My perfect summer wardrobe consists of airy, simple, clean linen shirts. And finding great linen shirts has been harder than imagined. What makes finding a good shirt so hard? The quality of the linen. Most of these shirts cost upwards of 50$ at places like J Crew. But the linen used does not match the quality it delivers. A little research into this matter claims that French, Belgian and Irish linen is great quality, owing to the climate and the production methods used. Any thing else from Europe is considered good to poor. And linen making is one process that still hasn’t become mechanized like with cotton. All these factors contribute to the astronomical prices of good linen.I have been picking chambrey over linen for its durability and cost effectiveness. After borrowing/stealing Harsha’s shirts for so long, i thought its time to spend on one of my own. This is a big ticket purchase and i hope it doesnt disappoint me.
Some interesting facts about Linen:
1. Linen is technically a vegetable. So i love my vegetables, even more when they look like clothes.
2. Its one of the oldest cultivated plants in the history. Egyptians even used it as currency, according to historians.
3. Linen is actually scratchy when newly made. With washes, it softens and even catches some shine after 2-3 years, is cared for well. On the other hand, cotton falls apart of 3-5 years of use.
4. Linen absorbs moisture 30% better, when compared to cotton.
5. Pointers to assess the quality: origin of weave, weave defects, reputation of the maker, how the material folds near the creases, …