DottyStripes Blog

Saturday Spotlight – Is linen scratchy?


Whilst browsing the internet I have come across some interesting comments about pure linen bedding which I thought would make a great topic for a blog post…

The general consensus was that bedding from pure linen is stiff and scratchy and, on the whole, these mums would never consider using that type of fabric for their children.

Hmmm… I could not disagree more. And of course, how could I not disagree given my position as the owner of DottyStripes?! But I also disagree as a mum, who seeks the healthiest and most practical solutions for her children.

My experience with linen to date has taught me that making general comments about linen is similar to making general comments about cotton. It all depends what you are referring to: you need to be specific. Plain, cheaper quality cotton will never have the feel of Egyptian, long staple cotton.

Similarly, quality of linen can vary and the feel of fabric you get will largely depend on the finishing processes during production. For instance, linen can be sold as raw, untreated fabric or one that has been pre-washed, during which process the fibres would be mechanically broken to achieve much softer finish. Linen can also be further washed and tumble dried, and even pre-shrunk to guard against this natural fabric shrinkging excessively during use. All these are additional processes that will determine the quality and feel of linen and, of course, its price.

But above all, remember that linen will age better than any other fabric and the more it is washed and used the softer it will get.

“Love is like linen, the more is it changed the better”-(Anonymous, quoted from the “Big Book of Flax”)

I have found this great quote, written some centuries back which I think summaries linen better than I could ever do. So, that is the secret to linen that feels wonderfully soft.

The linen we use for our DottyStripes children’s bedding is a mid-weight fabric, very carefully selected to be tight-woven to snuggle and wick moisture away yet light enough not to overwhelm by its weight. It also has been softened and pre-shrunk. The effect is that it is soft and gentle to touch and comes out of the washing machine slightly crinkled but without deep creases that would require steam ironing. Frankly, it is perfectly suitable to just put back on the bed!

My advice therefore would be: check what you buy and be assured that quality linen bedding is nothing but a great option, particularly for sensitive and gentle children’s skin.

If you feel like some further reading here is an article featuring in Apartment Therapy which is just one of many testimonials on how “unscratchy” linen experience actually is!

Until next time,