The Brook Taverner Journal

Loving Linen: The Complete Guide

Linen may have been in existence as long as 30,000 years ago, with evidence of the earliest dyed flax fibres recovered from a cave in present-day Georgia. Used in ancient civilisations from Egypt to Mesopotamia, this fascinating fabric doesn’t come without its fair share of history, adaptability and timelessness. Once even used a form of currency, now this natural fibre is worth its weight in gold in another way, offering ample breathability and a silky-smooth handle during the warmer seasons.

Linen’s increased conductibility makes it cool to the touch – the ideal science for relaxation done right. A high threshold for heat and moisture also means this sartorial secret weapon becomes stronger when wet as opposed to cotton and wool, so you won’t be let down by sweat when frequenting foreign shores, or experiencing heatwaves at home. And moth balls? Never heard of them. Linen is naturally moth and insect-repellent, so wave goodbye to hole-ridden clothes and frayed sheets with this wearable antidote…

Often worn in the milder seasons for casual and formal occasions alike, linen can be tailored into showstopping suits for sophisticated travelling and smarter events like weddings abroad. Alternatively, it can be worn for off-duty style with breezy shirts and shorts that deliver on a relaxed yet refined appeal. Thanks to the different fabric weights available, a heavier variant can be worn when temperatures take a dive.

With such an extensive past, one may wonder what the future holds for linen. But with an ever-increasing need for sustainable fabrics and production, it certainly holds top spot for the ‘next big thing.’ Widely considered the strongest of the natural fibres, and becoming stronger with every wash, it goes against the grain of a rife climate of fast fashion with its durability, also requiring little water in its harvesting and production. Good for the environment, and certainly good for your wardrobe.

In short, linen does it all. It’s a low-maintenance, no-nonsense display of elegance, that has remained and will remain a mainstay of any gentleman’s wardrobe for years to come. Not only for its effortlessly relaxed and luxurious appeal, but the knowledge that it can also take you to the heights of formality – a perennially appealing Riviera style that is the stuff of classic films and escapist novels, with softness and strength in handsome equilibrium.