Know your shirt fabrics: linen, a traditional, natural fibre.


Bright, hardwearing, heat regulating and hypoallergenic, linen is 100% sustainable. Linen is a noble fabric thanks to the excellent properties that have made it one of the best-known, widely used fabrics in interior design and fashion. It is greatly appreciated for its quality, beauty, and colour rendition, and is the ideal fabric for shirts, adding the natural, elegant aura that comes from its natural creased effect. Linen is made from the linum usitatissimum, the stem of which is worked to create raw linen, which is the world's oldest plant fibre, used by the ancient Egyptians as early as 6,000 B.C.E.

Linen: the noble history of a fine fabric.

Linen was used to dress the mummies of pharaohs, because at the time, it was already considered the finest of natural fibres. It was traded by the Phoenicians, famous merchants, and seamen, and exported to Ireland, England, and Brittany, from where it was distributed throughout Europe. The ancient Romans grew linen all over their empire and were the first to use it both for clothing, in the form of tunics, as well as for sheets and furnishings.

Linen became increasingly widespread, through to the Middle Ages, where it reached its peak all over the continent. During the Renaissance, thanks to greater wealth and a greater attention to an elegant lifestyle, linen began to enter everyday life in the form of sheets and shirts, even reaching the markets of Eastern Europe. In the centuries that followed, linen continued to expand and, from the 1700s onwards, it was a major feature in the wardrobes of the noble classes, with the elegant linen shirt, in both long and short versions, with loose sleeves, gathered with lace, but also in low-necked women’s versions with rich embellishments.

In the 1900s, with the industrialisation of the textile sector, linen production increased, thanks to new spinning and weaving procedures led by a growing global demand. Since the 1990s, the linen shirt has been made in more and more colours and patterns, to become a must for men’s and women’s summer wardrobes. With its extraordinary practicalityand that certain crumpled, lived-in effect, linen can convey a bohemian charm so beloved of celebrities and international stars.

As well as being a material that is 100% biodegradable and recyclable, linen is a fabric that is incredibly cool, thanks to its excellent ability to absorb water and high level of breathability. It is also perfect for more sensitive skin types as well as being a relaxing fabric on account of its ability to keep the body at a constant temperature. With its timeless charm and high comfort index, it is the ideal yarn for splendidly glamorous linen shirts for the summer.

Shop the collection of Xacus linen shirts!

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