Cool in summer, warm in winter, tough but soft and, most importantly, produced with minimal impact on the environment, linen might be 36,000 years old, but the world’s oldest fabric is also its most futuristic. Its excellence is celebrated in the V&A exhibition Fashioned From Nature, which examines the history of materials, both natural and man-made, and how they have influenced clothing throughout the centuries. From delicate 17th century Flemish lace to designer JW Andersons’ 21st century dress, linen has always been in fashion, but the role it plays in interiors is just as valuable.
We use linen in the Houses on sofas, lampshades, curtains and cushions, as Soho House Design Director Linda Boronkay explains: 'We love to use linens in our more relaxed schemes such as Soho Farmhouse or the recently refurbished Shoreditch House Rooftop. We will use a lot in the new Farmhouse extension as well which is opening towards the end of the year. The reason why we love this material is the lightness, purity and softness it brings to a scheme, we tend to use paler colours that reflect the inherent nature of this fabric and we love to mix different weave textures to play with its versatility. Linens are usually a good price point too and they are a perfect material for curtains or creating a loose cover for sofas or armchairs that can easily transform an old piece.'