Flax was one of the first fibres used by man to produce textiles and its properties are still highly valued today. It was believed in ancient myths that the Goddess Isis taught man to weave linen and the ancient Egyptians established centuries old customs and laws regarding the weaving and trading of linen.
More than any other fabric, linen has a natural feel and texture that recalls the plant from which it originates. Growing flax and producing linen is an intensive process compared to cotton and the higher cost of production is reflected in its price. Linen was once the exclusive domain of the wealthy. People often complain how hard it is to care for but it is relatively simple to iron out the creases while still damp with a very hot iron. Linen’s qualities are unmatched, it is stronger wet than dry and with proper care can give almost a lifetime of regular use becoming softer and softer through years of regular washing.
The length of cotton fibers differs and is called ‘the staple’. In general, the longer the staple or fiber length, the softer and more durable the sheeting. Egyptian cotton, in particular, has extra long staple fibers due to the conditions for growing on the Nile delta. However a lot of Egyptian cotton sheets available today have only limited amounts of genuine Egyptian cotton threads and are often interwoven with cheaper threads making them less durable. Due to there being no set standard for the industry on using the term ‘egyptian cotton’ there have been varied experiences of this great cotton. It is important to try to determine the source for the sheeting.