Why LinenSilk?


The term "linen" refers to yarn and fabric made from flax fibers; however, today it is often used as a generic term to describe a class of woven bed, bath, table and kitchen textiles because traditionally linen was so widely used for towels, sheets, etc. In the past, the word also referred to lightweight undergarments such as shirts, chemises, waistshirts, lingerie, and detachable shirt collars and cuffs. Linens were manufactured almost exclusively of fibers from the flax plant Linum usitatissimum. But textiles made of cotton, hemp, and other plant fibers have also been referred to as 'linen' which can make the exact referent of the term somewhat unclear and confusing to the buyer.

Linen textiles may be the oldest in the world. Their history
goes back many thousands of years. Fragments of straw, seeds, fibers, yarns and various types of fabrics which date back to about 8000 B.C. have been found in Swiss lake dwellings. Linen was used in the Mediterranean in the pre-Christian age. Linen was sometimes used as currency in ancient Egypt. Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen because it was seen as a symbol of light and purity, and as a display of wealth. Some of these fabrics, woven from hand spun yarns, were extremely fine and cannot be matched by modern spinning techniques.

So why is Linen so comfortable?
Linen fabric breathes, much like human skin, it can absorb up 20% or more of its own weight in moisture, while still feeling dry to the touch. Linen also absorbs the moisture rapidly which makes it wonderful for bath and kitchen towels. You and your dishes will dry quickly. Even better, your drinking glasses will be lint free.

Linen is also truly healthy. Linen cannot provoke allergies, it
is anti-static and can even help soften and preserve the skin due to its natural pH balance. The non-allergic, antibacterial, and antimycotic (Suppressing the growth of fungi) properties of linen are emphasized more and more often and is something the buyer should seriously consider.

Thanks to linen’s temperature-regulating properties. In hot weather, linen absorbs moisture and excess heat, while in cool weather it retains body heat. Highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, linen fabric feels cool to the touch. Over time linen becomes softer and even more comfortable.

Why does Linen wrinkle?
However, if you are not found of wrinkles, linen may not be best for you. Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibers with 2 to 3 times the strength of cotton. It is smooth, making the finished fabric lint free, and gets softer the more it is washed. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during laundering. Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily explaining why it wrinkles so easily.

Linen is suitable for garments, dress fabrics and suitings because:

  • It is always smart and attractive, has a pleasant feel and a natural lustre. This finish persists, and the fabric looks better even after repeated laundering.
  • It is extremely cool and light to wear. It conducts heat and repels the sun's rays. It readily absorbs perspiration and is therefore ideal for wear in hot weather and in hot climates. Its comfort makes it especially suitable for leisure and both men's and women's sportswear, as well as dresses, suits, coats, hats, shoes and handbags.
  • It has a high resistance to tearing, and is the strongest vegetable fibre, a property advantageous in outer garments, overalls and uniforms.
  • It is easily washed as it is 20 per cent stronger when wet and, except for coloured linens, suffers no harm from boiling.
  • It withstands repeated launderings, sheds dirt, is easy to iron, dries quickly and requires no special detergents or soap powders.
  • Because of its stability garments made from linen retain their shape and size.
  • It is available in a vast range of weaves, colours and designs. Weights vary from the finest sheers and lawns for evening wear and blouses, to heavy close-weaves for tailored garments. Thanks to modern developments, Irish linen dress fabrics are available in brilliant colours, pastel shades or prints. Appearances can be varied by the introduction of slubs and flecks.
  • It is mothproof.
  • With modern developments in finishing it is crease resistant, and more especially with fancy weaves or dyed yarns.
  • It does not generate static electricity which in some other fibres may give rise to a number of undesirable effects, e.g. car sickness.
  • Linen manufacturers now blend or mix linen with certain other fibres when the end product will thereby be improved. An approved blend or mixture which contains a substantial percentage of linen will combine the cool comfort and attractive appearance of linen with the hard wear and crease proof qualities of other fibres. 

Why Silk?

Luxurious silk clothing reigns supreme as the most versatile, breathable, durable, and exquisitely comfortable fiber known to the world. It's a natural insulator. And silk also possesses the unique ability to draw moisture away from your skin.

