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Article: Emma writes about the story and styling of Linen

Emma writes about the story and styling of Linen - Emma Willis

Emma writes about the story and styling of Linen

I think for Summer shirts there is nothing more lovely than linen.

Our 2013 Summer Linen Collection was very popular so this year we have bought 100’s of metres from my favourite Irish mill Ireland as their quality is superb and they have been weaving since the 1800’s.

Their linen is the best as they use flax grown in Belgium and France which has very high quality soil which is carefully tended to, plentiful moisture from the North Sea, and enough sun in Summer to dry it out.

Inferior flax is being grown in the Ukraine and Russia as the soil is not well tended and as a result does not produce a nice flax plant, but they  supply most of the market as much cheaper, and is predominantly woven in Asia.

The Irish take great pride in the linen weaving tradition and have abundant soft water for the finishing process. They stopped growing the flax about 60 years ago as there is not enough sun to dry it out properly, compared to France and Belgium, and their old method of drying it in the fields did not give it a reliable consistency and speed of production demanded in the new market.

Like Swiss cotton it is the care and knowledge applied to the yarn dying, weaving and finishing processes that give it the lasting, stable colour, and fine texture, owed also to the careful maintenance of their looms.

In Ready to wear and bespoke our SS14 collection is made up of plain white, sky, pale pink, turquoise and apple green, and bengal striped white and sky, and white and green.

The shirt have soft collar and cuffs, flat unlined fronts to hang softly, gently rounded tails for wearing out as well as tucked in, no pocket, and can be made especially as bespoke or bought ready to wear.

Men are wearing them as business shirts now, especially if travelling to very hot climates on business such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia, but also here,  and obviously for holidays too.

The linen shirts have all been made with care and precision in our new workroom Bearland House, an 18th century Gloucester townhouse.

The collection also includes linen dressing gowns and boxer shorts which can be ordered online or at the Jermyn Street shop in London.

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