Linen: The Perfect Summer Cloth

Monday, 22 January 2018
Linen: The Perfect Summer Cloth

Linen is one of the first fibres that people made into string and cloth. Derived from the flax plant, which has naturally long fibres that can be separated and spun together to create yarn. Linen cloth has been found in archaeological sites proving it was woven by humans as early as thirty-six thousand BC and is still prized today for its unique properties.

Flowering flax, one of the earliest plants woven into cloth
Harvested flax – ready to be processed into linen
The finished article – Cordings’ pure linen, used in our summer suiting

Linen: The Best Summer Fabric

Linen fabric feels cool to touch; it transfers heat, rather than absorb it like wool, making it perfect in warmer weather, this ability helps the wearer stay cooler as their body heat is easily conducted through the linen. Unlike cotton, it can hold quite a lot of moisture without feeling damp, again a useful trait in warm climates.

The fibres are naturally strong, smooth and lustrous, and the resultant cloth has a unique crispness. Due to its poor elasticity, linen cloth naturally creases easily and although laundering will make it softer and more pliable, it is this characteristic that gives it its distinct look and feel.

Although used in knitwear, it is in the woven cloth that it really shines. Pure linen cloth is perfect for tailored garments and shirting, our linen used in our tailoring is ‘piece dyed’ ensuring it retains a solid colour and smart consistency, in our shirts we offer a ‘piece dyed’ classic linen shirt and a gently washed looking ‘garment dyed’ version.

our piece dyed classic linen shirt
our garment dyed vintage linen shirt

Cordings work with British and European mills each season to create a range of linen cloths. We blend linen with cotton, silk and even wool, to create summer weight jackets, and our classic pure linen tailored jacket, waistcoat and trousers are perennial favourites.

Perfect for summer weddings in Britain, and worn as a smart alternative to a wool suit in warmer climates, our linen suits have been a cornerstone of our spring summer collection for decades.

How to Wear Linen

Whether you’re looking for ideas on how to wear a linen shirt, trouser or suit, Cordings has the perfect summer outfit for you. Effortlessy team with our panama hat and linen shirts for the quintessential British summer suit.

The Cordings Linen suit, quintessential British summer kit.

How to Care for Linen

Linen is a robust fabric, and can generally be easily laundered, however, tailored garments should not go through washing machines, meaning that all Cording’s linen jackets have to be dry cleaned. Our linen shirts can, however, be laundered.

Where possible hang your linen clothes, if they are stored for long periods folded, the fibres can break causing damage to the cloth. Avoid storing in direct sunlight, as this will cause fading. It is resistant to moths and beetles, but it easily damaged by bleach and if stored damp will mildew.

The Cordings clothing made for Henry Morton Stanley when he went on his expedition to find Dr Livingstone in 1871 included linen safari jackets and shirts.

Henry Morton Stanley in Cordings linen