Reap What You Sow
The charm of Egypt is in its long history that goes back far beyond the written word and in there tells the story of linen. In a land of scorching heat, it’s no surprise that ancient Egyptians wore predominantly linen, from the finest weave for the royalty to crude ones for the simple men and women.
Tunics, shentis and robes were made of rectangular pieces of undyed linen, some of which survive till today apart from the perfectly preserved linen wrappings recovered from the tomb of King Tutankhamen. What we use tissue paper for today, the ancient Egyptians used scraps of linen.
Flax, its source, was treated in the same order. Taking about a hundred days to grow from seed to mature plant then uprooted and laid flat to let nature take its course - ferment through the combination of air, sun and dew. While the spinning of the flax fibers is mechanised today, every part of the process was once done skilfully by hand. The ancient Egyptians were weaving delicate linen that could be pulled through a signet ring by 3000 BC.
Though high-grade linen is now produced in Western Europe, there's no denying that the ancient Egyptians planted the seeds and we're reaping the benefits. Discovering how linen is easy to take care of with its ability to resist dirt and stains, lint or pilling. Always comfortable on the skin with its high heat conductivity, letting heat escape as rapidly as it absorbs and loses water.
Unlike many textile practices like the traditional art of weaving muslin that have largely lost to history, linen continues to be as much of a utilitarian tool as an expression of life. Withstanding the diverse encounters that each day brings, collecting memories for many years to come.
Further reading: Fall In Love With Linen
Ever wondered why a linen blouse doesn’t seem to have that moisture-wicking, breathable quality or can be drastically marked down during a sale? Well, not all linen are the same.