Working for many years in homewares retail I have come to learn a thing or two about bedlinen. A major part of the education process that I have experienced is the difference a material can make to not only the look and feel of your bedding but also the long term implications – in particular those associated with longevity and sleep quality.
As you are probably well acquainted with now I am a massive advocate for choosing natural wherever possible and with bedlinen it is no exception, rather, it is the rule. In my time I’ve styled, steamed, fluffed, plumped and tucked more bedlinen than you can imagine and there’s just no beating natural fibres. The lightness, weight and natural movement that Cotton, Linen and Bamboo embody are hard to match in a synthetic material that can often be stiff and unbreathable.
My favourite material of all to style and sleep in is definitely Linen. To me there’s nothing more beautiful than layers of softly textured linen in tonal neutral hues. By nature linen is a breathable fibre and it is unrivalled in it’s ability to regulate of temperature (crucial to a sound night of sleep). If you’re like me and love to sleep amongst layers upon layers of soft fabrics all year round Linen is a fantastic option as it’s moisture wicking abilities and breathable nature will keep you cool and comfortable in summer but insulated and warm in the winter months.
One thing to keep in the forefront of your mind when selecting a linen is the quality. Whilst you may find 100% linen in quite a few retailers these days its pretty easy to get a sense of it’s quality by the feel. Unlike it’s close cousin cotton, which you can judge by a thread count, Linen doesn’t have an equivalent grading system. However from my experience you can always judge a good linen by it’s overall thickness and softness to touch.
When shopping for linen you should see a tight weave in the fabric. Not only this but the material should hold a bit of weight to it although keep in mind that linen does soften over time so you may find it a little bit rigid at first especially if you are used to the feeling of cotton which is made up of much finer fibres. By nature linen is a thicker thread but therein lies it’s beauty, as you wash and use the linen it will soften without losing it’s shape or thinning out.
One last thing to consider is doing your research into brands that manufactures using safe or organic dyes and materials. When you think about it, if you opt for natural skincare yet have you ever considered that your skin will most likely come into direct contact with these sheets for 6-8 hours per night. It makes sense yet we can often neglect this fact. Where possible look out for natural or organic dyes to ensure that you are not only being soft on your skin but also kinder to the environment by supporting less harmful manufacturing systems.
I have recently been fortunate enough to work with Sheets on the Line, a brand that shares this love of linen. A family owned business with stores in Brisbane and South Yarra as well as their online shopfront, SOTL’s founders Deb and Steve have crafted a beautiful collection of linen bedding whilst keeping a kind and honest approach to their manufacturing processes. Prioritising sustainability and fair trade practices are one crucial element to their collection, but in addition to this their classic, high quality designs are the guaranteed way to add an element of understated luxury to your bedroom.
How did the idea for Sheets on the Line come about?
We were living on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland at the time, and came up with the idea over coffee one Saturday morning at the local cafe we would often visit. We wanted to create a range of bed linen that was affordable and organic, but didn’t sacrifice style or quality in the process. We launched an online store initially before opening our first showroom in Brisbane around 18-months later and our South Yarra showroom opened mid last year.
Tell us about your linen, how is it made and what makes it so luxurious?
All our ranges are designed in Australia and produced by certified specialty manufacturers around the globe. We have global organic textile standard certification and when we began producing the Sheets on the Line range being organic wasn’t just a point of difference for us but rather just how things should be. Our organic cotton and linens are made from resources that are as unprocessed as possible which gives them their luxurious feel and softness. Each product has integrity from beginning to end and we wanted to be able to successfully challenge the perception that just because it is natural or organic bed linen that it wouldn’t feel nice. We’ve come a long way from the hemp organic sheets of 10 or 20 years ago! We knew our products had to be governed by how they felt and the quality of the end result. That’s what drove us.
Why is it so important to you to establish ethical manufacturing practices?
If there is a choice to produce a product that is ethical and beneficial in every aspect - why wouldn’t you? The alternative wasn’t an option for us. The exposure to we all have to various products everyday, we thought it was only natural to want to sleep in something ethically produced that isn’t exposing you to anything that is disruptive. We wanted to make a product that was beneficial to you while you spend 8 hours sleeping each night. And we’ve continued this ethos in all products we produce whether they are bed linen or our tableware ranges.
Why should people convert to pure linen bedding, what are the advantages?
Other than it feels good to sleep in, it has so many good properties. Linen is anti-bacterial and because it is a hollow fibre it regulates your temperature. In a bed sheet this means you don’t need as many layers to keep warm as the linen is regulating that temperature for you. It’s pretty amazing. And when you think about a stable and consistent temperature being one of the factors that can make or break a good night’s sleep we like to think a beautiful linen sheet set sets you up for the best possible rest!
What are your favorite ways to incorporate little moments of luxury into your day?
Luxury to us means simplicity and finding the good in the seemingly basic things. Getting outside and spending time in nature can be a truly calming and luxurious experience. There’s a great deal of calm found in being able to take a moment and look at a tree or sit overlooking the water.