What is Linen?
Linen is a natural fibre, which comes from the flax plant. Often touted as "the world's strongest natural fibre", linen has been one of the most popular fabrics in the world since its inception over 8,000 years ago! We absolutely love linen for a lot of reasons; its natural breathability (perfect for summer sleeping), its high moisture absorbency and its wonderful crispness, which always gives it a cool hand.
The one deterrent for some people has been that linen wrinkles quite a bit. Thanks to the bedding industry's recent innovation of pre-washing fabrics, linen lovers get to experience all the joys of linen without having to iron it. In fact, what makes washed linen so beautiful is its rumpled, slept-in look that is so unique and simple - and easy to care for.
A flax plant field in France
Interesting fact: Linen was the first fabric ever created. Ancient Asian and Mediterranean cultures discovered that fibres of the tall, reed-like flax plant were able to be used as thread, and wove them by hand to create sheets of fabric (which were used for clothing). For thousands of years, linen continued to be woven by hand in this manner. With the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the invention of the spinning machine, linen became an affordable and readily available fabric, becoming the most popular option for household goods.
The tall, reed-like stalks of the flax plant
What's the difference between cotton and linen? While both are natural materials made from plants and are often confused for one another, in reality they're quite different. Cotton is derived from the cotton plant, which has soft, fluffy fibres that make very fine threads. When these fine threads are woven together, they create cotton material. In comparison, linen is a much thicker fibre, and less strands are needed to be woven together to create material (this encourages breathability). Linen can also feel more crisp or stiff to the hand, although with multiple washes it softens considerably.
If you love linen, you'll love our Lavato 'Misto' collection, made from a 50/50 blend of pre-washed linen and cotton. This unique blend results in sheets that offer the best of both worlds: the structure and durability of linen, mixed with the soft feeling of cotton. As a bonus, the pre-washing takes away all of the fuss and wrinkling usually associated with linen.