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Linen, your best travel buddy!

Posted on October 08 2018

Thinking of travelling soon, or travel regularly for work? Consider including linen on your travel list of must-haves. Linen is so versatile, it doesn't matter what climate you find yourself in, you can dress it up or dress it down, warm up or cool down.  It is also a very comfortable fabric perfect for flights.

Linen is a natural fabric, from the flax (linseed) plant. When used in clothing, it has a well-earned reputation for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. It is the oldest fabric known. The flax plant from which it comes, is easy to cultivate and was used to make the oldest fabrics ever found (over 35,000 years). It is the fabric that put the “lin” in “lingerie”, “linoleum”, “line”, “liniment” and “lining”; (a jacket lined with linen will be considerably cooler than one lined with silk or man made fabrics).

It is very versatile and much stronger than cotton yet can be very soft, it can however be made to behave in many different ways. It is virtually universally accepted that in hot climates, natural fabrics are usually best, and of these linen stands out as having some of the most ideal features.

Linen allows more air-flow and its structure means it stays away from your skin allowing better airflow over your body. It is a “stiff” fabric and is less likely to cling to the skin; when it billows away, it tends to dry out and become cool quickly so that your skin is being continually touched by a cooling surface. Added to this Linen possesses high air permeability which allows airflow through the fabric itself and provides the body with room to breathe!

Linen is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat. It feels cool to the touch and will quickly remove perspiration from the skin. Linen is “hygroscopic” which means it is capable of absorbing moisture and then quickly yielding it again. It has been established that due to its molecular structure linen cloth can absorb as much as 20% of its dry weight before giving a feeling of being damp or wet. This means that it will absorb a lot of perspiration and it is unlikely you will ever feel the fabric is clammy. This makes the fabric itself an excellent cooling system. All these properties allow linen to function well in very hot and humid conditions significantly alleviating the effects of the heat and humidity on the wearer.

Linen has good heat conductivity characteristics. This refers to the extent to which heat can be conveyed through the fibre. As the fibre quickly allows the heat to escape, it further improves cooling. Heat conductivity of linen is five times as high as that of wool and 19 times as that of silk.  Add some extra layers for cooler climates, and you will be able to regulate your body temperature and stay warm!

Linen weave reflects heat better as well. It has the highest heat reflection properties of almost any clothing material. Better than cotton or of course, any man-made fabric, so it effectively has good “shading” properties and again the wearer feels cooler.

Linen fabrics achieve excellent aesthetic and drape properties. The “wrinkliness” of linen has long been admired and exploited in fashion. The word textile is derived from the latin word meaning “touch” and linen is considered one of the most tactile textiles. The tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of the fabrics particular "charm", and a lot of modern linen garments are designed to be air dried on a good hanger and worn without the necessity of ironing. Fabric in fashion is all about texture and many designers use linen specifically for it's "crumpled" effect and rough texture similar to that achieved with silk.

In humid climates, simply placing linen items on hangers in a closet will help the wrinkles to fall out within a day or so. To speed up the process, hang the item on a hanger, shape it, spritz it with water from a spray bottle and by morning (or if warm, within a few minutes) it will dry and the fold and wear wrinkles will be completely gone. 

When travelling it allows you to spend less time ironing and dealing with your clothing and more time embracing and experiencing more on your trip.  Visit Ann G Linen to find begin choosing your travel clothing items, items you will be able to wear regardless of the season, and get ready to make memories!

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