LINEN: All you need to know!

Like everything when you start reading up about a topic there’s always so much more to it than you think.  I’m going to explain the benefits of linen over other fabrics and why its such a great choice of fabric (especially in warm climates).

Linen has been around for a VERY long time.  There is evidence to suggest that a linen manufacturing industry was in operation in Egypt over 4,000 years ago.  Linen is a natural fibre made from the stalks of the flax plant Linum usitatissimum.

Bed Linen was coveted by the upper classes for its cool and soft feeling against the skin, becoming a mark of wealth and social standing.  These days, textiles account for the majority of linen grown, with clothing forming only a very small percentage, making a well-sourced and cared for linen shirt an all the more valuable addition to your wardrobe.

Linen vs Cotton

Linen is highly breathable, much more so than cotton due to its lower thread counts.  For example, a fine Egyptian cotton bed sheet will start at about 200 thread count, while a similar quality linen sheet will have a thread count of between 80 and 150, meaning fewer fibres and more breathability when the temp rises.  Although Linen can feel rough at first, with time and washing it becomes incredibly soft, unlike cotton, which can get coarser over time.  When cotton is new its incredibly soft to touch, linen really starts coming into its own after about 3 to 5 years of wear, accounting for its longevity too.

Because of Linens very high absorbency rate, it is the ideal summer fabric.  Its also hypoallergenic, which means sweat is less likely to break down its fibres.  Combined with its lack of elasticity, this ability to quickly absorb and wick away moisture from the body accounts for the ease with which linen can crease.

Whilst linen to most is thought of as a more informal fabric (probably due to it’s ability to crease so easily) I think that wearing a linen garment can enhance the quality of the outfit making it appear not as informal and rather classy.  Perhaps more than any other fabric, you truly get what you pay for with linen and linen-blends.  The best harvests and the most expert milling practices will be reflected in the price, so try not to skimp.  I always advise my clients to invest in linen t-shirts over cotton.  The longevity of the t-shirt will be quite remarkable especially if a more premium linen is bought.  A T-shirt from even a mid priced brand such as J.Crew over a pinch priced T-shirt from H&M or Zara.  Whilst buying linen from the high street wont be a complete waste, it wont last quite as long as it would from a better quality store.

Caring for Linen

A lukewarm hand or machine wash is best.  Air dry and a quick iron when damp is a better option than waiting until the fabric is bone dry.  Avoid over-ironing the crease of the collar as this can damage the fibres.

So that was the text book stuff for those out there that like the detail.

Having always been a big fan of linen (even though I have never owned heaps of it myself) other than t-shirts and the odd shirt or trousers which have been a linen blend, its always been a fabric that I love the ruffled look it gives and the way linen clothes hang.  Woven Green are excited to be launching a range of Linen clothing in the next month.  Here are a couple of pics and style tips on wearing linen.

We hope to see you over on WG soon for a sneak peak of what’s to come! To keep updated follow us on Instagram @woven_green

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Mustard in colour

If you haven’t noticed by now then you’re not into interiors, fashion or trends in any form, which means you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  Mustard has been sneaking onto the design front for some time and as always interior and fashion trends and fabrics go hand in hand.  We saw canary yellow and mustard first start trickling through via scatter cushion’s accents in art and ceramics, shoes and accessories but now now that it’s grown on the general public, you will see how its exploded onto the seen in many statement forms from velvet sofas and wall colours to coats and suits.

Ive picked out a few of my favourite mustard colour items that can be shopped around the globe.

For Subtle Accents Shop these pieces below:

Throw here // Vase here// Leather Mules here// Scatter cushions available soon here

For making a Mustard statement shop these pieces:

Velvet Jacket here // Rug available online soon here // Sofa here // Skirt here

I love this rich warm colour against dark backdrops like navy, black and charcoal.  The colour is equally eye catching with clashing colours like pink, red blues and teal.  See some pics below for Inspiration in the home or for your closet.

 

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My favourite skirt

I have to say that my favourite thing to wear at the moment is a flowty midi skirt.  Its such a win no matter what shape you are. The only thing you need to watch out for is probably the fullness.  I feel as Im a bit shorter I prefer a skirt with less volume, if wearing a fuller skirt then I have to be wearing heels.   The styles out there are endless, from pleated to button fronts to tie waists and deconstructed, the list goes on.

If you have bumps and lumps you wish to hide, it does that and if you are straight up and down and you wish for curves it can give you that too.  Other reasons to love it other than being super flattering on everyone is the comfort levels of this style skirt is up there with PJ’s.  You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed, you can climb a ladder in it or wear one to a wedding, dress them up, dress them down. VERSATILE is what Im getting at.

