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Sartorial Know-how14 August 2020

What is Linen? The Timeless Must-Have for Summer

Linen is the king of summer. Here is everything you ever need to know about the timeless fabric

Human history is inextricably linked to fashion evolution and often interlaced with the fabric textures that, over the centuries, have become iconic.

Among these, we certainly have to mention linen, part of style history since the dawn of time. But what is linen? Together with hemp and cotton, linen is one of the most used plant fibers by man: linen nets were already found in pile-dwelling villages of 8,000 or 11,000 years before Christ, and it was the very first textile fiber that men have ever woven: in fact, unlike wool or cotton, this material has long fibers which lend themselves to being immediately woven, and was one of the first textile fibers to have been created and marketed in Ancient Egypt. 

To prove the success of this fabric, there are various documents, come down to the present day and kept for centuries in pyramids, tombs, and stone inscriptions. Known for its whiteness, linen symbolized gods’ purity and became very popular over the years, especially in the Middle Ages, spreading throughout Europe; it is a popularity that continues today, both for the aesthetics of linen and for its properties — especially during summer.

Off-white Linen shirt 6 handmade steps Off-white Linen shirt 6 handmade steps

Sartoria Iervolino

Six handmade steps Off-White Linen Shirt

186 (TaxFree: 152)
Sartoria Iervolino Safari Shirt in Beige Sartoria Iervolino Safari Shirt in Beige

Sartoria Iervolino

Sartoria Iervolino Safari Shirt in Beige

281 (TaxFree: 230)

The heat, humidity and frenetic rhythms of this season often do not go hand in hand with style and elegance, and the only solution is to opt for the use of comfortable and breathable fabrics, to be introduced in the wardrobe to feel always fresh and dry: linen fits perfectly in this category of fabrics, being a very precious natural fiber known for its breathability and the feeling of freshness.

As previously mentioned, linen is an ancient fabric, and among the reasons for its success are its cooling properties. Today linen is dealt with in ways that are much more impressive than centuries ago and the fabric has become even more valuable and, therefore, refined.

Available in many different colors, this fabric has become a symbol of class and ease, in particular in the classic warm shades for shirts and trousers, from off-white to light brown.

Wearing a linen garment is a symbol of class and elegance, as well as investing in an extremely durable and comfortable item of clothing. Perhaps yes, the linen fibers are not particularly elastic, but they are very resistant to heat and washing and, above all, they do not tend to discolor over time, becoming timeless and long-lasting.

In addition to being a great ally against the heat, this fabric absorbs humidity in an excellent way and, even on the hottest days, it does not adhere to the body, allowing the skin to breathe. But how to wear linen garments properly? During summer most clothes, even casual ones, become difficult to wear due to the fabric. Here, therefore, linen comes into play, offering an excellent alternative to cotton, another evergreen of the current season.

The only flaw of this material is that is easily wrinkled, but with some general foresight, it can be easily avoided. Also, high-quality linen fibers are between 18 and 30 inches long, and this means they’re not very likely to “relax”, becoming very wrinkly. A pronounced characteristic, by the way, that is a sign of a sophisticated casual style.

In addition to the lighter and classic shades for shirts and trousers, we also find colors and patterns suitable for different occasions, from cocktails by the pool to dinner in a refined outdoor restaurant (think the likes of Da Vittorio near Bergamo, Italy) from blue to pink, passing through the stripes. A wide choice for every personal taste.

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