What is linen? - Being the world's most ancient fabric strong and durable, yet soft to the touch, linen is one of the oldest and most fascinating textiles in the world.
With roots in ancient civilization, there is a raw, untamed beauty to linen that persists today, making it a popular choice for both luxury and everyday items. The ecological benefits of linen also make it a popular choice for many designers; it resists mildew and bacteria, keeps the body cool, withstands the weather and is completely biodegradable. The flax plant that linen is derived from requires no harsh chemicals during growth and has multiple by-products following harvest, including paper, linseed oil, flax seeds and chipboard. On top of this, the fact that remnants of linen still exist from ancient civilizations proves just how unbelievably long-lasting it is, while these fragments allow us to track the fascinating role linen has played in the development of human civilization.
It is said the first linens were coarser than today’s varieties, but nonetheless they were highly prized and often used as currencies in trade. The Ancient Egyptians reserved linen for the wealthiest members of society, where it was transformed into lavish clothing, interior furnishings and, perhaps most famously, as burial garments for mummies in Egyptian Tombs. It was in one such tomb that The Tarkhan Dress was discovered in 1913, a long-sleeved shift dress with whisperingly pale grey stripes, the oldest item of clothing in existence.
In the last few years linen has seen a rise in popularity, appearing in the collections of Indian brands like Linen Club who focus on wearable designs suited to the hot Indian summers; their ideas have, in turn, have influenced other designers across the India.