• The History of Bed Linens

    by Lifeboat Admin ,

     

    What’s the last thing you notice before you close your eyes for the night? Perhaps literally, your ceiling. Okay, okay…What about right before that? When you collapse on your bed at the end of a long day and throw back your covers for a good night’s rest. Hopefully what you notice is the soft, clean, crisp feeling you get when you wrap newly cleaned sheets tightly around you.

     

    You’ve probably noticed that in addition to a variety of towel products, Alluretex has an array of premium linens to offer. We’ve discussed them frequently in past posts, but we’ve never really talked about why they look the way they do or why they look the way that they do. If you think about it, bedding, and even beds are a really weird concept. You climb up on top of a raised square object, padded with pillows and wrapped up tight with sheets and that’s where you spend about a third of your life.

     

    Of course that hasn’t always been the case. Once upon a time, men and women slept right on the ground, come rain or shine. Soon after this idea evolved into piles of twigs and straw and leaves that made a more comfortable foundation for a bed. It’s been about three thousand years since the Egyptians decided that sleeping on a raised platform would be a much more comfortable option. Those are the origins of the bed itself. But what about bedding?

     

    The origins of bedding also go back a very long way. The first human beings are documented as using simple straw mats to sleep under. Sometimes they would add animal furs for both warmth and comfort. Soon they had a Eureka moment and began to add another fur or skin underneath them so that the ground was a bit more comfortable. In some countries and cultures, the inhabitants opted for hammocks, which removed the need for any bedding in warmer temperatures.

     

    The term bed linen refers specifically to the history of the fabric weaving. Flax, which bed linen is most commonly made from, is one of the oldest plants that is related to textile production. Linen is an even better material for bedding than cotton because the nature of the flax plant, when woven is to become softer with wear and age. Traditional linens have always been white in color but obviously dying them is extremely common in today’s market and has been for many years.

     

    The Egyptians also deserve credit for the flax plant, they really perfected the cultivation process as well as the weaving process. Once nearby countries heard about flax, it quickly expanded. Women worked long hours spinning flax into a variety of linen products- sheets, napkins, hankies…you name it, you could probably weave it out of linen.

     

    In the 19th century Cotton Gin was first invented. Cotton Gin was a machine for separating cotton-seeds from cotton, and so, the cotton sheet was born. This was an era where looms became mechanized, and textile production grew exponentially faster and easier. In the years since, people have started using other fabrics for their beds like brocade, silk, percale, satin, flannel, polyester and blends. Although they all have pro’s and con’s, cotton and linen still reign supreme. And there, is just the tip of the history of the bedding which you so comfortably wrap yourself in at night.
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