Throughout ancient history a large majority of clothing was made from linen, especially for kings, priests, and other royalty. In fact, up until the past hundred years or so, it was still a very popular fabric. But is linen a good fabric for clothes today? Why did it stop being as popular in modern times?
Linen is Comfortable and Versatile
Linen is lightweight and breathable, making it a favorite in tropical or otherwise hot areas. It is soft, and softens more and more with time and washings. It is also quite versatile, being a great option for dress-attire to casual alike! With linen, the options are endless.
Linen is Strong and Resilient
Linen is a textile fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant, and is one of the strongest natural fabrics next to silk and hemp. It is 2-3 times stronger than cotton. It is also resistant to shrinkage as well as pesky pilling and lint.
Linen is Good for the Skin
In addition to these things, linen is incredible for the skin due to its hypoallergenic properties. This includes being antibacterial and antimicrobial. In fact, some hospitals used to use linen for bandages and sheets to increase healing time and reduce risk of infection on wounds. If that weren't enough, linen also helps protect against UV rays from the sun, as well as EMF waves! It's the perfect material to wear to the breezy, warm beach.
Linen is Absorbent and Thermoregulating
Another great thing about wearing linen is that it is very absorbent, being able to hold up to 20% of it's weight in water. Not only that, but it dries exceptionally fast in comparison to cotton, which tends to hold water for a long time. Linen absorbs moisture and heat from your skin and wicks it away, keeping you nice and cool. This also makes it a great option for bedding and sheets, especially if you sleep warm.
Linen is Environmentally Friendly
As an added bonus, growing flax to make linen fabric is a sustainable, environmentally friendly practice. It is easy to grow, even in poor conditions, and there is plenty of it to supply needs! Flax also requires 5x less fertilizers and pesticides to grow than cotton.
The Frequency of Linen
In 2003, a Jewish doctor by the name of Heidi Yellen conducted a study on the frequencies of fabric, and the results of her study might shock you. She found that the healthy human body emits a frequency of 100Hz, while linen and wool both are at 5000Hz. Organic cotton came in at 100Hz also, while nonorganic is at 70Hz. A sick and dying body registered around 15Hz which is where synthetic fabrics such as polyester also come in. She also found that linen and wool, when mixed together, cancelled each other out to 0Hz due to their polarities moving in opposite direction. Perhaps this is why linen has shown such amazing healing properties?
Cons and How to Care for Linen
When it comes to the cons to using linen for clothing, there aren't many! The main issue that comes up is that it has a tendency to wrinkle quite easily. This is why whenever polyester and other synthetic fibers were invented, the use of linen slowed down especially in North America. If that's something that bothers you, an iron may be necessary to keep your linens looking neat. In my experience, as long as it is properly laundered and dried, this issue isn't as prominent. For best results, wash your linens on a gentle cycle using cool water and a delicate laundry detergent. Whenever removing them from the washing machine, give them a good shake to loose most of the wrinkles, then hang or lay flat to dry. They can also be dried on a low setting if you're going to iron them, but I have found hang drying them to help with the wrinkles.
All in all, linen is a fantastic fabric to use for clothes, even to this day! Whether you're going for a business or casual look, there are plenty of options when it comes to linen. It's comfortable, strong, great for your skin, and easy on the environment! Once you try it, it will be tempting to switch your entire wardrobe to this amazing fabric!