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Let’s talk about Linens…

Let’s talk about Linens…

They cover the windows, the tables, the bathrooms, the bedrooms. If linens are the eyelids of your home, there’s more than meets the eye. This multipurpose fabric has a rich history and diverse portfolio for uses. Here’s our quick guide to how to use linens in your home. But before we dive into the ins and outs of your linen closet, let’s dive into a history lesson.

Linens come from the fibers of a flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum, Latin for “most useful linen”), and were used as a symbol of wealth. The Roman’s called it textus ventilus, or “woven wind.”

Harvested from flax plants, which technically makes them vegetables, linens go through a lengthy process before becoming the stylish cloths we used today. All parts of the flax plant get used: fibers for linens, oils from the seeds. The fibers get separated into short and long, to create the coarse or fine texture of certain linens. Handpicked flax plants are viewed as more valuable because they maintain most of the root, which can be used to make longer, finer linens. After that, the fibers are spun into yarn, woven, bleached, and dyed (or used in the raw state-it’s a very versatile plant).

This superfabric has mildew-resistant, antibacterial qualities, can be vibrant or subdued in color, absorb messes, or softly sooth sleeping skin. Linens are eco-friendly and among the most durable fabrics available, and can absorb up to 20% of their weight.

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So how do we use linens in our decorating scene? Lightweight linen can be used for clothing, midweight for drapes, and heavy for upholstery. Linen can also be used to upholster walls as a way to add acoustic and thermal insulation, or create a neutral backdrop to highlight other aspects of the room. Linen has a beautiful, natural sheen that can be used to let in light, or block it, depending on how it is woven.

You’ve got to know the players to play the game. There are many different types of linens from smooth damask tablecloth linens to sturdy linen sheets. An important part of picking your linens lies within the material and the type of look you want to achieve. The way the linen is woven can determine how absorbent, durable, soft, or firm it is. Some linens are also woven in certain patterns. Linens like the Holland linen, typically used for lamp shades or window blinds. Cambric linen is on the flirty side of linens: it’s ultra fine, thin, and plain-woven, often used to make handkerchiefs, lingerie, and other delicates. Bird’s eye linen gets its name from small, diamond-shaped pattern, and is often used for towelling cloth.

Knowing your players, you need to learn the rules now. Unlined linens are not a good option for rooms where you want privacy or room darkening (such as a bedroom, or a room for watching anything on a screen). Linen sheets are a good option for a cool-to-the-touch fabric to escape from the heat of those Alabama summers. And monogrammed linens are considered  by many as a symbol of Southern culture.

The only downside? Linen often needs ironing.
There are a lot more players and rules to this game. Let us play the game for you at Penàge Inc.


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