It just so happened that all the skirts you can shop below are black. But really go mad with print and colour, wear it with logo tees, printed jumpers, sneakers, whatever!

Shop them below and get outfit inspo further down the page 😉

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Draped waist black skirt here

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Knot skirt here

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Splice skirt here

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Deconstructed midi here

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Frilled skirt here

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Gold pleated skirt here

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J Crew Hit List

I have done a little round up of my current hit list at J Crew.

Round shaped navy sunglasses add both edge and class in one swift move.

This particular green has always been a favourite but I very rarely come across anything I really love in this colour.  This bag however, I adore!

Every summer Im after a new swimsuit and this year Im after a one piece. I have tons of bikinis and I like the option of a really lovely full costume, this one is so gorgeous and would be really flattering on the smaller busted ladies out there.

I love a bit of metallic, I also love a grey tee, so what’s not to love about this.

Jeans are a weakness of mine, I always figure you can never have too many and we all know how difficult it is to find the perfect pair, my advice would be when you do, buy in bulk! The relaxed fit, the wash, the distressed element, the straight leg, the cropped length (its always a must for me)

Now this pic does not do these shoes justice here, but they are the cutest, prettiest, happiest pair I have seen in a while.  From the block heel, to the bow, to the print, they are perfect for summer.  Wear them with jeans or to a formal occasion with a dress, they are the showstopper to your outfit so keep it simple!

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Sunglasses // Swimsuit // Fruity Shoes // Bag // Jeans // T Shirt

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PS sorry Southern Hemisphere friends about the location of this store, hopefully you have a very lovely someone to call upon for helping a gal out.  Finally one for my Northern Hem friends (if you’re headed for sunnier shores that is….)

Christmas at Fenn + Ivy

If you live in Pietermaritzburg then you would have probably (in fact definitely) come across the lovely Fenn + Ivy store that stocks carefully handpicked and gorgeous clothing and accessories for both woman and children.   The best thing about this store (apart from it’s lovely owner & it’s contents) is the fact that it really doesn’t just take anything in, they only choose brands they love and believe in.  Im constantly ogling at their Instagram page.  So for those of you that aren’t lucky enough to pop in for purchases, you can email and order through their Facebook page, and they will deliver to your doorstep.

I have put together a Christmas wish-list of some of my favourite summer items from Fenn + Ivy (apparently my husband reads every blog post of mine so we will see ;)…I would love to receive any of the below, in no particular order apart from No.1!

These Harem style cropped trousers are the best of both, casually cool, easy to dress up or look super relaxed in.

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If you have been following my blog you will know Im a basket fanatic, this classic basket style with leather straps is the ultimate basket for me, I love the simplicity of this with a touch of modernity in the tassel (although I probably don’t need another basket, if you don’t have one, its essential!)

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Its criminal not to have some form of small pouch to put your small things in rather than throwing them loose into a basket (if you want to save yourself a total breakdown whilst searching for your keys in a rush), and of course that pouch also needs to look good.  Love the contrasting blue zip and lining.

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These stylish beach hats are the perfect way to keep the sun off your face and look amazing all at once, I can imagine this sitting atop a beautiful head of hair and a pair of oversized sunnies peeking out from underneath. (THIS IS THE HAT THAT CAN BE WON!!) SEE BELOW FOR COMPETITION DETAILS !

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This in fact would have to be one of my top 3 items, this stunning design not only looks good used as a sarong but can be used as a towel, it dries incredibly well, is nice and big to lie on at the beach and then thin enough to tie around yourself as a cover up.

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If we’re being picky about our colour co-ordination then this little trio is the perfect way to accessorise on or off the beach, I can imagine this lot strolling down the promenade, sailing on a yacht, or going out for lunch.  I love a touch of black in summer!

And last but not least, how could one possibly leave either of these two beauties off a Christmas Wish-list

COMPETITION DETAILS: In order to stand a chance to win the beautiful sun hat, item n0.4 on my wish-list, you need to follow these simple steps.

  1. Like this post (bottom of the page)
  2. Follow the Fenn + Ivy Instagram account and facebook page
  3. Follow my Instagram account and facebook page 
  4. Then email me through this page or any form of my social media accounts to say you have done all steps so I can add you to the hat of winning this glamorous hat that will suit absolutely anyone and everyone.
  5. IF you are following all these accounts already then just send me an email.

Good Luck!

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