Our latest clothing collection puts the much-loved warm-weather fabric – linen – front and centre; the perfect accompaniment to sunny days out or getaways to far-flung destinations.
We caught up with our head of fabric, Brigitte Atkinson, to uncover what makes our linen so fantastic, for the Summer months and beyond.
‘Laundered linen’ was the main inspiration behind our Summer clothing collection. Can you tell us a little more?
This Summer, we’ve worked together with some of the finest European producers of linen, including Baird McNutt – Irish experts with over 100 years’ experience. Located in Ballymena, they use traditional Irish methods to produce material of the highest quality, and are renowned as the best among designers worldwide, including the likes of Armani.
What makes Irish linen, in particular, so special?
The quality of Irish linen comes from the fineness of the yarn and number of threads used. It can take up to 40 hours to set up a loom to weave the fabrics, demanding enormous care and expertise.
What exactly is linen?
Linen is a fabric made from the fibres of the flax plant, Linum Usitiassiun. It’s the only plant textile fibre originating in Europe and one of the few crops still produced in Western Europe. It’s also 100% natural. Flax needs no irrigation, and can grow with only rainwater, a little fertilizer and no pesticides. Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibres, and two to three times stronger than cotton – that’s why it’s renowned for being so long-lasting.
What are your tips for caring for linen?
Linen is an incredibly easy fabric to care for, and is machine washable. It keeps its colour and, the more you wash it, the softer it becomes, making the fabric ever more beautiful and easier to iron. I like to tumble dry my linen to make it even softer to the touch. If your linen is creased, ironing when it’s still damp will easily eradicate creases.
Linen is usually associated with Summer, but is it purely a warm-weather fabric?
No, not at all. Linen clothing and sheets are absorbent and allow the skin to breathe, therefore, they feel cool to wear on a hot day. However, in cold weather, surprisingly, linen retains warmth. It is also hypo-allergenic and an anti-bacterial fibre.
Shop Brigitte’s favourites from our Baird McNutt collaboration below: