- ... There is a scientific reason. The difference is in the physical structure of the staple that the yarn is spun from, and the air pockets/spaces trappedMessage 1 of 21 , May 1, 2006View SourceCoblaith Mhuimhneach wrote:
> Linen doesn't just "breathe"; it stays cool. I'm sureThere is a scientific reason. The difference is in the physical
> there's a scientific explanation for it, though I don't happen to know
> what it is.
structure of the staple that the yarn is spun from, and the air
pockets/spaces trapped within the yarn.
Linen is a plant that produces a long, thin series of cells stuck to
each other on their respective short ends, one on top of the other.
These smooth fibers run up the length of the stalk of the plant. Bast is
what you get when all the un-useful bits are removed from those
cellulose strings-- and that's what's spun into linen yarn. Bast can be
as short as a couple of inches and as long as 12 feet (yeah, that's 12
FEET, as in almost four full meters) in the case of some hemp-produced
bast. Linen is spun by selecting just enough fibers to get the width of
thread you want; its coolness is caused by two physical characteristics:
there is very little trapped air inside the thread, and linen tends to
quickly evaporate any trapped moisture from the wearer's skin. It is
the evaporation that causes the cool effect.
Cotton is produced from the fluff of a flower pod surrounding a set of
very tenaciously-fastened seeds, and up until the invention of the
cotton gin, cotton seeds had to be hand-picked out of the staple at
great cost because of all the labor involved. Cotton staple is usually
around 25mm or 1/4 inch to around an inch/roughly 1cm in length. Because
of its short length, cotton is spun at a very high twist to maintain
cohesiveness. It feels 'fuzzy' to the touch when compared to linen yarn
because of all those little short bits sticking out of the thread.
There's also minute amounts of trapped air inside the thread; long
staple cottons feel cooler to the touch than short, which is a mark of
quality. Cottons absorb moisture, they don't evaporate it like linen.
So there you have it.
And the reason linens get softer and smoother with age and use is
because with laundering and ironing, you end up polishing the surface of
those long slender cells. Throw it in the dryer and spoil the whole
effect-- instead, pull your linen garment out of the washer and HOT iron
it dry with a heavy hand; the steam from the damp fabric will press
right out together with any wrinkles the washer dared to leave.
Linen is the queen of fabrics next to the skin, even better than silk, I
- ... thing ... term ... together ... while ... persona). Well said. You saved me from having to say it, and you probably said it in a way that was moreMessage 2 of 21 , May 1, 2006View Source--- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, Coblaith Mhuimhneach <Coblaith@...>
> 1) If authenticity is something you want to cultivate, the firstthing
> you need to know is that "period" is, hands down, THE most misusedterm
> in the SCA. What's period for me (my persona "living" in Munstertogether
> between 850 and 950 C.E.) and what's period for someone with a
> 16th-century Venetian persona are COMPLETELY different, and picking
> something from my era and something from hers and wearing them
> isn't period for ANYBODY. Silk is well-justified as trim for mywhile
> léinte, but it is extremely unlikely that I would ever have seen a
> garment made entirely of it, much less that I would own one. So,
> silk is classed as "a period fabric", a silk dress wouldn't bepersona).
> authentic FOR ME (at least if I was dressed for my primary
Well said. You saved me from having to say it, and you probably said
it in a way that was more interesting than I would have.
I'd like to add that when it comes to cotton, even putting aside
serious questions of authenticity and where and when did they use it,
I observed something interesting a while ago. I was doing a survey
of early period garb documentation on the web and noticed that there
are lots of living history groups that have sample pictures of garb
(especially tunics)on their websites that look way, way better than
the pics we see from the SCA. After studying this phenomenon
closely, I determined that the ones with the great looking pictures
were the groups that required linen or wool for tunics.
The reason for this is that cotton has a stiffer drape (doesn't hang
in soft folds) than wool or linen. If you make a tunic out of wool
or linen, it will hang on your body like the tunics pictured by
medieval artists. If you make a tunic out of cotton, it will (for
the most part) hang on your body like a starched Victorian pinafore.
It really is quite noticable. Not all cottons do this, but the
majority will. Exceptions might be gauzes and soft twills. Some
other really fine cottons also drape well, like Indian cottons.
Amazingly enough, about the time that most researchers think cotton
was starting to become more common in Europe (somewhere around the
late 1400's) you will find that garb made from cotton looks more like
the pictures than earlier period garb made from cotton does.
- ... From: Ciorstan There is a scientific reason. The difference is in the physical structure of the staple that the yarn is spun from,Message 3 of 21 , May 2, 2006View Source----Original Message Follows----
From: Ciorstan <ciorstan@...>
There is a scientific reason. The difference is in the physical structure of
the staple that the yarn is spun from, and the air pockets/spaces trapped
within the yarn.
Wow that was interesting and informative! Thank you so much for sharing. I
love when learning something new everyday is fun.
Lady Ah'reylia della Cava (2-11-06)
Chatelaine - Incipient Canton of Westmere (1-6-06)
House of Sable Raven (7-8-05)
The "Bad" Apprentice to Enid D'Auliere (1-6-06)
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.
What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us. ~ Herman Hesse