Lay Me Down in Sheets of Linen: The Benefits of Linen

sferra-classico-flat-sheetEven though the term “linens” is often used generically to describe any kind of household textile, it has a second meaning in regards to actual linen fabric, which is made from the flax plant.

Linen is one of the oldest known fabrics made by humans — going all the way back to Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt — so it has a long history to support its use today. Here are 5 reasons that you should consider investing in linen bedding.

1. Linen is a naturally breathable fabric. This means that it will conduct heat away from your body very well, which is important if you live in a hot climate or are a hot sleeper.

2. It is also very lightweight, which, again, is great for heat. If you have linen bedding, you won’t feel suffocated during summer nights from a heavy sheet or duvet.

3. Linen is very absorbent, and when it is damp, it doesn’t weight heavily on the body. It also dries fairly quickly, so if you sweat a lot in your sleep, you won’t wake up with soaked sheets. In fact, linen fibers are actually stronger wet than dry.

4. Durability is one of linen’s most important characteristics. Archaeologists have discovered 3000-year-old linen wrappings in Egyptian tombs that are in perfect condition, without any maintenance. In general, linen fibers are very strong — 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton threads. If you invest in linen bedding, not only will it last longer, but it will also remain in excellent condition longer than anything made from cotton.

5. In addition, linen naturally resists stains, dirt, and insects. It will still need to be regularly cleaned and cared for, but it will retain its quality for a long time.

If you like the idea of using linen textiles in your home, here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Linen tends to wrinkle easily, but since the fabric is so well established in the textile industry, this feature is often considered part of its natural charm.
  • Linen lasts longer if it is not tumble-dried in a traditional dryer. Allowing it to air-dry will ensure a longer lifespan for linen fabric.
  • Even though linen fibers are very strong, they are not very flexible. This explains why they wrinkle, and also why continued creasing in the same spots will cause the fibers to break. If you have linen textiles in storage, take them out every few months and shake out the wrinkles to prevent any breakage.
  • Linen bedding isn’t cheap. However, the nature of the fabric means that it will last much longer than any cotton or polyester sheets that you buy — so by investing now, you will save money in the long run.
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