Linen is sustainable and leading amongst all the natural fabrics in terms of endurance and longevity. However, the biggest reason behind the sustenance of the linen fabric is its raw material, known as flax fibers.
These fibers catch on one another in a powerful bond compared to the internal particles of all other fabrics.
The article is all about linen and some of its comparisons with cotton fabrics.
In this Craft in genius guide you’ll learn the following:
- Is linen or cotton more sustainable?
- Why is linen more sustainable than cotton?
- Does linen need a lot of water?
- Is linen better for the environment than cotton?
- What type of cotton is sustainable?
- Is cotton more expensive than linen?
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Is linen or cotton more sustainable?
Line and cotton both fall under the same criteria of the fabrics known as natural fabrics. However, despite falling under the same field, both of them possess different exclusive features and manufacturing procedures.
Both linen and cotton come from the plant’s source. But, as usual, with the differences such as the flax plants in the linen and cotton plants for cotton.
With that being said, the differences between them are disposable, which becomes one of the crucial reasons for linen to be more sustainable than cotton.
The pure products made out of linen give so much longevity, which is not the sole reason for their sustainability.
A lesser amount of water content is all you need to manufacture linen fabric from the flax plants. Whereas, the scenario is different and completely opposing in the case of cotton, which requires a considerable amount of water supply to produce cotton fabrics.
Again, it is a specific process of growing any plant with pesticides to protect them from insects. The same goes for both of these plants but in different amounts. Linen requires significantly fewer pesticides, a negligible value, while producing the flax fibers. Cotton is treated with a good amount of pesticides for the same purpose.
All these things as a whole also define the sustainability of both the substance. Most of the scenarios mentioned above favor linen, making linen fabric the leading sustainable compound.
Why is linen more sustainable than cotton?
To understand this, you first need to interpret all about the linen fabrics and it’s roots of emergence.
The first and foremost thing linen can be addressed as a natural fabric from the plant’s source. No artificial processing or ingredients are added in their manufacturing. They come from a type of plant called flax plants.
It sounds simple to extract the linen from their trees and engage them in making fabrics and clothings. But, in actuality, there are various complex processing and so much toil that one needs to go through during the linen’s manufacturing.
Flax fibers are turned into linen fibers that are then processed using some artificial innovations to produce linen fabrics.
But, during the selection of fibers of flaxes, one needs to go through intense caring. Therefore, Hand-harvesting is suitable for harvesting the longest possible flax fibers out of the flax trees. Also, you can cut the threads from their roots, due to which the fibers can be extracted to their maximum potential length.
After harvesting long flax fibers, the fibers are emerged for weaving and spinning to produce linen fabrics.
The fabrics contain a powerful bond of long flax fibers as they catch one another. They remain entangled as the longer the fibers are, the stronger their inter-molecular bondings. But, you cannot find such long threads within the cotton, which don’t make their intermolecular particle bonding that strong.
Therefore, linen fabrics sustain longer beyond your thinking limit and provide a very comfortable and cooler interference.
The linen may not be as soft as cotton, due to which many prefer the blend of cotton or the cotton as a whole. But, linen goes smoother and softer with every wash and over time.
This is again due to their flax particles which are comparatively rougher than the cotton fibers. But, linen got the backup to fill for this with its moisture-wicking tendency and significantly lighter option.
Line fibers enable air to flow and pass from outside to inside the fabric. As a result, most sweat gets evaporated in the air instead of soaking by the linen clothes. As a result, they make summer-tolerant fabrics and are almost favorable for all the weather.
Because linen consumes the coolness within itself during the hot days of summer and conserves heat during the winter.
With all that being said, linen is undoubtedly a way more sustainable choice than cotton in your natural fabric selections!
Does linen need a lot of water?
No, linen doesn’t require that much water content both before and after the production of linen fabrics.
The raw material of the fabric, which is flax, can be rinsed with average rainfall throughout the year. You don’t need to put another toil behind such plants, especially watering, in their growth and development. Average linen shirts will take up to 6.4 liters of water.
On the other hand, cotton takes up so much water both during its raw state and after emerging into a fabric. For example, a cotton shirt can take up to 26 liters of water volume!
Is linen better for the environment than cotton?
Yes! Linen operates a way more protection of the environment than cotton in terms of their fabric preparation.
Almost all of them go under specific processing before turning out into an ultimate product or the clothings.
And, while such processing, the by-products that release from them ultimately results in the pollution of various environmental factors.
But, linen as a whole does not pollute any of the factors of the environment. No matter it is the soil, water, or air, almost nothing gets affected by them.
When the product from linen gets expired, they get easily degraded into the soil and mixes up in the form of compost. Therefore, linen will protect the earth from getting polluted unless it does not contain any synthetic mixtures and artificial dyes.
Again, the whole flax plant can be used as a whole for weaving and turning into linen fabric. As a result, no wastage from the plants is ensured. Here also, protection of the environment takes place.
Also, no chemical substances and added synthetic compounds are required to manufacture linen fabrics that save water in the long run. Because, chemical substances when mixed with the water, cause intense water pollution.
All these things are not occurring in the case of cotton fabrics. And therefore, you can’t also expect such output from the cotton to prevent the environment.
What type of cotton is sustainable?
Recycled cotton is cotton durable cotton fabrics that are sustainable within all the models of cotton clothings.
There require no additional resources for the manufacturing of recycled cotton and giving them new lives.
Also, textile wastage is prevented with the innovation of recycled cotton.
Is cotton more expensive than linen?
No, linen is more expensive than cotton due to a higher manufacturing cost, complex procedures, and hard labor.
Also, linen comes in rare options compared to cotton and is strong, durable, and reliable.
All these things make linen more expensive than the Cottons, whereas both are still on the higher sides compared to all other synthetic options.
Related Questions (FAQs)
1. Can you mix linen and cotton?
Yes, linen and cotton can be mixed as linen-cotton blends which come in a casual way of rocking out your outfits. Also, it makes a balance of durability and comfort with the mixture of linen and cotton.
2. Is it 100% linen eco-friendly?
Yes, the purer is the linen, the higher is the level of eco-friendliness. The only way which can cause harm to the environment by the linen fabric is the content of synthetic materials within them.
3. Does linen shrink in the wash?
Yes, after all, linen is a natural fabric, and all-natural fibers are prone to shrink. With that said, linen can shrink up to 10% at the first wash, depending on the fabrics. If the material is pre-washed, the percentage can roughly decrease to 1-4%.
Linen fabrics from the flax fibers are produced using the minimum amount of chemicals possible. Despite being a natural fabric that emerges from a completely natural source, the cotton undergoes various synthetic and chemical processing during its manufacturing.