When it comes to keeping cool in the heat, there’s not many better options than linen. Lightweight and effortlessly dapper, a linen shirt will see you through the sunny seasons in style. Whether you’re an avid wearer, or you’re thinking about making your first purchase, this guide aims to help you get the best out of your linen shirt.
What is Linen Made From?
A natural fibre made from the stalks of the flax plant Linum usitatissimum, linen is an extremely light and delicate material that has origins dating back as far as 36,000 BC. Knowledge of the processes involved in making the material was eventually carried into southern Europe via the Phoenicians, but it was Belfast in Northern Ireland that became the linen hub of the world, producing almost all of the fabric during the Victorian era.
How to Look After Linen
Maintaining linen is pretty simple — as it has no lint and doesn’t pill like wool, there’s no need to take anything to the dry cleaners. In fact, unless absolutely necessary, this should be avoided at all costs; the harsh chemicals in a dry cleaning process can damage the linen fibres and decrease the lifespan of your garment.
Can You Put a Linen Shirt in the Washing Machine?
To prolong the lifespan of your linen shirt, a lukewarm hand (or machine wash) is ideal. For best results, wash it with similar lightweight or delicate fabrics and avoid mixing it with heavy items like jeans or towels.
Does Linen Shrink?
Over drying linen may cause shrinkage, so avoid tumble drying your linen shirt on a high heat. Instead, set the dryer to a lower heat, or simply hang your shirt up and let it dry naturally on the washing line.
How to Wear a Linen Shirt
The key to wearing a linen shirt is to do it with confidence. Many avoid wearing one because of its tendency to easily crease. However, embrace this (like our Italian friends) and such worries will soon be forgotten. When it comes to creating an outfit, we suggest mixing linen garments with those of a different material. For example, team a long-sleeved linen shirt with some cotton chinos, or a short-sleeved style with tailored shorts.