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

XX

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Work Wardrobe to Weekend Wear

Struggling with transforming your work wear to weekend? Take some tips on what to do with your current favourite staples and give them a relaxed edge.  There are a few wardrobe staples that I believe are easy transformers and wearing them this way is sure to make you feel more relaxed or perhaps a little less chiseled than you would during the week.

Give your classic trench coat a new look by tying the belt loosely behind your back to remove some of its structure.  Pull up the sleeves in a messy manner, leaving your undergarment sleeves sticking out the bottom and life the collar slightly at the back.

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Shop Classic Trenchcoat

Rather than pairing your ankle boots with your pencil skirt and tights as you would for work, take them on an outing with a peasant style dress or a pair of jeans and a biker jacket to give them back their true identity for a change.  I’m a personal lover of the leopard print bootie.

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Shop Ankle Boots

Nothing says relaxed like a cross body bag, hands free is the best way to stroll around the saturday markets. Whether is Chanel, Chloe or Zara, wearing it across your body instantly plays it down.

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Shop cross body Bag

Who said a white shirt is a work shirt! Undo an extra button, roll up your sleeves and tuck in the front only for a super chic undone sexy saturday night dinner shirt.

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Shop White Shirt

A pair of smart black trousers can totally be used over the weekend if you are not in the mood for jeans AGAIN! Style them with a pair of high tops or your favourite sneakers, a t-shirt and a parka.  They will not even know themselves let alone you.

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Shop Cigarette pants

Hope you enjoy finding new ways to wear old clothes!

xx

Fall Must Have’s

I cant believe we thinking of cooler days and new wardrobe essentials already. The summer went way too fast but thankfully there’s still lots of sunshine about however it wont harm to be prepared for when that first wintry chill decides to surprise us and we can tackle it head on without panic or shivers. This fall its all about mixing and matching your basics with your bling. Think Sport Luxe again. Pair a sequinned skirt with a casual sweater or Jogger trousers with heels and a blazer. But more of that and how to style the outfits to come so watch this space. For now lets concentrate on what to add to the wardrobe.

Boots – a knee length pair of riding type boots are a must for wearing over your favourite skinnies or skirts of various lengths. This season brown is bigger than black.  A pair of chelsea boots will never go a miss, wear them for a more casual look. The tassel loafers are great for the office and weekend wear.

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Riding Boots Russell & Bromley

 

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Chelsea Boot LK Bennett

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.19.37Tassel Loafers Topshop

Sweaters to pair with trousers and skirts. They look casual and comfy but teamed with formal trousers, skirts and heels will give you the perfect combo!

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 13.48.46Embellished jumper J Crew

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.11.51Classic Grey V Jumper Hush

Coats & Jackets – we’re not quite a freezing temps so something lighter is all we looking for right now. A classic blazer is always a must as is a coatigan for the in-between days.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.10.08Blazer J Crew

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Coatigan Zara

Trousers – Wear  your jogger bottoms with your favourite trainers and a blazer on the weekend or with heels to the office. The leather trousers are still around in full force and again dress up with heels or down with trainers.

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 13.55.25Jogger type silk trousers Zara

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.40.00Leather Trousers Zara

Blouses – get your hands on some rusty autumn shades to pair with jeans and skirts for the office

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 13.58.03Flower Feather pussybow blouse Topshop

Skirts wear with casual sweaters and heels or flats and booties on the weekend

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.04.19Rust full skirt Zara

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.30.04Sequined pencil skirt By Malene Birger

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 14.34.34Leather look pleated skirt Topshop

Hope this helps give you a jump start. Full details on great fall outfit combo’s coming soon 😉

Pics: J Crew featured image