About Linen and Why It Is Our Fabric Of Choice

There are many different fabric types out there some natural, some synthetic and some a blend of different fabrics. If you do not really know what the differences between natural and synthetic fabrics are we suggest you check out a couple of previous posts - Natural vs. Synthetic Fabrics and A Simple Guide to Natural and Synthetic Fabrics. Fabrics in all of their different forms may not see like they are but they are a big deal – as I mentioned before in a past post - the textile industry is the second largest in the world (after the oil industry)! I mean think about that for a sec, it is bigger than consumer goods, bigger than the health care industry and even bigger than the telecommunications industry. Who would have thought?!

Because there are so many different types of fabrics I will be doing a series of posts where I will share tips and facts about the different types of the most commonly used fabrics in our homes and in our closets. A few weeks ago I started this series with cotton and shared a post on Buying High Quality Fabric and 3 Easy Tips to Care for Cotton – go check it out!

Linen Facts

  • Linen is incredibly old - over 8,000 years old. Yes, you read that right – it is believed that linen is likely the oldest natural fabric.
  • The ancient Egyptians used very high quality linen, so high quality that even to this day it has not been able to be replicated.
  • The production of linen requires 25% less water than cotton.
  • Linen is biodegradable and recyclable.
  • The more you wash linen the softer and nicer it becomes.
  • US dollars are made up of 25% linen! The other 75% is cotton.

How to Care for Linen

If linen is properly cared for it can last a lifetime, it is such a durable fabric and it only gets better with time. However, caring for linen can be a little tricky. Here I’ll share a few things I’ve learned along the way around how to treat linen. These are tips that are very much applicable to linen, however, it is always a good idea to read the care instruction label for all of your garments.

Washing Linen | Linen can be either dry cleaned or hand washed. I definitely prefer the latter, however, I do not have the patience to hand wash so what I do is that I put my linen fabrics in the delicate cycle in the washer machine and so far have never had any issues with that method.

Drying | I always recommend to air dry linen. If you must put it in the dryer put it on “fluff air” or “low heat”. Those are the settings on my washing machine but you get the drift.

Ironing | If you have ever tried to iron linen you know that it is tiresome! One thing I have found incredibly useful is to iron linen while it is still damp. This will cut down the amount of time you need to spend ironing and still get great results.

Why We Chose Linen

After hours upon hours doing extensive research on the different types of fabrics we could have used for Ninel Studio products and after my many pros and cons lists everything seemed to point to linen as the best all-around choice. Even though everything pointed to linen as the best choice I was still hesitant to go with it at first. My one hesitation with Linen was the price when compared to cotton and cotton blends – but again - after all of the research we had done I really gained a good understanding of the laborious process it is to go from the flax seed to the final state of linen. Understanding and appreciating that concept allowed me to come to terms with the higher price point. Another very important aspect of my research was resistance certain fabrics had to dyes.  I had to keep in mind that I was not just going to use the textiles as they were to create the pillows I was going to hand dye the fabric in very small batches and then use the dyed fabrics to create the pillows. I tested dyes on cotton, cotton-polyester blends, cotton-linen blend and 100% linen and pure linen was by far the best to work with. 

The Launch!

I am really happy to report that after almost 2 years in the making I am only a week away from finally launching the first Ninel Studio collection – The Salisbury! Stay tuned for more info coming soon!

What has your experience with linen been? Ever had a mishap? I have!

Buying High Quality Fabric & 3 Easy Tips to Care for Cotton

Cotton is by far the most used fabric around the world. It is affordable, it is comfortable and it is relatively easy to care for. Take your home for example; I am sure you will find cotton almost everywhere – curtains, bed sheets, towels, pillows, clothing and the list goes on. When the idea of Ninel Studio first came around I did A LOT of research on fabrics – I read articles upon articles, I watched many YouTube videos, I watched documentaries and so on. After going through so much research I finally began to pay attention to an industry that as consumers we tend to overlook and take for granted.

Since then, which was about two years ago, I have become a big believer in buying quality products and caring for them properly. This will not only save you money in the long term but you will help create just a little less pollution in the world among other downsides the textile industry has. I wrote a post a several weeks ago – Natural vs. Synthetic Fabrics – where I discussed the differences between natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics and their pros and cons. For a couple of years now I have tried to steer away from synthetic fabrics and opt for natural fabrics whenever I can. I have come to realize of the negative impact synthetic fibers can have on our eco-system but also on our bodies and in our homes.

However, I have learned that high quality fabric does come with a higher price tag, which I do not always welcome but at least I know that there is a reason for it. Now that I have a better understanding of the textile industry I understand I understand the reason behind the higher price tag and in some cases those reasons are deep. So deep that I can write an entire blog series on the negative effects the textile industry has on humans and our eco system. With that said, when we invest in high quality products we need to take good and proper care of them so that they last as long as they can and we do not need to re-purchase the same items over and over again throughout our lifetimes.

So, I am going share the things I do to care for my cotton garments so that they can last as long as possible. Like so many other things, there are okay ways to do things and there a great ways to do things. I hope you can take these easy tips and apply them next time you need to care for any cotton garments around your home.


Wash your cotton in cold water to reduce the amount of shrinkage that can possibly happen. Increasing the water temperature can also increase the amount of shrinkage that can happen. However, cotton is a strong enough fabric that could easily withstand warm (even hot) water - just know that some shrinkage can happen at an increased temperature of water.


Some fabrics are very sensitive to heat from an iron, but not cotton! Cotton can withstand a scorching hot iron and it will not easily ruin the fabric. Now, this does not mean you can leave your iron on a piece of cotton unattended! Please do not EVER do that. But it is also good to know that high heat from an iron will not ruin your cotton fabrics.


I think we can all agree that line drying is the most environmentally friendly alternative, however, if time is a concern, it can take a while for the fabric to fully dry. The best way to dry cotton is to line drying it and if you have the space in your home to lay out fabric and the time to wait for the fabric to dry, go for it! If not, I would suggest you dry it on the low heat setting on your dryer. The reason to avoid too much heat on cotton when drying it goes back to idea of minimizing the amount of shrinkage cotton can have under too much heat.