|Linen is a natural fiber made from Flax. It is typically known as a spring or summer fabric due to it's lightweight nature and ability to breathe. The long staple fibers make this fabric less likely to pill when faced with abrasion. Common uses for linen include dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, jackets, drapes, placemats, seat covers, and other home furnishings. Since linen is a natural fiber, it takes dye very well. Colors come out very lustrous and bright. Linen is unlike any other fiber in hand and drape. It is a stiff fabric that creases easily. While it can be pleated, the pleats will not set permanently if you choose to use a natural fiber. This fabric is ideal for structured garments and full silhouettes.|
Linen lends itself effortlessly to flared silhouettes. Horsehair can be added to the hem to exaggerate the fullness. Because linen is a plain-weave fabric that is loosely woven, it lends itself very well to embroideries and other embellishments. Possibly the most important characteristic of linen is its ability to create volume and structure while still falling smoothly. Linen is a great choice for pegged, a-line, and bouffant silhouettes. It is also easily tailored, making it a go-to fabric for jackets or summertime resort pants.
Linen is known as a luxurious fabric, and is fairly expensive due to the complex process by which it is manufactured. It was extensively used it the 2009 spring ready-to-wear collection of Ralph Lauren. In this collection, linen was blended with Lurex threads to create metallic sheens in this already lustrous fabric.
In the drapes below, the medium-weight linen imported from Italy was used to create voluminous gowns and structured embellishments. This fabric lends itself nicely to fabric manipulations and self-fabric embellishments. Tucks can create exaggerated silhouettes due to the fabric's natural stiffness. At the tuck's breakpoint, the fabric billows downward creating fullness. The luster of the fabric also works well to create dramatic highlights and shadows in a voluminous garment. The drapes below will help to give inspiration, and an idea of how this fabric can be used to add luxury, luster and flavor to your summertime wardrobe.