Linen, made from flax fibers, is one of the oldest fabrics in the world, having been in use for thousands of years. Linen is a popular fabric for bedding, clothing, upholstery, and other uses.
Linen is popular because it has unique filtering that gives it moisture absorbing, evaporating, and ventilating capabilities, making it bacteria resistant. These anti-allergic qualities and its massaging effect due to the microscopic breaks make linen ideal for bedding.
Linen’s heat conductivity and air permeability properties mean it is breathable, keeping users cool in summer and warm in winter. Linen absorbs up to 20% of its weight in moisture, making it ideal for people who sweat a lot. Other benefits of linen are that it repels dirt, it has a distinct, delightful softness and distinguished texture (it becomes shinier and softer with each wash), it is anti-static, softening the skin by maintaining its pH balance, it is twice as durable as cotton, pure linen bedding is a status symbol, and it is environmentally friendly.
All linen are not the same. Common iterations of linen are 100% linen, linen-polyester, and linen-cotton, all with different qualities. There are several considerations to make if you are to get the best.
1. Thread Count
The thread count is the primary measure that describes the quality of linen. The thread count is given in threads per square inch in both weave directions. Generally, the higher the thread count, the better the linen because this means durability and comfort. However, the higher the thread count, the higher the cost. The choice should, therefore, be based on the intended use. As an example, a buyer may go for 100% linen that has a high thread count for maximum comfort, but for a linen-cotton blend for clothing which do not require as much comfort to save money.
2. Color & Fabric Type
Color is an important consideration when buying linen. Linen comes in different colors – buyers can choose between plain linen and printed linen. When picking the color, one should consider the rest of the house décor. One of linen’s advantages is that it can be machine-washed, steamed, and dry-cleaned. For this reason, it is important to avoid running colors as they fade off quickly and make the room look dull.
The most common fabric types today are solid, wide width, sheer, burlap, metallic, and novelty. Also important to consider is the softness, with the common options being medium soft and extra soft.
3. Size & Weight
Linen comes in different sizes and weight. The width is measured in inches and it usually ranges from 54 inches to 124 inches. The weight usually starts from around 3 Oz to 14 Oz. The size and weight should be based on the particular use of the linen. As an example, one should take exact measurements of the mattress, pillows, and duvet before buying linen bedding.