Know your shirt fabrics: summery, versatile linen


This is the quintessential fabric for summer: cool, soft and exceptionally resistant.

Its name comes from the plant used to make it: Linum usitatissimum, which is 70% cellulose.
Linen is the oldest textile fibre in the world: Linen was being used in Egypt in the fifth millennium BC to mummify pharaohs and for occasions of prayer or sacrifice. . Thanks to the Phoenicians, linen became widespread among the Greeks and the Etruscans, who used it to make noble clothes and ship sails.
From the Middle East, linen spread to Europa, where, during the Middle Ages, it continued to be the most popular fabric, even after the introduction of cotton in the 1300s.
During the Renaissance, the use of linen became more and more widespread, with the production of shirts, sheets and underwear, through to its peak between the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century. However, with the introduction of looms in the 18th century, linen was mainly replaced by cotton.

Linen is the hardest wearing fabric there is and it also has an unbeatable capability to absorb moisture. This is because it is able to trap a mass of water equal to its own dry mass, which makes it the ideal fabric to remain in direct contact with the skin, leaving it with an unmistakable feeling of softness. Since it is a natural fibre, it is also hypoallergenic and therefore, it will not irritate the skin.
Linen’s hollow fibre means it has a heat regulating function that, when associated with its extraordinary capacity to absorb moisture, makes it ideal not just for the summer, but also all year round. This is why linen shirts can be worn just as easily under a hot summer sun as during the autumn.
Its texture has a three-dimensional effect, with a characteristic irregularity that gives garments a tone that is both chic and casual at the same time, while its rigid fibres mean that linen shirts will take on that unmistakable crumpled effect.
This is a versatile fabric that can be mixed with cotton fibres, creating a linen blend, that is even stronger and with a more regular weave.

Soft, comfy and cool. Linen is a prime quality fabric that is all about sober, refined elegance.
Do you want to find out about the other fabrics used for Xacus shirts? Why not read our blog posts on Poplin and Zephyr.

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