So you’ve been observing the trends on Instagram and Pinterest for a while now and there’s a big wide world of stylists and Grammers who’ve mastered the art of the ‘linen look’. It seems like a beautiful world to live in but there’s something in the back of your mind, that stops you from making the leap and buying your first linen tea towel.
I know what it’s like to live with linen, and lots of it, and think that I’m the right person to abolish those concerns. Well, hopefully at least, put your mind at ease and bring some perspective.
Let’s consider some of the common misconceptions:
Misconception #1 – Linen tea towels are too hard to care for…
This is the biggest linen misconception of all. In fact linen care is easy, easier that you would expect. Here’s the advice we give to new tea towel owners:
Machine wash in cold water, use a mild detergent, tumble dry till humid or line dry, use a medium-hot iron, don’t bleach, don’t wring and dry cleaning is completely unnecessary.
If you have a spot or stain that you’d like to remove, don’t apply heat or detergent directly to the linen, consult our guide: Removing stains from Linen (coming soon)
It really is as no-fuss as that. But if you still have questions, you can read more here (coming soon).
Misconception #2 – Linen is expensive
When compared to a run of the mill cotton tea towel, linen tea towels are generally more expensive. But value for money is a balance of characteristics that justify the price difference.
- Ethical production. Our linen is grown, woven and made in France. It is as ethical as it gets in terms of textile production. Every person in the production chain works by choice and is paid a European grade wage at a minimum.
- Linen is exceptionally durable. Both cotton and linen are cellulose fibres. However, cotton comes from the flower of the plant and linen is made from the long fibres in the stem. Its crystalline-like structure makes it stronger and can grow up to 90 cm in length. Cotton fibres are between 6.5 and 10 cm, a huge difference in length. Why does length matter? Longer fibres make stronger fabrics and durability is what you want and need from a workhouse textile like a tea towel.
- Craftsmanship at all levels. All of the people that bring linen from flax seed to finished product are dedicated craftspeople with knowhow backed by generations of masters of their craft
- Flax is rare. 80% of the world’s production of scutched flax fibres, that is flax that is used for textiles rather than solely for seed and oil, is grown in Europe. And of all of the textile fibres consumed worldwide, flax represents less than 1%.
Misconception #3 – Linen is wrinkly
Well, yes, this is true. Linen in use is wrinkly, but you can press and starch it to reduce the wrinkles like you can with cotton. But the question is, why would you want to? Linen wrinkles are a defining part of the charm of this fibre rather than a negative characteristic. Do not let wrinkles dissuade you. Cotton tea towels are equally as wrinkly when scrunched up on the counter and they certainly don’t look as elegant as their linen counterpart. The great thing about linen is that it responds really well to ironing. So if you have guests coming over and you’d like everything in impeccable order, you can give your towel a spritz with water and a quick pass of the iron and it will look smooth and elegant hanging on your oven door or wall hook.
Misconception #4 – Linen is rough and not soft
Linen in its raw state can sometimes feel rough but linen will soften as it ages. When compared to cotton, the thicker yarns used in linen do give it a more textured feel. Our linen tea towels are made from washed linen. This means that we’ve already ‘broken it in’ by pre washing the fabric. They are soft right out of the box and more importantly, incredibly absorbent, an additional benefit of buying washed linen.
I hope that I’ve been able to allay some of your concerns and straighten out those misconceptions. Linen is a great ecological, aesthetic and functional choice for your kitchen. If you’d like to see a premium version of a linen tea towel, then don’t hesitate to take a look at our authentic French linen tea towels.