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In Detail: Summer Linen

Feature: Long Read
Words by Abigail Gurney-Read

Summer signals many things – for our wardrobes, it’s a moment for easy sophistication and looks that toe the line between smart and casual. In a nutshell: linen.

Natural, breathable, functional; linen’s many virtues are too numerous to count. A time-honoured textile – evidence suggests it dates back to Ancient Egypt – the flax-based fibre boasts all the classic appeal of cotton, but with a laidback attitude that can’t be topped.

Johannes Huebl, wearing a white and grey striped linen shirt

Linen’s legacy is going strong, championed by the likes of Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni. Summer suits, perfect for alfresco weddings, and loose-fit shirts – a cornerstone of any working-from-home wardrobe – are relaxed yet refined.

Sandra Sandor, Nanushka founder

“I like to work with linen in summer; the weather can really affect the sensation on your skin, so it’s very important that you wear fabrics that are compatible.”

Kadu Dantas is wearing brown linen trousers

Linen’s legacy is going strong, championed by the likes of Corneliani, Ermenegildo Zegna and Brioni. Summer suits, perfect for alfresco weddings, and loose-fit shirts – a cornerstone of any working-from-home wardrobe – are relaxed yet refined.

Linen Jacket primary image

Corneliani

Linen Jacket

$300
  • Interview Headshot

    Spotlight on: Sease

    Franco Loro Piana, grandson to the nephew of Pietro Loro Piana – of the Loro Piana empire – proves the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Here, he talks Sease: his own brand with fabric at its heart.

How would you describe the Sease aesthetic?
The name Sease is a melding of two words: ‘sea’ like the ocean, ‘ease’ like the release of pressure and the chasing of freedom. Sease represents a way of being both casual and sophisticated – of wearing garments that perform and are elegant at the same time.

Quality textiles are integral to the brand – why linen?
Linen is the perfect fabric for summer; it is thermo-regulatory, capable of absorbing humidity, and allows for natural comfort. It’s also hypoallergenic, making it particularly soft and gentle on the skin. Most of the precious linens come from Europe, especially France and Benelux where the weather conditions are perfect for growing flax. We use linens from these locations and then process them in Italy, where our spinning, weaving and finishing know-how allows us to obtain the most beautiful end product.

As a natural fibre, does linen fare well in terms of sustainability?
Linen grows naturally with rainwater with no need of irrigation; for this reason, it requires seven times less water than cotton. No pesticides or harmful chemicals – that can be dangerous for the environment – are required in its cultivation. Being sustainable is more than a choice, it is a commitment for both brands and customers to make. I choose to promote and encourage the best practices, making environmentally conscious choices and taking a forward-thinking approach to sustainability overall.

Shop Sease
Line Care Guide
How to Care for Linen

The protection of one’s investments is, often, just as important as the investments themselves, and clothing is no exception. With good care and storage, classic linen pieces will stand the test of time.

 

Washing

Beware high temperatures and heavy-duty cycles. Like cotton, linen can shrink if washed on too high a setting. Linen is absorbent and vulnerable to discolouration, with new linens especially prone to colour bleeding; keep your whites and brights separate. Always check the label – and, if in doubt, hand wash. Detergent-wise, gently does it.

 

Storage

Hang linen garments on padded hangers in a cool, dark environment. Avoid wrapping them in plastic; this will allow air to circulate, and keep the fabric fresh. Linen is innately repellent to insects, so you need not worry about moth damage.

Man and woman standing outside in jacket and coat

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