Why is Linen Clothing Expensive? 10 Main Reasons
If one day you have spent time browsing websites in search of your next dream timeless linen dress, you might have noticed clothes made of linen are usually a little more expensive than those made from other more common materials such as cotton.
And you might have wondered why is linen clothing expensive?
We decided to answer all the questions you might have about the cost of this wonderful fabric.
How is Linen Fabric Made?
We believe that in order to understand why linen clothing is expensive, it is important to acknowledge how linen is made.
Making high-quality linen requires time and lots of different steps.
Here are all the stages of linen production:
- Flax plants are picked and then processed into straw using machines;
- Straw is spread onto the field for two to three weeks to have them soaked in dew so it will make it easier to separate the fiber parts (stalks);
- The dew-soaked straw is then gathered, dried, broken, and finally pulled; It is during this process that stalks and the inner firm parts of straw are separated;
- After that, stalks are formed into a band, and a thin twisted thread is made – which is called rove;
- It is only then that pure line fabric is weaved from this rove;
- Finished canvases are bleached and dyed in different colors or left as they are to keep their natural color.
Finally, it is important to note that long-stalked flax is famous for being a zero-waste material.
With it, we are making high-quality fabrics, the remaining fibers goes to making coarse linen fabric – potato sacks are often made of it – and all the rest is used in construction and furniture manufacture.
10 Reasons Why Linen Clothing is Expensive
1. Moisture Absorbance
Linen tends to be expensive due to all of its amazing and unique properties such as extreme moisture absorbance whether you are buying linen clothes, linen bed sheets, or linen towels.
If your bedsheets can absorb moisture, they will be much more comfortable to sleep in. And during summer, it might also be very convenient to have a linen shirt or dress that can absorb your sweat and that is very breathable.
Finally, bathroom and kitchen towels made out of linen are just as practical and aesthetic as any others.
2. Natural Resistance to Bacteria and Insects
Linen has amazing natural resistance from bacteria, acarids and insects.
This quality is very unique and is hempful in any linen garment, but especially when talking about bed sheets, and it explains why they are a bit more expensive than others.
Because of this fabric’s resistance to bacteria, fungus, and bugs, it is also an excellent choice for all people who have allergies.
You have probably heard it before, linen gets better over time!
The great majority of products made of less durable materials that you purchase will deteriorate over time, that’s how it usually works, and the more you use them, the sooner you will have to replace them.
Linen is different: when you first touch it, it will be soft, but not as soft as it will get with time - it is a amazing benefit of linen.
And the more you will wear and wash your linen garments or use your linen bedsheets, the softer they will be. You just would have to take of it and anything made of linen can last for decades.
Did you know that cotton production is not very kind for the environment because it requires a lot of water and pesticides to grow?
But linen, on the other hand, is a very eco-friendly and sustainable fabric, only needing very little water and no pesticide since it is naturally pest-repellent.
Like many things kind for our planet, it requires more effort to produce and this comes at a cost which, we believe, is totally worth it all.
5. Rare Fabric
Just like many other rare and quite unique things, it comes at a slightly higher price.
Let’s take the example of bedsheets:
- Cotton bedsheets are widely available at any store or even supermarket, and it is very easy to find them.
- However, if you want some linen beddings, it might be more complicated because they are not sold everywhere and are sometimes considered a luxury. Of course, linen is a high quality fabric, and the rarer and better a product is, the more likely it is to cost you a bit more than a garment made from cotton.
6. Great Growing Conditions
Cotton can easily grow almost everywhere, which is not the case for flax plants.
Flax plants grow best in cooler climates with moderate temperatures, enough daylight, and water supplies, which makes countries like France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, and the Baltics, including Lithuania where our linen is grown, the ideal places for linen production.
Due to the higher cost of living, labor, and business in these regions, the cost of growing flax is simply higher compared to other natural fibers grown in other regions.
7. Difficulty To Harvest
One of the main reasons for the higher cost of linen fabric is difficulty to harvest.
Growing flax plants is not easy at all and is mostly very time-consuming and laborious.
From seed to harvest, the time for flax to be ready is about 90 days. Indeed, the plant must be uprooted and not simply cut in order to maximize the length of the fiber that can be harvested.
Moreover, there are about 100 different types of linen family plants in nature, yet the fabric is made only of long-stalked flax.
8. Slow Production Process
Weaving linen is a real art since the fibers are very fragile and difficult to work with because they can break so easily.
As a result, linen must be weaved by hand – which is quite expensive – or using machinery that runs slower and results inevitably in lower volumes being produced in the same amount of time compared to other fabrics like cotton for example.
9. Fair Labor Costs
When a linen fiber is not the easiest to harvest and turn into the finished product, it does involve quite a lot of labor.
As we mentioned before, all the steps to create the perfect high-quality linen fabric take a lot of time.
Since we want workers to be fairly paid, this comes at a cost, included in the final product. But there is also the cost of all the work made after the production of the fabric, like seamstresses cutting and sewing linen garments, making it into the proper size and fit, etc.
It is quite difficult to keep a very low price with all this work involved as we always stand for and practice ethical labor.
10. Premium Quality Reputation
As you probably already know, linen has a very good reputation and is usually depicted as a good quality material that is also high-end and therefore, quite expensive compared to other cheaper fabrics.
As a premium product, due to the slow production and magical qualities, linen is usually manufactured by responsible and conscious businesses specialized in its production, and who really care about the quality and longevity of a fabric.
Is Linen More Expensive Than Cotton?
Yes, linen fabric is more expensive than cotton. This is due to all the amazing properties of linen that cotton does not have, such as longevity, moisture absorbance and eco-friendliness.
Also, linen is less available in the clothing market than cotton, making it a rare and unique fabric.
Of course, cotton and linen share some similarities:
- They are both natural fabrics made from plant fibers;
- They are skin-friendly;
- They are as good for summer as for winter!
However, the comparison stops here, since cotton requires much more water for its growth, it is not as durable as linen, it does not have the moisture absorbance and anti-allergenic qualities and much more.
Linen fabric has unique qualities, low growing and production needs and extreme longevity.
Due to these reasons linen fabric is considered to be more expensive than some other fabrics such as cotton, yet we believe it is worth paying when you know all its wonderful advantages including sustainability, durability and kindness of the fabric.
Once you invite linen fabric into your life, it welcomes you with kindness, which we believe, you will cherish for decades.
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