As the evenings start to draw in and the lure of hibernation begins to beckon, all thoughts turn to the bedroom and creating a nice, cosy cocoon in which to retreat during the long, dark winter months.
Choosing the right bedlinen for your winter lair is essential, and in recent years I’ve become a total convert to the relaxed, seductive charm of 100% linen bedding – all crumpled and carefree and oh so comfy! Since purchasing my first linen bedding set from The Linen Works four or five years ago, I’ve come to regard linen as the most comfortable and luxurious fabrics to sleep under and can certainly attest to the fact that this fabric only becomes more sensuous with age – gentle laundering softens it to a gorgeous, light-as-feather caress…
I think Jessica Nason, founder of natural linen bedding brand Piglet*, absolutely nails it when she says that the casual luxury appeal of linen resonates in this day and age. We spend so much of our time on the go, that coming home to a perfectly starched, neatly aligned bed feels at odds with the chaos of the world in which we live – and of course, none of us has the time (or inclination!) to make perfect hospital corners every morning or —god forbid— waste time ironing bedsheets when they’re pulled warm and clean from the machine!
That’s the beauty of linen; it actually looks better crumpled and creased, with your pillows gently crushed and your duvet casually thrown across the bed. it’s the equivalent of a much-sought-after bedhead hairstyle, an effortless ‘I just woke up like this’, that is both nonchalant and endearing.
As Molly Freshwater, co-founder of Secret Linen Store says, the versatility of linen bedding is also key to its current popularity. It’s easy to create a relaxed yet stylish aesthetic by layering tactile linens in a range of comforting hues, and mixing everyday pure whites, dove greys and deep charcoals with more evocative shades of sage green, french blue and blush pink to create your own unique take on the trend.
And it’s not just online boutiques offering this laid-back, informal style of bed dressing, high street faves Marks & Spencer and British heritage brand Christy have also launched 100% linen bedding ranges recently, tapping in to the desire for a look that’s as much about living life as pleasurably as possible, as it is about having a stylish bedroom to retreat to at the end of the day.
With the allure of Scandinavian buzzwords such as ‘hygge’ and ‘lagom’ continuing to capture the imagination, Sarah Smith, Head of Buying and Merchandising at Soak & Sleep, believes linen bedding is here to stay.
So, just what is it that makes linen such a luxurious fabric in the first place? Dating back over 8,000 years, linen was actually the first fibre used to weave fabric, utilising the stalk of a flax plant. It has long been favoured for its durability, comfort and hardiness, and unlike the cotton bed sheets of my youth —which wore bare after just a few years— launders exceptionally well and can, when cared for properly, last a lifetime.
While cotton bed sheets usually feel soft and silky taken straight from its packaging, linen tends to be little stiffer to begin with, and that’s why so many of the ‘new breed’ of linens are now sold ‘pre-washed’ —or sometimes stonewashed— to provide a softer initial touch. Unlike cotton, linen bedding doesn’t break down anywhere near as quickly due to the higher moisture absorbency rate of it’s fibres, which also gives the fabric unique, thermo-insulation properties to keep you cool in summer, whilst trapping your body heat to keep you cosy in winter too.
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So, how about you – are you a convert to 100% linen bedding yet?
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