Fiber Content: 100% Linen
How long it takes to biodegrade: 100% biodegradable 2-3 weeks
Its natural properties: Linen is one of the most hardworking fabrics we use. It is extremely durable by nature, and is even stronger wet than dry. Because of the length of the raw strands combined with their thickness, linen is considered the strongest natural fiber. It rarely pills, as pilling is caused by the ends of fibers pulling up from the strand of yarn. Linen fibers are long and have fewer ends in each strand to pull up. Linen is very resistant to damage from abrasion, and does well in high-friction applications. Linen can feel coarser or more brittle at first, but softens and supples over time with wear. It wrinkles and rumples easily, and has visible natural texture. It biodegrades extremely quickly and cleanly (synthetics take between 300-600 years to breakdown, and release chemicals into the soil as they do so). It is highly absorbent, and is one of the best natural fibers at wicking away moisture without feeling damp. Lignan, a natural resin found in linen fiber, helps prevent bacterial growth and keep linen odor free. The linen fibers are hollow, making them excellent fabrics for moving moisture and air. They feel cool in the summer and retain warm air in the winter.
Where it’s made: Japan
How it’s made: Linen is made from the cellulose fiber inside the stalk of the flax plant. Flax is grown annually, going from seed to plant in approximately three and a half months. Flax is a hardy plant that requires little maintenance or watering. The flax plant has glossy blue flowers at the top, and flax produces useful seeds in addition to the cellulose used for fiber. The best quality fiber is harvested before seeds germinate, but this leaves no seeds for the next season. The flax fibers used to create fabric run from the plant's root system up to the flower, inside the stalk. Manually harvested flax retains the root system, yielding longer intact fibers and higher quality raw material. After harvesting, the stalks dry in open air before threshing (removing the seeds). The flax fibers come from the inner bark of the stem - the phloem - making them strong and durable bast fibers. In the plant, bast fibers serve to support and keep the stalk upright while remaining flexible enough to bend without breaking. To separate the bast fibers from the rest of the stalk, the plants are "retted", or essentially left to rot. They are placed in water tanks (or even ponds or streams) for a period of days or weeks so that bacteria and fauna can break down bonds holding the fibers together. The stalks are then dried, during which any remaining parts of the plant become brittle. During scutching, the stalks are bent and hammered, breaking any brittle remainder into small bits. The fibers are brushed through, removing everything but the flexible bast fibers. These bast fibers are run through a bed of nails to split and separate them, leaving the final long fibers ready for spinning. The flax fibers, around 2-3 feet long each, are spun together by hand into yarn. Shorter, broken fibers are spun together for coarser, lower quality linen products. Flax is typically spun into thin/fine yarn, which can then by plyed together for a heavier weight product. The finished yarn is scoured, or boiled, for several hours with soap to clean and finish the fiber. Linen has no natural elasticity (despite its strong flexibility) so it is almost always woven rather than knitted. The finished yarn is sent off to be woven into fabric on machine looms. Linen is one of the most minimally processed fibers available, requires very little water or maintenance to grow, and many of the steps are still done by hand, using only water and soap. Going from plant to finished fabric requires little chemical or machine altering of the natural material, and all of the byproducts of the manufacturing process are 100% biodegradable.
What it is: This is a medium weight, sturdy, structured, incredibly durable broadcloth linen that can be pressed to a neat, crisp finish, or left wrinkled after washing for a perfectly lived-in look. It has luxurious body and weight, and the strength to stand up to years of daily wear. It will only soften and improve with age, starting out with a coarser finish but with the ability to become more supple and flexible with wear. We love linen because of the natural strength and durability the fiber possesses, and because it is a very friendly fiber on the environment. It requires very little processing, water, or machinery in comparison to other fibers. Linen is also lint-free, hypoallergenic, extremely comfortable in all seasons, insulating, and absorbent. It is also one of my favorite fabrics aesthetically - possessing such charm and texture in its variation, with a natural sheen that doesn't feel at all pretentious.
How to wear it: Linen is undoubtedly one of summer's best fabrics. It's cool and breathable and odor-resistant. However, this mid-weight linen is also appropriate through the fall particularly when layered. Try a thin sweater underneath a linen Georgia Tee, or a pair of linen pants with socks and boots. Definitely suitable for year-round wear!
Care Instructions: Hand or machine wash on gentle cycle with cold water. Tumble dry low. All of our garments are pre-laundered here before we ship them out. We test and account for shrinkage in the pattern itself, so after washing the garment shrinks to it's correct size. Once you receive it, washing is totally safe! This is a natural fiber, so wash and wear will likely cause slight changes like subtle fading and softening over time, but this only makes the garments better in our eyes. Washing in cold water and washing only when necessary will minimize this. Leave unpressed for a beautifully rumpled look, or press on medium heat with steam to remove wrinkles, straighten neckline, sleeves and hem. Will press to a crisp, smooth finish. The rumpling of linen during washing and drying can make them feel as though they have shrunk - try pressing after a wash to return the garment to it's original fit. Linen's only weakness is its lack of elasticity. Over-pressing of creases and folds can cause fibers to become brittle and breakdown over time - do so on low to medium heat.