linen linens

Jul. 14th, 2017 08:26 pm
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)
[personal profile] loligo
Linen is totally my heritage fabric. Peruse the Etsy listings of linen sheet sellers from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus and enjoy their poetic descriptions of linen's magical qualities. Yeah, they're trying to sell you something, but some of the sentiment is real.

My grandparents and their friends all had linen table linens, pillow covers, and other home decor objects woven in folkloric patterns. They had embroidered linen folkloric shirts to wear to festivals. But as far as I know, none of them had linen bed linens. (At least, my grandparents didn't. I did not go around peeking at their friends' beds when we visited, but I can say that if linen sheets had been trendy among her social circle, my grandmother would certainly have gotten some.)

I always wondered about that. It's one of the original uses for linen, obviously. Were they just too expensive? Or are cotton sheets that much better?

Now linen sheets are becoming trendier, and I've been keeping my eye on prices. West Elm finally had a big sale on a discontinued color, so I took my chance and bought some.

Reader, I love them. But opinions in my household are mixed.

I particularly love the top sheet. It is both heavier and airier than a cotton sheet because of the thicker thread and looser weave. For me, this is ideal for summer, because I really enjoy the comforting sensation of having something over me while I sleep, but then I get too hot. The linen is much more breathable. And though it is a bit rougher than cotton, that doesn't bother me a bit.

The roughness is more noticeable in the bottom sheet and pillow case. It's not prickly at all -- it's just more texture than I'm used to. I still like it (in fact I like it more and more the longer I sleep on it), but this is the aspect that Andy objects to. And he doesn't like to have a top sheet on him at all in summer, so he doesn't see the magic weight + breathability combo as being worth the trade-off.

If he really complains, we may revert to linen top sheet and cotton bottom sheet. Apparently that is a combo that works for a lot of people. But since the sheets will supposedly get softer every time we wash and dry them, we may come to a natural compromise eventually anyway.

Now I'm looking forward to finding out how well they work for winter sleeping!

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