Linen: the sustainable and stylish fabric

Linen fabric

Linen fabric is produced from fibre extracted from the stems of the flax plant and was an important textile before wool and cotton. The only fabric considered better than cotton, is linen. Due to its cooling properties and its absorbent nature, linen fibre is perfect to beat the heat. The earliest production of linen is found to be around 8,500 years ago. It was the preferred textile for ancient Egyptians, who used it for clothing, bed linen, shrouds for mummies and for ship sails.  Now, this comfortable apparel is perfect for daily wear for working women and housemakers alike.

Linen fabric is created from flax fibre making it completely cruelty- free, which undergoes a complete process from plant rotting to yarn spinning together with finishing. The process takes a couple of months but it is completely worth the hassle. This fabric has gained huge popularity over a period of time being well-known for its durability and strength. The natural linen colour ranges between shades of ivory, ecru, tan or grey with pure white linen being created by heavy bleaching.

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Properties of linen

Linen fibre is best known for its strength and it has proven to be even stronger than cotton which makes it very sustainable. On stretching, linen does not break easily. The texture of linen is brighter than cotton fibre and is even slightly silky, giving it a very unique feel. Linen has an excellent resistance to degradation by heat. It is less affected than cotton fibre. Unlike other fibres, linen doesn’t shy away from sunlight and can be effectively worn for any amount of time.

The tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of linen’s natural charm and many modern linen garments are designed to be air-dried on a good clothes hanger and worn without the necessity of ironing, which makes it all the more ideal for long hours.


Maintenance of linen

Linen requires little care compared to other fibres. It is relatively easy to take care of because with every wash, it only gets softer. It naturally resists dirt and stains and has no pilling tendency. It can be dry-cleaned, machine washed or even steamed. Linen has an excellent resistance to strong alkalis (chemicals) and isn’t much affected by low density acids if washed immediately.

Due to the fibre’s poor elasticity, it does not spring back immediately, often causing wrinkles over the material. Interestingly, these wrinkles are now considered trendy and less formal, so there is no need to smoothen it out by excess ironing. Linen is much easier to iron when slightly damp.

Today, linen is considered one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics in the industry.


At The Phoenix Company, we offer beautiful handloom linen sarees with gorgeous motifs and vibrant colors. It takes hours of hard work and dedication to produce a single fabric. The above sarees have Jamdani technique which is native to Bengal, an art that flourished under the Mughal patronage.

Shop at The Phoenix Company now:


By Naqiyah Hasan


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