Linen Material

  1. Does anyone know - is linen a natural fabric or a man-made one?

    Is it scratchy? How about when combined with rayon?

    How does it stand up to washing - does it shrink?

    How do you think it would work for patient gowns? Our place is considering getting away from cotton-polyester and switching to linen-rayon and I have no experience with this material so was wondering if anyone might know.

    I know rayon is silky and I think it's used in gauze sponges or something in the OR. Is it hot like polyester when polyester is used alone?

    Thanks for any help. :spin:
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   ginger58
    No, no,no. I believe it's a natural fabric. Any clothing made out of it is cold water wash or dry clean. Both rayon and linen need cold water, therefore wouldn't stand up to a hot wash for disinfection, and both shrink. Polyester/cotton is a better choice.
  4. by   GingerSue
    linen is a vegetable fiber
    made from flax fiber
    it is 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton
    it has poor elasticity
    it can gain up to 20% moisture without feeling damp
    it will resist dirt and stains
    has no lint
    wrinkles easily
    there will be moderate shrinkage after washing
    it can withstand high temperatures for washing
    its threads break if constant creasing

    I find cotton more comfortable usually - the linen
    clothing that I have seems heavier
  5. by   justme1972
    Quote from TrudyRN
    Does anyone know - is linen a natural fabric or a man-made one?

    Is it scratchy? How about when combined with rayon?

    How does it stand up to washing - does it shrink?

    How do you think it would work for patient gowns? Our place is considering getting away from cotton-polyester and switching to linen-rayon and I have no experience with this material so was wondering if anyone might know.

    I know rayon is silky and I think it's used in gauze sponges or something in the OR. Is it hot like polyester when polyester is used alone?

    Thanks for any help. :spin:
    Not sure if it's hereditary or not, but everyone in my family cannot wear linen because it is itchy as hell.

    If something has more than 5% linen in it, I can't stand it to be next to my skin for more than 30 seconds. I have found alot of people feel this way.

    At first, I thought it was the quality of linen. So, I tried on, just to see (not to buy) a $600 Irish Linen dress at a high-end boutique. I would rather have poison ivy.

    Even the one or two items that I can wear b/c they are blends, if you put them in the dryer, they'll ruin. I had better success handwashing, and then drip-drying these at home. I only take them to the dry cleaners for a steam press only.

    The facility will find very quickly how many people are allergic, because I know a ton.

    The sensation? Ants crawling and biting.
  6. by   TigerGalLE
    I tried on some linen pants yesterday. I have never owned anything made from linen. I took them off immediately. It felt like i had hay down my pants.
  7. by   kukukajoo
    Linen Rayon for gowns? Sounds expensive AND high maintenance. Maybe if it is preshrunk? I think linen/rayon would hold up well and be comfortable.


    It is a natural material- very old fabric and stronger than cotton.

    Good linen is very soft. Bad linen is like putting itching powder on. My favorite dress is linen and so is a throw on my couch. I have had very bad linen and nothing is worse. The comparison would be with silk- bad silk is smelly (esp. when wet!) and looks thin or uneven or even pilly. Good silk is like a dream you don't want to take off!

    It is also dry clean only. Can look very crisp and professional. I do have some linen stuff that I wash in cold water and hang dry then iron- I hate paying for dry cleaning... I also have one that I do wash and dry by machine and it has held up well but I have had some that don't. Shrinkage can happen.
  8. by   ginger58
    "Be gentle when laundering linen: use a gentle wash cycle or handwash and use just a little gentle soap. We like Ivory Snow (powder), but some people swear by Woolite, some people like Orvus Quilt Soap (available at some Quilt stores as well as many Saddle and Tack shops!) and some even use their favorite shampoo. Whatever you use, follow the package directions. Place delicate, embroidered or fringed linens in a lingerie bag before putting them into a washing machine.
    Use cool to warm, not hot, water. Wash colored linens in cool water. Soft water is important: Hard water forms a soap scum that make linen stiff and dull.
    Launder stains when fresh. If allowed to set, stains may be permanent.
    Use oxygen bleaches (hydrogen peroxide) for white linen. Experiment to If hand washing, rinse very thoroughly. Removal of all soap will help prevent large brown spots on linen, which are caused by oxidation of cellulose by residual soap."
    I have never worn linen much because of the care involved and the fear of shrinkage. I never realized that it can cause so much itching. Lucky that isn't the only fabric out there.
  9. by   santhony44
    I have very sensitive, easily "itched" skin and wear a good bit of linen in the summer. It's not all stiff nor scratchy. (Wool, however, I can't wear at all.)

    I do have one blouse I noticed is a linen/rayon mixture. Very soft, comfortable, does not wrinkle badly, easily laundered, has not shrunk.

    Could your facility buy one or two to experiment with? Maybe let staff members take one home and try it out? I wouldn't want to buy a bunch before getting some experience with them.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    Thanks for the info. They did decide against it, wisely, I think.

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