Linen is yet another fabric which has been around from God knows when. In fact every one of us who discovers Linen, feels that we have discovered it first. I still remember my exhilaration when I came across the fabric for the first time, when I was a design student, years back. I was on cloud nine thinking I found out the coolest, most sophisticated natural fabric in the world.
Linen which is a textile made from the fibres of the Flax plant, is laborious to manufacture, but the high absorbency of the fibre makes it a hot choice for summers. It keeps the wearer exceptionally cool and fresh.
The collective term “Linen” is still often used generically to describe a class of woven bed, bath, table and kitchen textiles, traditionally made of Linen.
The radically coarse fabric has a coveted place in the history of the world and is among the oldest, of a natural origin. Linen was sometimes used as a currency in ancient Egypt and the Egyptian Mummies were wrapped in it as a symbol of purity and light and as also a display of wealth. I was fortunate enough to see some shreds of these oldest surviving Linens on the bodies of the Mummies, when I visited the museums of Cairo. Right from a very young age, I was intrigued with the Egyptian culture and the Mummies. When it was taught in school, I was full of awe for the procedure of Mummification and how the Mummies survived for so long without perishing completely. Ever since then, I wanted to visit the land that celebrated death like nowhere else in the world. Right from their birth, their preparation is towards death and how to glorify their tombs; or so it seems. A space to sleep the eternal sleep is still a very sort after and prestigious things for the Egyptians. And thus, Linen along with the Mummies held a very esoteric place in my heart.In the past ages, Linen was mostly reserved for the royalty and the very wealthy. Even today, this fabric is extravagant compared to the rest and thus considered very sophisticated.
If you are an avid user of Linens, you would know that this fabric looks equally cool as casual clothing, a business suit or a lounge wear. It is a very versatile one. And it adorns the various moods with élan. The various varieties of Linen depending on the weave and finish could at the same time be crisp or wiggly. And there are folks who use stiffener on Linen to get an extra crisp look. But personally, I love them to be in their congenital, wiggly state and cling down as if they are so much in love with the wearer. There is a beautiful coarse yet soft feel to it and the texture has immense clarity. You can actually trace the beauty of the weaves if you feel it. Not to mention the breathability of the fabric. You can wear it in all climates as your most intimate garment and still feel cool or warm.
There is a very rusty, earthy, raw feel about this textile and it makes you feel more close to nature. When you spot a person wearing a good Linen shirt or blouse (top for Indians), you form a very mature, sophisticated opinion about him or her. And may it be a shirt, a blouse, a jacket, a skirt or a dress, there is an undeniable simplicity and straightforwardness about the garment. And generally clothing made in Linen are constructed on simple design storyboards; never too complicated. I also personally feel that you should not mess too much with this basic one.
Although Linens take dye beautifully and hence can be dyed in any colour, there is nothing as virgin as white Linen….so pure and pristine like a country song! And white Linen again is a sure shot “classic” look! You can never go wrong wearing this combination. In fact ,you can walk in anywhere confidently with head held high, laced with a careless smile on your lips, letting people think that you are the “upmarket types” and a connoisseur of good taste.
Many a time, when we go to buy fabrics or garments, we end up buying not pure Linens but Linen blends. It is widely blended with cotton and used in tons for clothing. But can’t say it’s any lesser because it looks equally rich and flamboyant. Compared to pure Linen, it’s very cost effective too. Let me give one word of caution to all you Linen lovers out there. Please check for the tag inside the clothing which gives you the details of the fabric mix and don’t just go blindly by the sales person’s words. Linen silk blend is another chic choice; quite rare but extremely exotic.
And last but not least, for all Indian women who are in a never ending love affair with the saris, there are pure Linen saris and they carry an aura of mature sophistication which befits stylish women; especially the ones holding higher office for the quaint classiness that they have to project! Anyone can flaunt a Linen sari though, and make it look easier or more casual by playing around with the fabrics of the” choli” or blouse. Happy romancing with Linen!
PRESENTING TO YOU FIVE INDIVIDUALS WHO SWEAR BY LINEN
JAVED PARVESH, CHIEF REPORTER, MALAYALA MANORAMA, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
“I love Linens as they give a sophisticated yet approachable look. And being a journalist,I meet people from all strata and the sober colours and feel of Linen is received by all with respect and calm. Now a days ,I prefer the earthy colours of the fabric and avoid bright colours,stripes,plaids and prints.”
DEEKSHA KAPOOR KHANNA, PROPRIETOR, TEXTILE AGENCY, MUMBAI
“Linen for me is a noble fabric and after years of lusting after it,when I work with the fabric now,I respect it even more. When I was young, I thought it was a regular fabric and so would be really cheap. But Linen ;especially good quality Linen ,can sometimes really set you back. While I love the summer colours, I feel it is best for me worn in it’s pure off white form”.
JOHN JOSEPH, OWNER, SALT STUDIO, DESIGN BOUTIQUE, KOCHI
” Linen has an elegance to it and is comfortable to wear especially in a hot and humid weather”
DIYA .K, DESIGNER & CO OWNER, SALT STUDIO, DESIGN BOUTIQUE, KOCHI
“I love the sober colours in Linen and the casual style of it. Also, people tend to notice the simple elegance of it.”
The Shroud of Turin or Turin Shroud (Italian: Sindone di Torino) is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. There is no consensus yet on how the image was created, and it is believed by some to be the burial shroud of Jesus of Nazareth, despite radiocarbon dating placing its origins in the Medieval period.
Courtesy: Oxygenart.tumblr.com, etsy.com, getcottage.blogspot.com,and-rosa.tumblr.com, RosenberryRooms.com, bizzyathome.blogspot.com, 52flea.blogspot.com, augusta-auction.com
Javed Parvesh, John Joseph, Deeksha Kapoor Khanna and Dia.k