Our newest product launch refines – and redefines – one of the oldest textiles on earth.
Snowe has introduced the softest Linen bedding ever, thanks to a proprietary technology that whips the historically-rough fabric into a creamy soft dream. It’s the result of three years of research, dozens of trips to Italy, and many, many attempts to tame the textile. Here’s how it all came together.
So: how do you spend three years working toward a new product launch? With plenty of travel, trial and error, and well, sleep. Literally. As we worked on creating our own linen, our team slept on different linen sheets on the market to get a sense of what was out there. “Every single one I tried was too rough for my skin,” our co-founder Rachel said. “I’d wake up in the middle of the night, feeling like I’d fallen asleep on cut grass.”
Andres didn’t have as visceral reaction, but was against the idea of introducing Snowe’s own linen until they could iterate on the textile. “Our whole idea behind creating Snowe was about a collection made up only of products that were the best versions of themselves. No replicas, no ‘good-enough’. Unless we could completely retool linen to solve the softness issue, it was a no-go.”
Behold, our breezy-brilliant, cloud-soft linen bedding.
Linen History 101
Turns out that Rachel’s concern about the grass feeling isn’t uncommon – and not so far from linen’s provenance. Linen is woven from flax, a type of grass. The upside here? Flax is what helps make linen one of nature’s strongest, most durable, and long-lasting materials. So much so that you’ll see linen tapestries or pillow covers on high-end luxury antique sites, some dating back to 18th-century Europe. And costing upwards of $1,000.
Up close with linen's natural texture – the hollow fibers and loose weave help to make it insulating in winter and airy in summer.
See, the true brilliance of vintage and antique linen is this: More than wine or cheese, linen gets better with age. (And yet, poor linen, no one ever seems to make birthday cards that tout this.) The fibers relax with wear over time, and the textile transforms before your eyes into the world’s most perfect fabric – strong, long-lasting, breezy, and soft. With a romantic, Roman-fantasy-like wrinkling that lends it a perfectly undone look.
Though typically linen takes years to get to its optimal softness, there’s plenty that can be done to soften it right out of the gate, ranging from the particular type of flax it’s made from to the weaving techniques to treatments. We knew there were plenty of great ideas out there, but that to create the most perfect linen from scratch, we’d have to take things further.
Linen, with a view. A shot from nearby our mill in the Italian countryside.
What Sets Our Linen Apart
The benchmark for our linen wasn’t anything that was on the market – it was a set of heirloom sheets Rachel’s family bought in Italy, decades ago. “They were everything I wanted linen to be. Incredibly strong, beautiful after all these years, and magically soft,” she said. These sheets had the benefit of time on their side, but our team wasn’t deterred.
Master craftsmen at work.
To start, the flax itself. We sourced ours from Belgium, home to some of the highest-quality flax in the world, as the country’s humidity makes the grass especially pliant. Then we sent it to a mill in Italy, powered by generations of knowledge, as well as the most innovative technology.
As we tried to figure out the right combination of treatments to help relax the fibers, we were pitched chemicals (no thank you – we only deal in Oeko-Tex textiles) or aggressive techniques that would shorten the linen’s lifespan. It’s a fine needle to thread (pun intended) to wear down the fabric enough to be soft, but not so much that it would lose its hero qualities.
Our new linen, taking a cue from the drying techniques that inspired us along the way.
While our team was in Italy, they also saw dozens, if not hundreds of clotheslines filled with clothes and linens whipping in the wind, sun beaming down. Which is what spurred the idea – how could the natural process of softening linen, years of washing and line-drying, be sped up? We worked with our partner mill in Italy to leverage their proprietary technology that whipped, blasted, and tumbled fabrics with air. A match made in airy, cloud-fluffed heaven.
That magic, as part of a first-of-its-kind combination of processes, helped us turn out linen bedding that felt, finally, perfect. Still strong, breezy, and long-lasting; now, deliciously, buttery soft. Finally good enough – exceptional enough – to join Snowe’s tight edit of essentials. And just in time, too. Because Linen’s ultra-smooth, comforting hand-feel is just right for winter… and spring, summer, and fall. Because when you’re dealing with something that’s breezy and cuddly at the same time, why limit it to only three months a year?
Zooming in on linen's easy-going, unpretentious wrinkling.
What Does That Mean For You?
Maybe you’re still trying to figure out if it’s worth giving linen a try. After all, cotton sheets are wonderful – and yes, our linen is at a higher price point than cotton, thanks to the fact that the raw materials and construction are more expensive.
And yes, you’ll surely notice that our linen has a different texture than cotton bedding, but we promise, the worn-in smoothness and silky-but-never-slick feel is addictive. And it’s worth noting that Linen pairs beautifully with all our other bedding fabrics (may we suggest it with Sateen in the colder months, Percale when it’s warm?), in case you want to dip your toe in by introducing a duvet cover or shams to start.
What’s more, linen’s hollow fibers ensure that air moves easily through the fabric, making it an incredible insulator in the winter, and exquisitely cool in summer. And since the weave is looser than cotton’s, linen is less likely to get dust and allergens caught up in it. (We know a few allergy-prone friends who swear by linen for this reason alone.)
Make the bed – or don't. Linen looks dreamy either way.
We’re proud that our collection of linen bedding ships to you brand new, but each piece feels like it’s decades-old – minus any of the wear.
As for your part – caring for them, and continuing to make them even softer over time? It’s pretty breezy. All our Linen Bedding needs to be machine-washed warm, separately from the rest of your laundry (easy when you’re laundering the whole bed), and never with any bleach. As for drying? Of course, you’re free to hang these on a clothesline, to fully commit to the look, but honestly tossing them in the dryer, to tumble dry on low, works just as well.
Most of all, we’re excited for you to enjoy your heirlooms – ones that don’t need to be cared for like heirlooms. All the bragging rights, none of the upkeep. For the next 100 years or so of unbelievably soft sheets and exceptionally great sleep.