"Knit bast fibers (linen, hemp, etc.) tend to fall on the delicate side of the care scale along with silks (they don't seem to be as hardy and are more vulnerable to various substances), making their uses in things like T-shirts and undergarments not as affordable."Well, my understanding is:
- Linen has almost twice the strength of cotton.
- Linen has a crisp handle compared to cotton that has a much softer handle.
- Both fabrics are breathable, hypo allergenic and have a good hand feel.
- Linen has a higher moisture absorbency than cotton and this is one of the keys to the longevity of Linen fabrics.
- Both Linen and Cotton are plant based fibres, produced from cellulose. They are both structurally sound fibres and which ensures that cotton and linen products both retain their shapes.
- Linen is significantly more environment friendly, as it needs less water and far lesser levels of chemicals to thrive.
- Cotton is intrinsically a fine fibre, and that allows it to be able to be woven into a higher thread count fabric. Linen is a much thicker fibre and gets spun and woven into technically a lower thread count fibre. Linen’s intrinsic properties however make it a superior, and durable fabric.
The last point really determines whether you would choose Linen or Cotton fabric for a shirt. You would go with Cotton if you were looking for fineness of fabric and softness. You will on the other hand pick Linen if you were looking for Fabric lustre and longevity of the garment.
Traditionally, linen bedsheets were handed down through a family, something that could hardly be said of even the best quality cotton bedsheets.