The Airthreads Guide to Linen Shirts. What's in your Linen?
What makes a great linen shirt? And what's the difference between 100% linen shirts that range from $15 on sale at Uniqlo to $85 at J.Crew and $295 at Derek rose?!
We're obsessed with crafting the best linen shirts and have researched so you don't have to and can make an informed choice!
At a high level, there are 4 things to look for when choosing your linen shirt.
1. Where the flax was grown. The best long fiber flax is the key ingredient to making super comfy, soft linen. The best flax is grown in 'The Flax Belt' in France, Belgium and The Netherlands.
2. Where the flax was spun and woven into linen fabric. The finest flax in the hands of expert mills with deep expertise in weaving linen for decades results in the best, most comfy, soft, and smooth line fabric. The best mills are typically in Western Europe, but there are a handful of mills outside Europe with deep expertise working with linen in India for example. Insider Tip: Look for 100% European/Belgian/Irish linen, Or 100% European/Belgian/French flax linen that has been woven at a prestigious mill.
3. How the linen was pre-treated. The best linen is only lightly treated/washed simply to ensure no shrinking and perfect fit and color after you wash it. The best linen avoids chemical treatment. "Wrinkle-free" linen is unfortunately chemically treated.
4. Where the shirt was stitched. The best fit and style for shirts is achieved at smaller scale tailors or ateliers where the focus is on small batches of shirts tailored to perfection as opposed to mass manufacturers focused on churning our large volumes of simple styles. India and Western Europe (Italy) are great locations for a focus on high-quality tailoring.