The price of linen has recently increased significantly, making it a more exclusive fabric than cotton. Find out why linen is so expensive.
If you’ve ever spent time browsing websites in search of your next ideal timeless linen dress, you may have observed that items made of linen are typically a little more expensive than items made of more widely available materials like cotton.
So why is linen so expensive? Depending on the quality, linen fabric prices can vary greatly. However, fine linen can be quite pricey, and there are a few reasons why its cost is higher.
We want to explore and share with you all the factors that contribute to linen’s higher price when compared to fabrics like cotton in this blog post.
Why is Linen So Expensive?
It has been used for thousands of years, making linen fabric one of the oldest textiles ever created. As a representation of wealth, light, and purity, it was even used as currency in ancient Egypt. It was also used to cover the mummies of pharaohs.
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Because of its high quality and expensive(r) price due to the labor-intensive processes used to make it, linen has always been regarded as a luxurious material. So, you might wonder what processes in the manufacturing process make linen more expensive.
Whether you are buying linen clothing, linen bed sheets, or linen towels, linen tends to be expensive due to all of its incredible and distinctive properties like extreme moisture absorbance.
Your sheets will be much more comfortable to sleep in if they have the ability to absorb moisture. Additionally, having a linen shirt or dress that is very breathable and can absorb perspiration during the summer may be very useful.
Last but not least, linen-made kitchen and bathroom towels are just as useful and appealing as any other kind.
Natural Resistance to Bacteria and Insects
The natural resistance of linen to bacteria, acari, and insects is astounding. Because of this special quality, which is present in all linen clothing but is especially apparent in bed sheets, they are slightly more expensive than other types of linen clothing.
This fabric is a great option for anyone who has allergies because of its resistance to bacteria, fungi, and bugs.
It has probably been said before, but linen gets better with use. It usually goes like this: the majority of items you buy will deteriorate over time because they are made of less durable materials, and the more you use them, the sooner you will need to replace them.
When you first touch linen, it won’t be as soft as it will become over time. This makes linen unique and is one of its amazing benefits.
Did you know that cotton production is not very kind to the environment because it requires a lot of water and pesticides to grow?
Contrarily, linen is a very eco-friendly and sustainable fabric that requires very little water and no pesticides because it is naturally pest-repellent. It takes more work to produce, like many other things good for the environment, but we think the extra effort is completely worth it.
It is slightly more expensive, just like many other uncommon and distinctive things. Let’s take the example of bedsheets:
- Cotton sheets are widely available in any store, even supermarkets, and they are very simple to locate.
- However, if you want some linen bedding, it might be trickier because they are not always available and are occasionally regarded as a luxury. Of course, linen is a premium fabric, and the rarer and better something is, the more likely it is that it will cost you a little more than a garment made of cotton.
Great Growing Conditions
Contrary to flax plants, cotton can grow readily almost anywhere.
Flax plants thrive in cooler, temperate climates with plenty of daylight, water, and sunlight, making regions like France, Belgium, Italy, Ireland, and the Baltic States—including Lithuania, where our linen is grown—the best locations for linen production.
Growing flax is simply more expensive than growing other natural fibers in other regions due to the higher cost of living, labor, and business in these areas.
Difficulty to Harvest
The difficulty in harvesting linen is a major factor in the higher price of linen fabric. Growing flax plants is extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive and is not at all simple.
The preparation of flax takes about 90 days from seed to harvest. In order to maximize the length of the fiber that can be harvested, the plant must actually be uprooted rather than simply cut.
Furthermore, although there are more than 100 different varieties of plants in the linen family, only long-stalked flax is used to make fabric.
Slow Production Process
Being so delicate and difficult to work with due to their propensity to break easily, linen weaving is truly an art.
As a result, linen must be woven either by hand, which is quite expensive, or using machinery that runs slowly and inevitably produces fewer volumes in the same amount of time as, for instance, cotton.
Fair Labor Costs
When linen fiber is not the easiest to grow and transform into the finished product, it does require quite a bit of labor. It takes a lot of time to complete each step necessary to produce the ideal, premium linen fabric, as we have already mentioned.
Since we want workers to receive a fair wage, this has a price that is reflected in the finished product. But there is also the cost of all the labor that is done after the fabric is made, such as cutting and sewing linen clothing to the right sizes and fits, etc.
Given the amount of work involved and our commitment to and practice of ethical labor, it is quite challenging to maintain a very low price.
Premium Quality Reputation
As you are probably aware, linen has a very positive reputation and is frequently portrayed as a high-end, good-quality material that is also quite expensive in comparison to other less expensive fabrics.
Due to its slow production and special properties, linen is typically produced by ethical and conscientious companies that specialize in it and who genuinely care about the durability and quality of the fabric.
Is It Worth Buying Linen Clothing?
Well, if you only consider the cost, you might conclude that they are simply overpriced. However, when you purchase an item made of the finest quality European linen, you not only pay for the time-consuming & labor-intensive process of making the fabric but you get to enjoy all the benefits this material can offer you:
- Durable and strong
- Eco-Friendly & Sustainable
- Highly Absorbent
- Dust and Moth resistant
- Natural insulator
- Less bobbling or pilling
Furthermore, each and every linen item is an investment for years and decades to come due to its strength and premium long-lasting quality. Unusual fact: Linen was used to wrap some Egyptian mummies.
You can see how long the linen lasts in the image below. The strongest natural fiber in the world is linen. Because linen is 30% stronger than cotton, its durability is undeniable. In light of all of these considerations, the cost of linen might no longer seem absurdly high.
Is Linen More Expensive Than Cotton?
It’s true that linen cloth costs more than cotton. This is because linen possesses so many wonderful qualities that cotton does not, including durability, moisture absorption, and environmental friendliness.
Additionally, compared to cotton, linen is less common in the clothing industry, making it a rare and distinctive fabric. Of course, cotton and linen share some similarities:
- They are both natural fabrics made from plant fibers;
- They are skin-friendly;
- Both the summer and the winter benefit from them.
The comparison ends here, though, because cotton is much less durable than linen, needs a lot more water to grow, and lacks linen’s moisture-absorbency and anti-allergenic properties, among many other things.
Conclusion: Why is Linen So Expensive
Unique characteristics, minimal growing and production requirements, and exceptional longevity characterize linen fabric. These explanations are the main reasons why cotton and other fabrics, like linen, are thought to be more affordable.
Therefore, is linen worth the higher cost? That is for sure! When you’re dressed in a gorgeous linen outfit that you made yourself, you can be sure that you’ll be noticed by others.
What is Special About Linen?
People love linen because it is highly absorbent and breathable to wear, especially when the temperature gets hot and humid. Because linen fabric has these exceptional qualities that are ideal for the summer, breathable linen clothing takes center stage and steals the show.
Is Linen a Luxury?
Linen is the most expensive and sustainable clothing fabric worldwide. It is made of woven natural fibers derived from flax plants, a renewable plant-based resource. Because it is more expensive and less readily available than cotton or jute, linen fabric is sold at a higher price.
Does Linen Look Cheap?
While cheaper clothes can look cheap because they are made with shiny, synthetic fabrics, linen is the opposite. It has a soft, very opulent vibe. If you want to keep cool, linen is a fantastic alternative.
How Can You Tell If Linen is High Quality?
Linen clothes made in high-quality fabrics have even and smooth colors. If the fabric is colored, it must be a deep, vivid color that does not show any signs of fading or discoloration anywhere on the item. The color of natural linen can change depending on the season, the soil, and other elements.