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!


I find that people overlook how prominent fabric is in our everyday lives (at least I have in the past!). Fabric is the cornerstone in so many everyday items such as, clothes, bed sheets, curtains, towels, rugs, pillows – and the list goes on. Here at Ninel Studio we put a great emphasis on the types of fabrics we use – after much research on this topic we have decided on 100% Linen. This is an area that has evolved from the very early stages of planning and will continue to evolve as we think about where and how fabrics are sourced and how we can contribute to an environmentally friendly society.


Today, I’ll go over the very basics of fabrics and what the usage of them means from an environmental standpoint.

Types of Fabrics

There are two main types of fabrics:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

Natural fabrics include cotton, wool, linen and silk. Synthetic fabrics are man-made and include rayon, polyester, spandex, nylon.  

Pros and Cons

As with anything in life there are pros and cons to natural and synthetic fabrics. I have listed just a few points for each but do invite you to do some research and learn more about this long-lived debate.

Natural Fabrics


  • Made from natural ingredients like plants or animal hairs
  • They are breathable
  • They are renewable and biodegradable


  • If natural fibers are not properly cared for (take a cotton t-shirt, for example) they can break down over time
  • Natural fibers usually carry a higher price tag (for good reason!)

Synthetic Fabrics


  • They are usually very affordable
  • They are more durable than natural fibers


  • Chemicals are used in the manufacturing process
  • They do not hold dye very well which means that they are sprayed with very harmful chemicals to hold the dyes

What difference does it all make?

From an environmental stand point natural fabrics are more sustainable than synthetic fibers. For example, synthetic fibers require the use of chemicals during the manufacturing process. This, as you can imagine, causes health and environmental problems to the people working in these manufacturing plants and the land on and around them.

Over the last couple of years I have become more aware and conscious of the food I eat (where it comes from, how it is made) and while I have made a lot of improvements on my diet there are still improvements to be made. I have also made significant changes in the products I use on my skin – body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner. So it was only natural that I would begin to think about my biggest organ, my skin!  It was not until a few months ago that I really started to pay more attention to the fabrics of the clothes in my closet and other household items and how they could possibly affect my long term health. Did you know that the textile industry is the second largest in the world (the oil industry is by far the largest), therefore, the buying decisions we make today will have long lasting effects in humanity and our environment.

I know that this is not an easy change to make; however, I am committed to at the very least be aware of what I am purchasing and will find ways to incorporate changes in my buying habits going forward. 

I hope you found this post useful and informational. In an upcoming post I’ll share some detailed information on the different types of fabrics that are available. Stay tuned!

Have you thought of the fabrics in your home and in your closet? Can you think of any other pros and cons to natural and synthetic fibers?