Why We’re in Love with Linen
From Meghan Markle to Halle Berry and Pippa Middleton, celebs have been having a love affair in recent years — with linen. And it’s about time! Linen is an underrated fabric that’s been overlooked for too long. Breezy, sustainable, durable, and chic, linen is a silver-bullet fabric for the future.
At Má + Lin, we’re passionate about putting linen back into people’s wardrobes. So we’ve put together our top 4 reasons why you need more linen in your life:
1. Linen is the world’s oldest fabric
Folded Piece of Linen with Hieratic Inscription (ca. 1961-1917 BC), via Met Museum
Wearing linen is like wearing a piece of history. Dating back 30,000 years, this fabric has been sought-after across time and culture.
Linen was a staple for the Ancient Egyptians — both living and dead.
The civilization mass-produced linen for everyday tunics, sailcloth, dentistry, fishing nets, rope… you name it! Fine linen was highly prized. Cleopatra dazzled in gold-woven linen dresses. Pharoah mummies were wrapped in sheaths of linen.
And linen’s tough properties made it versatile. Around 300 BC, Alexander the Great was using laminated linen as battle armour. In the 10th century, the Iberian Peninsula was making linen into paper. From the sails of the Amerigo Vespucci ship, to Rafael’s canvases and Victorian bowstrings, linen could do it all.
White symbolizing purity, linen was often connected with spirituality. Egyptian priests and Coptic druids wore white linen. And The Old Testament strictly prohibited ‘tainting’ pure linen with other fabrics.
Linen has been at the heart of so much human history — and only recently has it made a comeback into fashion.
We’re here for the linen renaissance. It calls back to a time when humans were in touch with where their fabrics came from. And you should be too: find out more about Má + Lin’s supply chain.
2. Linen Fabric is Sustainable
If you want a cleaner earth, pick linen. Linen is an incredibly sustainable choice because it’s biodegradable, resource-efficient, and CO2 absorbent.
Linen comes from flax which is easy on the earth. Whereas cotton is thirsty, flax crops grow happily on just rainfall. Across its lifecycle, a linen shirt takes up just 6.4 litres of water, far less than the 2,700 litres that go into cotton.
Organic Belgian linen (like ours) thrives in temperate Western Europe, so it uses hardly any fertilizer or pesticides.
Plus, flax sequesters carbon from the atmosphere as it grows, helping to erase some of the harm done to our planet. In fact, our main fabric mill, Libeco, is carbon neutral.
Flax is very low waste. All of its by-products end up used for linseed oil, paint varnish, soap, linoleum, or cattle cake. At the end of its life cycle, linen is also biodegradable. Studies show linen fabric can break down in the soil in just a few weeks, speedier than cotton.
Linen is a wonder fabric. It’s the kindest choice you can make for the planet.
And it’s kind to you too. Why linen is perfect for diapers is because it’s naturally soft and hypoallergenic. Especially for sensitive skin, you can feel so much happier and healthier having linen on your body. It’s a win-win.
At Má + Lin, we’re committed to the slow fashion revolution. By buying consciously, and opting for natural fabrics like linen, you’re refusing to add to the vast waste of the fast fashion industry.
3. Linen has Durable Properties
Given its past life as battle armour, sail rope, and bowstrings — it’s clear linen is a hardy fabric. Linen fragments have endured centuries in archaeological sites, safe testament to linen’s durable properties.
That’s why linen is an essential for a long-lasting wardrobe.
Crisp and thick, linen is about 30% stronger than cotton. The flax plant consists of closely packed plant cells which give linen fabric a firmer structure and thickness. It’s also resistant to both pesky spaghetti stains, and peckish moths.
Linen clothes will last for a long time — maybe longer than you! Most likely, you’ll end up handing your linen down as a generational heirloom.
Over time, linen just gets better. Linen fabric naturally becomes stronger when wet, so it will withstand a lifetime of washes. Good news — as linen ages, it actually softens! So after years of use, it’ll just keep getting better.
With its resilient properties, linen is a smart investment in your wardrobe.
At Má + Lin, we design our clothes to have a high lifetime purpose. The earthy, neutral colours of our Linen Collection are versatile for you to style in multiple ways no matter the occasion. Linen is a faithful and flattering fabric, always chic, and always timeless.
4. Linen fabric is good for winter and summer
You’ve probably heard that linen is a summer fabric — and that’s true. But did you know it keeps you nice and snug in colder seasons too?
Yes, in hot, sticky weather, linen keeps you breezy and cool.
Linen is perfect for humidity because it’s lightweight and breathable. Because flax is naturally porous, linen fabric has high air permeability. That means linen clothes allow airflow, and the fabric won’t stick to your skin.
Wear linen and you’ll be about 3-4°C cooler than in silk on cotton. No more sweaty summers!
But here’s the magical thing about linen. It keeps you toasty in winter too. One of linen’s properties is that it’s a natural insulator. So in cold weather, it retains your body heat, making it a great pick for layered outfits.
And it’s also a wicking fabric. Linen can absorb ⅕th of its weight in moisture without feeling damp — so you’ll stay dry and comfortable, even while you’re being warmed up.
Bottom-line: linen is a must-have for any weather. It lets your skin breathe whether it’s clammy or nippy outside. You’ll stay comfortable, and look effortlessly fresh all year round.
The Last Word
It’s no wonder the Bible mentions angels dressed in white linen! It’s a heavenly fabric. Whether you’re an eco-warrior, or a lover of timeless fashion, linen is the fabric for you.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Linen Collection for your first essential.