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Is Linen a Breathable fabric?


Is linen a breathable fabric?

When temperatures go up, the clothes we wear and bedlinen we sleep under can make all the difference between feeling cool and comfortable, and being a hot, sweaty mess. During the warm and humid spring and summer months many of us seek out breathable fabrics for this very reason. But how do you know what's a breathable fabric, and what isn't?

Read on to discover more about breathable fabrics, and what makes linen the best of all summer fabrics.

breathable fabrics summer


Breathability of natural vs synthetic fabrics

The first thing to look for is what the fabric is made of. Natural fabric, like cotton and linen, is better at keeping your body cool than synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon or rayon. In hot weather you may notice that you sweat more wearing manmade fabrics, and that the moisture clings to your clothing or bedlinen.

Naturally grown fabrics are better at drawing moisture away and allowing heat to escape away from your skin. Linen fabric has always been popular for summer clothing and homewares for this very reason.

Here's why it's time to ditch the synthetic clothing and uncomfy sheets, and choose linen as your go-to summer fabric:

summer fabrics keeping you cool


1.Moisture wicking

Grown from the incredibly versatile flax plant, linen fabric offers superior breathability thanks to its inherent natural properties that wick away moisture away from your skin. This means your body and skin feel dry all through summer.


As a naturally breathable fabric linen allows heat to escape from your body, rather than trapping it next to your skin. This makes it ideal for clothing and keeps you comfortable, whatever the weather.

Breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are so much more pleasant in hot weather, especially if you suffer from swings in body temperature or overheating.

summer fabrics cool clothing


3.Dries quickly

Linen absorbs moisture better than other fabrics - even cotton - and it also dries quickly. It releases sweat and water into the air, leaving a fabric that's soft and dry to touch. This is also why linen is used to make towels, as it's not only highly absorbent it allows moisture to quickly evaporate.

In humid weather, when there is a lot of moisture in the air, opt for breathable materials that can also get rid of any water. So, even if you get caught in a summer downpour, or find yourself having a hot flush in the night, your linen shirts and bed sheets will dry speedily and get you cool and dry again.

durable cooling summer fabric



Although linen is a lightweight breathable fabric, it's also extremely durable. If you choose good quality linen fabric it will last for plenty of summers, and it gets softer with every wash.

Thicker weight fabrics like denim are tough enough to withstand lots of wear and tear, but they are also hot and not always suitable for hot weather.

A light weave linen material has strong enough fibers to last for years, but also feels cooler than a more chunky material.

durable cooling summer fabric


Choose breathable linen this summer!

Despite its natural wrinkles (which we actually love!) linen is always top of the summer fashion lists. If you're going on holiday and looking for a breathable fabric that will see you happily from flight to evening sundowner on the terrace, linen fabric is your friend. From casual, flowy tunics to linen scarves for cooler evenings, it's a summer must-have.

And because it's lightweight and compact, it won't weigh down your luggage either. If you're concerned about wrinkles, you can roll your linen clothing or beach towels to minimise creases.

A cotton-linen blend is also a light, breathable option, but for maximum comfort we recommend choosing pure, good quality linen clothing and bedding for your summer fabrics. Enjoy their moisture-wicking quality, breathability and soft texture, and stay looking great and feeling relaxed all summer long.

popular fabric summer



Don't forget:

  • Linen wicks away moisture, and it breathable, cooling and light.
  • It will absorb sweat and then release it, and any excess body heat, into the air.
  • A cotton-linen blend or chambray fabric will be better than synthetic materials, but pure linen is best.
  • It dries quickly.
  • It's non-bulky, which makes it easy to pack
  • Linen clothes and textiles will last for years and are always in fashion.

However you style your summer wardrobe or bedlinen, put linen at the top of your essentials list. There's nothing lovelier than a drapey white linen fabric dress to throw over your swimsuit, or a cool linen shirt to use as a cover-up at dinner. From picnics to beach trips, city breaks to summer vacations, linen will help you breathe easy and stay comfortable.

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I'm Inga and this is a space where I celebrate simple, slow living. It's a place to be curious and creative, to share ideas on how to live and work sustainably and mindfully. Being the creative force behind I also write about my love for linen and natural fabrics. Linenbeauty weaves inspiring stories of slow living with interior style features, travel and cookery tips and outfit ideas. Thanks so much for stopping by.