Besides its luxurious softness and lustrous beauty, there are various other benefits of silk that other fabrics, whether natural or man-made, simply cannot match. These advantages of silk have rightly earned silk its reputation as the queen of fabrics

Silk is suitable for garments, dress fabrics and suitings because:
  • Because of its natural protein structure, silk is the most hypoallergenic of all fabrics
  • An all-climate fabric, silk is warm and cozy in winter and comfortably cool when temperatures rise. Its natural temperature-regulating properties give silk this paradoxical ability to cool and warm simultaneously. Silk garments thus outperform other fabrics in both summer and winter. Silk worn as a second layer warms without being bulky
  • Silk is highly absorbent: it can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. Silk will absorb perspiration while letting your skin breathe
  • In spite of its delicate appearance, silk is relatively robust. Its smooth surface resists soil and odors well. Silk is wrinkle and tear resistant, and dries quickly
  • While silk abrasion resistance is moderate, it is the strongest natural fiber and, surprisingly, it easily competes with steel yarn in tensile strength
  • Silk takes color well; washes easily; and is easy to work with in spinning, weaving, knitting, and sewing
  • Silk mixes well with other animal and vegetable fibers. Silk is commonly considered to be the queen of all fabrics; yet many enchanting and interesting facts about silk are absent from the silk information in possession of the ordinary user of silk fabric.


People are often intimidated by linen due to the misconceived notion that it is difficult to care for. The message here is that linen does not have to be treated in any special way and ironing is not obligatory!

Our linen can be washed in a washing machine – plain white linen at 60 degrees and coloured linen at 40 degrees. We don’t recommend bleach as it can damage any sort of fabric.

Our linen fabric by the metre is not pre-shrunk. If you are making anything with our fabric remember to either wash the linen first or allow for 2% shrinkage.

Ideally, as soon as something is spilt on your lovely white linen tablecloth you should soak it using a good detergent. This could be inconvenient in the middle of dinner - just remember to soak the linen as soon as possible.

Some of our linen will shrink by about 2% after the first wash - we have factored this into all our sizing. And likewise our fabric should also be washed before you make anything with it (or allow for 2% shrinkage).

Tumble drying
We do not recommend tumble drying in our washing instructions as it always decreases the life of any fabric (think of the fluff in the filter!). Having said that, it is unreasonable to expect people not to use their dryers - it is obviously a more practical way of drying things and everything comes out beautifully supple and soft. Try not to let linen dry completely if you are going to iron – linen is much easier to iron while damp. If you dry linen completely in the tumble dryer it may appear to have drastically shrunk. The fibres have just been compacted together and will return to normal after a quick press with an iron (and a spray of water).

Here are a few ironing tips:
  • Always iron linen while still damp (it’s much easier to get rid of the creases) – then fold and put in an airing cupboard or somewhere warm.
  • Use a steam iron.
  • Linen water is a great invention – fragranced water that can be sprayed on as you iron. It smells great and helps with the ironing too.
  • Ironing embroidered linen can be difficult as the iron can get caught in the stitching and cause damage. Just place a piece of plain material over the top and iron the two together.
Caring for Silk Fabric

  • Silk is protein fiber, more similar to wool than to cotton. It is very similar to human hair. Remembering this will help when you think about how to wash or clean it. Silk is extremely strong, but repeated exposure to the sun will erode the fiber. As a result, silk fabrics are poor choices for curtains and draperies.
  • In general, silk can stand heat (it is subjected to very high temperatures when the gum is removed, and most silk dyes are steam set), but does not do well in extreme changes of temperatures, or in overheating through excessive drying.
  • Some silk yardage and clothing can be hand washed if done carefully. For best results use a mild detergent or even shampoo and lukewarm water, then roll the fabric in a towel to absorb the water. Do not twist -- just as you wouldn't twist or pull your hair.
  • Iron dry on a low setting. If you're unsure about washing, check with the manufacturer when possible. Many manufacturers will tell you to dry-clean because it is simpler and yields better results. Wherever possible, you may want to check a swatch first.
  • Structured silk garments and fragile fabrics should be dry-cleaned to prevent damage.
  • Multi-color prints or hand-dyed scarves may need to be dry-cleaned to prevent running.
  • You may wish to dry-clean your garment the first time. The steaming process used at the dry-cleaners may also help to further set the dyes.
  • Moths will attack silk, as well as wool. Store your silk clothing appropriately. As with all fine fabrics, if you plan to store for a long time, you will do best to store in a cotton pillowcase or otherwise surround the silk with a fabric that can breathe. Avoid storing in plastic since this can trap moisture, which can lead to yellowing or the accumulation of mildew.
  • Never use chlorine bleach on silk. It will yellow the fiber and may cause it to breakdown more quickly.
  • The colors in your silk will undoubtedly fade over time, even when permanent dyes have been used and they have been professionally set. Reds are particularly sensitive to running and fading. Store your silk away from exposure to light, especially direct sunlight. Washing silk may also cause excess dye to discharge. When in doubt, dry-clean the garment or item.