Linen is the oldest fabric known and is used in a variety of ways in the textile industry. It is without a doubt a major star in the bedding world. On the one hand, its great qualities are definitely worth investing in. On the other, this investment can cost a pretty penny and affordable linen sheets are hard to find. But don’t worry, there are some hidden gems out there. We’ve gathered them here for you, so you could have the best of both worlds. Wonderful quality linen sheets at an affordable price.
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What Is Linen Fabric
Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant, also known as linseed plant. You can recognize the plant by its beautiful blue flowers. The flax plant needs a cooler and humid climate for growing, although it’s not as picky as many others. It is native to the region starting from the eastern Mediterranean all the way to India. The biggest flax production comes from Canada, Kazakhstan, China, Russia and the USA. A lot of flax also comes from Europe. I’m sure you’ve heard of French linen, which is quite a luxurious fabric.
From planting the seed, flax is usually harvested after about 100 days. The time of harvesting varies in different countries. This is because the plant does not tolerate much heat. So harvesting has to take place before the local climate becomes hot. The plant is ready once the stem turns yellow and the seeds turn brown. It’s preferable to pull the flax plant out with roots intact. For one, this increases the length of the fiber. It also prevents the plant sap from leaking out, which would result in a lower quality fabric.
After drying in the open air, flax seeds are removed from the stalk (threshing). Next, the retting process involves separating the fiber from the stem . The retted stalks still contain some woodier parts. And these are removed by scutching. The whole process is quite tricky. But in short, the stalks are passed through 2 metal rollers. These crush the wood into smaller pieces, making it easier to remove them. Finally flax fibers are ready for spinning.
What Are Linen Properties
Linen is not just a good fabric, it’s a truly great one. People have used it from the beginning of civilization and that speaks for itself. There are trends that come and go and there are true classics that stay for good, such as linen. And no wonder, as it has many good qualities that makes it stand out.
One reason why linen is a great choice is because it is a natural fabric. This means that it is made from natural materials. Rather than synthetic materials that man has made from chemicals, such as microfibers. Natural materials are friendlier to sensitive skin and also to the environment. They decompose quicker.
Breathable And Durable
A more specific trait is linen’s ability to breathe. A linen thread is thicker when compared to other threads, such as cotton. So it’s not possible to weave it too tightly together. And this leaves more room between the threads for air to flow through. As a result the sheets are cool during warm nights. Linen also keeps you warm during cold winter nights. Its thermo-regulating quality works both ways, adjusting to your body temperature.
Another wonderful characteristic of linen is its moisture absorbing and wicking ability. As a natural fiber, it absorbs the extra moisture from its surroundings. This is especially useful if you tend to be a sweaty sleeper. Thanks to its moisture wicking quality, linen does not stay damp. It releases the moisture quickly. Linen sheets are the perfect go-to fabric for hot and sweaty sleepers.
Linen is also durable. I’m sure you have heard of bedding that starts ripping after just a few washes. Or worse, you’ve lived through that tragedy. But linen is different. It is considered to be 30% more durable than cotton. One tip to remember is not to fold linen sheets the same way time after time. They may start ripping at the creases as one point, as these parts will get worn down. If you take good care of your linen sheets, they can last for decades.
How To Care For Linen Sheets
Linen sheets are fairly easy to take care of. They don’t pick up dirt or stains as easily as many other fabrics, so you may not have to wash them that often. But remember that washing them will affect the softness. The more you wash linen, the softer it gets. But always check the specific washing instructions. Some sheets need washing by hand, others are fine with machine washing. Just remember not to tumble dry linen sheets.
At first, a new set of linen sheets may feel rigid. It needs to be washed to really break the linen in. It’s a good practice to put linen sheets in the washer even before the first use. You can wash them once, or even many times, as linen sheets will get softer with every wash. Some linen sheets are prewashed with stones (stone washed). This makes the fabric less rigid, more comfortable and gives it its chic, slightly worn look.
Affordable Linen Sheets
Affordable Linen Sheets – three words that rarely appear together. Linen is a high quality material and linen bedding does not come cheap. The average price for a good quality linen bed sheet set is around $400. Although the sheets may well be worth this price, it’s certainly higher than what most of us are willing to pay. Or able to pay. But there are some affordable linen sheets out there as well. Here are our top picks for you to choose from.