The properties of linen: all about this fabric

When picking out fabrics, linen is still overlooked. That's a shame, because linen has amazing characteristics. Linen is pleasant to wear in the summer, it is super strong and the fabric even has an antibacterial effect.

Curious about what other characteristics linen has? In this blog you can read all about the pros and cons of linen and for which designs the fabric is suitable.

What is linen and what is it made of?

Linen is an airy, natural fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. In the past this was used extensively and no less than 30,000 hectares of land in the Netherlands was covered with this crop.

Nowadays this is less. This is due to the rise of cotton and synthetic fibers and fabrics. Yet more and more people are starting to appreciate the natural and sustainable properties of linen again. More about this later!

What is the difference between linen and cotton?

Due the rise of cotton, people started wearing less linen. Cotton was a cheaper alternative, and the properties of the fabric are similar. Yet the fabrics are certainly not the same.

But what exactly are the differences? And why is it that linen has as good as the same characteristics as cotton? Here's the thing: linen and cotton are both of natural origin. In other words, linen and cotton are both made from plant fibers. This gives them both the characteristics and advantages of a natural fabric. They also both absorb moisture well and are easy to maintain.

The major difference is in the plant from which linen and cotton are made. Cotton is made from the cotton plant and linen is made from the flax plant. In addition, the production process of linen is more sustainable. This is because the flax plant needs a lot less water and no pesticides to grow properly.

The process of making linen is more labor-intensive, however, which is why linen is generally slightly more expensive than cotton. On the other hand, linen is stronger, lasts longer and has a unique summer and casual look.

Why wear linen?

Linen is a fine fabric to use for summer designs. This is because the fabric is worn especially in warm temperatures. This is due to the airy, moisture absorbing and antibacterial characteristics of linen.

If you wear linen clothing, you will not easily get bad odors. Especially with hot temperatures in the summer this is ideal.

What kind of clothing are made of linen?

Although linen can be worn in the winter, it is a real summer fabric. In summer collections you often see beautiful linen skirts, dresses and blouses. Or how about a linen wide leg pants? A great summer item, and totally fashionable!

Linen is also a very suitable fabric to use for interior items. Think of bedding, pillows or poufs. By making these items from linen fabric you give them a unique casual look.

What are the advantages of linen?

The fabric linen has several advantages:

  • Linen wears airy, is nice and cool
  • Linen ventilates and insulates well
  • Linen dries quickly
  • Linen is durable and long lasting
  • Linen is firm and easy to process
  • Linen has anti-allergic and anti-bacterial properties

What are bad characteristics of linen?

As you read, linen has many fine properties. However, there are also some disadvantages of linen:

  • Linen wrinkles faster than most other types of fabric.
  • If you have a sensitive skin, linen can feel prickly

Tip: Want to make sure your linen design doesn't sting? Then choose a fabric blend with viscose and linen properties. This feels softer than a fabric made of 100% linen.

How to wash and treat linen?

If you are going to work with your linen design, wash the fabric first. This is because linen can shrink. Do you want to minimize the shrinkage? Then soak the fabric in cold water for a day.

Washing and maintaining linen is simple: you can wash the fabric at both low and high temperatures. This can even be done at 90 degrees, but this is in principle not necessary. Washing at 30 or 40 degrees is sufficient to get the fabric clean. 

Get started with your design

Are you just as enthusiastic about the linen fabric as we are? And can't wait to get started with your design? Then you've come to the right place. Linen printing is very easy on our website. Upload your design in the design generator and have it printed on one of our linen fabrics.

Inspiration and advice

Would you like to know more about our fabrics? Or would you like tips and ideas for your next design? Our blog is full of inspiration!

Do you have questions or need help choosing fabrics or uploading your design? Then get in touch with us. We are happy to help!

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