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The Differences Between Linen and Cotton

Posted on 17 January 2018

When discussing the linen and cotton, it's actually often easier to talk about the similarities between the two fabrics rather than differences. Both have been used as materials for clothing and bedding for many thousands of years, both are known for their versatility, as well as their ability to absorb moisture well.

But there are certainly important differences between linen and cotton too, which might help explain why cotton is seen as an excellent "all-rounder" textile while linen is often referred to as a luxury item.

Health Properties

Linen is hypoallergenic, so linen bedding and towels are a perfect option for anyone with sensitive skin, conditions such as dermatitis, or suffering from common allergies. The material is highly breathable and moisture-wicking so it doesn't let bacteria and germs build up.

linen pillowcase

Texture & Strength

Whereas cotton feels soft and fluffy to the touch immediately, linen is crisp at first and feels more subtle in your hands. This is one of the reasons we love it, and also why linen bed sheets often stay in a family for generations, growing softer and softer throughout the years.

Good-quality cotton products can last you a long time as well, but linen is reckoned to be the strongest natural fiber in the world, thus contributing to durable, lasting products. Linen bedding can be easily bought as a wedding gift, and eventually passed down generations. 

Cooling

Both linen and cotton are good for keeping you warm, but unlike cotton, linen will also do a great job of keeping you cool when it’s hot. Linen is made of long, hollow fibers that allow air to circulate freely and move around moisture very well not allowing moisture to build up. 

Sustainability

One other key difference between linen and cotton that we feel important to mention is that linen is a far more eco-friendly option. The flax plant is very hardy and requires little water, pesticides or fertilizer to grow. It is also used down to its last bits to produce various types of products and is completely biodegradable.

linen

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