level as you can. Linen is not so delicate. But remember to steam it throughout your ironing process.
Where to find brands who uses linen?
If you have fallen completely in love with linen (your not the only one) and you want to invest in a sustainable piece of linen clothes the help is near. Actually just a scroll down to be precise.
Below are three sustainable brands, who makes the most stunning linen pieces. Hopefully you will get inspired for you next eco-clothes investment.
Looking for a sustainable brand with a special talent for unique, boho design made from linen? Then this is your brand.
This is conscious luxury pieces. But if you are looking for s sustainable linen pieces to invest in, who have been responsibly sources and produced this is your go-to brand.
Simple, sustainable linen clothes at affordable prices. If that doesn’t catch your attention, then maybe this will.
This conscious eco-brand has been features in Vogue because of it simplistic designs, timeless silhouettes and amazing quality. Every piece is non-toxic and colored with AZO free dyes.
Two days Off
Not only will you feel comfortable and confident in linen clothes from this brand. You will also know that your clothes were sustainably and ethically made with special attention to detail and art craft.
It is an independent, women-own brand, and every decision they make is aimed at making better designs for you. They only produce in small quantities, to make sure every piece is sold thereby reducing waste.
Want to know more about eco fibers?
Maybe you are looking for more eco-friendly fabrics, maybe you want to know whether vegan leather is sustainable or not.
Or maybe you just want to make sure that the fabric of the dress you have added to your shopping basket actually is as sustainable as the brand claims.
No matter what, you can learn much more about the true sustainability of some of the most used fabrics in the fashion industry right here.
Note: The brand pictures are from each of the brands’ websites. The infographic is made by Style Considered.