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Written by Marya Dinetz


Posted on June 29 2020

What is so special about linen. Why it becomes increasingly popular and what differs it from cotton.

First, there are a lot of similarity between linen and cotton. Both are organic materials, grown for thousands of years and used for bedding and clothing.

Good quality cotton has thinner fibers. This is why cotton feels softer and silkier to touch than linen. But thinner fibers also mean quicker wear out. Usually cotton bedding last for 3-4 years before it becomes too shabby and torn. On the other hand, linen is much stronger and durable. Initially stiffer, it becomes softer with every wash, acquiring lovely crumpled look.

Linen is hypo-allergenic, which is a perfect solution for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. It has high moisture absorbency and is extremely breathable, best fit for these who sleep hot. These outstanding qualities make linen increasingly popular.

So why linen is more expensive then cotton.

Linen produced from flax plant, which cannot be grown everywhere. Even though it’s more eco friendly and consumes less water then cotton, flax growing areas are limited. The finest flax is grown in Northern France and Belgium. It has long, stapled fibers converting into fine, yet strong yarn. Growing flax is time consuming process. Harvested plants are left in the field for 2-3 month to soften. Then the fibre is collected, rolled and stored to soften for another 2-3 months. Linen is harder to manufacture, as fibers should be sorted and mixed to create the right texture.

All together, limited growth areas, time consuming harvesting and manufacturing are impacting linen price. But does it mean that linen fabric is a luxury? I don’t think so. Yes, it’s more expensive then cotton, but its durability and unique qualities convert into savings in the long run. With increasing eco-awareness, more and more people prefer linen, as home textiles made of linen become softer with time and last much longer.