I was wondering the other day: What makes Irish linen more special than your average linen and what is it that makes Egyptian cotton so special? Egyptians wore linen centuries ago and called linen ‘the cloth of kings’. They did not call cotton the Cloth of Kings and that is now what we associate Egyptian fabric with. Why?
Irish Linen is the Guild trademark/brand name given to linen that is spun in Ireland from 100% flax fibres. This is the definition of Irish Linen. It is not that the whole process is done in Ireland or that it is woven by the Irish. It is that it is woven with 100% flax fibres and with the skills, craftsmanship, and technology that go into the spinning the yarn that has been passed down through generations of Irish families. These key ingredients are what make Irish linen superior to linen manufactured in other parts of the world. As a result, Irish linen yarns are more fine, the weave is very delicate, the cloth design is intricate and the softness of the water that flows in Irish streams can be felt in the cloth.
Other characteristics of Irish linen are: it will absorb stains and release them like no other fabric, it aids restful sleep, it is absorbent and cool (keeps heat and humidity at bay), takes dye extremely well, is great for wrapping bread and other food to help keep it fresh and does not lint when drying dishes.
The length of the cotton fibres is what makes Egyptian cotton special. This is becuase the climate in Egypt is perfect for cotton growth. It is also hand-picked which means that the cotton endures no stress with very high levels of purity. For all these reasons it is possible to create the finest yarns without sacrificing strength. This strength of the fiber makes the fabric more solid and resistant to stress. It is also much smoother than other types of cotton becuase of the high thread count. Egyptian cotton is also extremely durable. At first it is hard and stiff but with age it softens and will last longer than any other cotton. Ultimately, Egyptian cotton is the highest and finest quality of cotton you can buy and own.
Now I know and you know what makes Irish linen and Egyptian cotton superior and special.