In Boggi Milano’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, linen features prominently in all areas, with linen suits, cotton-linen blend polos and T-shirts, and many other products. The Burnt Sienna 100% linen suit (BO19P053203) in linen woven by the Italian company Solbiati is a spectacular outfit with its distinctive colour, in the Mantova cut, unlined and with entirely deconstructed shoulders. The flat-front trousers are Slim Fit, and the suit can be paired with a navy long-sleeved polo shirt (BO19P027701) and a pair of sneakers. The light grey suit (BO19P052901), also in 100% linen, has a modern and stylish look enhanced by the slim-fit jacket that enhances the wearer’s physique, and the flat-front trousers. The modernity of the look can be underlined by pairing it with a Korean-collar shirt (BO19P118601), one of Boggi Milano’s innovations this season. The third version is a darker grey pinstripe suit (BO19P052802) in pure Solbiati linen, in the Mantova cut, which can be worn with a mid-blue linen shirt (BO19P000403) and a pair of navy suede loafers (BO19P078801).
Linen, naturally high-tech
Linen is a totally natural fibre, but its quality has a lot in common with the latest high-tech materials, to the point that it could be described as nature’s take on technical textiles. Linen is a classic for summer garments, for several reason. The fibres themselves have a microstructure that is conducive to heat conductivity, allowing body heat to escape and increasing the cooling effect. Linen is a stiffer fabric with respect to cotton and silk, and so it is less likely to cling to the skin.
Durable and eco-friendly
In addition, linen is more durable than other fabrics, a result of the long fibre length, and when treated correctly, it can last for decades, improving over time, the fabric’s initial comparatively rigid hand gradually softening. It is colour-fast, and launders well. It is exempt from problems of static electricity and pilling, it is hypo-allergenic, and environmentally friendly, requiring less water and chemicals to produce with respect to cotton. It is recyclable and biodegradable.
The long history of linen
Linen is made from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), whose stem is rolled to separate the fibres, which are spun together and sorted into different yarn qualities, from extremely fine to regular and heavy. It was the first fibre used by man to weave fabric, appearing first in Mediterranean civilizations and later adopted by northern European countries. One of the oldest surviving artefacts is a Neolithic-age linen headpiece from the Nahal Hemar cave in Israel that has been dated to about 6,500 B.C., while a pleated linen shirt at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, University College London, was made in about 3000 B.C and has been confirmed as the world’s oldest woven garment still in existence. During the centuries of the Ancient Roman Empire, Europeans generally wore linen tunics underneath their outer wool robes, and for this reason the word “linen” acquired its associations with underwear (the noun lingerie comes from the French word for linen, lingin). It was supplanted by cotton only in the 18th century, with the introduction of spinning machines and the arrival of large amounts of North American Upland Cotton, but linen has always been considered a luxury fabric. Normandy in France, and Belgium, are generally considered as the best locations for flax cultivation, but the best weaving mills are in Italy.