Skin is the only organ of the body that comes directly in contact with the garment one is wearing. Clothes are the whole and sole things that stay in contact with the skin for the longest time. Hence developing fabrics that can heal or protect the skin would add more value to your clothes. Using a certain kind of cloth can have a remedial and alleviating effect on you. Therapeutic textiles provide new approaches and are gaining importance slowly because of its many benefits and positive results. These fabrics play an important role in relieving stress, rejuvenating, curing skin diseases and also help you sleep better.
Since healing is the primary purpose of such textiles, an extra fine, tightly woven and extremely soft materials need to be used. One such fabric is Linen. Linen has been used in ancient times by Egyptians, to wrap mummies and preserve them for ages. This age old fabric is made from the flax plant fibres and woven into a beautiful and smooth natural material.
In several early Mediterranean cultures, linen garments have been used because of its quality to remain clean and to protect against illness. Many ancient Holy Scriptures like the Bible, have a special mention of this flax fabric and have strongly emphasized on wearing pure linens. But, what makes linen so virtuous?
The silica in linen acts as a filter and repels dirt. It functions as a protective shield in the sun by reducing the harmful gamma radiation by almost half. Linen keeps fungus and bacteria at bay. Hence, linen is said to be beneficial in curing skin diseases like common rashes and eczema. Using linen bed spreads reduces bed sores in patients who are completely bed ridden. Linen bandages are used in treating injuries because of its anti-bacterial qualities.
The texture of linen is smooth and leaves an almost calming and soothing effect on your skin. It is also said to relax the nervous system, favour blood circulation, provide better air circulation and heal inflammatory sensations. Linen fabrics are used to make clothes, bed-sheets and undergarments owing to its tranquilizing and skin friendly properties. Linens are also easy to maintain. It is twice as durable as cotton. Even after several washes it retains the luster, smoothness and strength. All this makes linen a miracle fabric for the skin.
Herbal textiles are also of high healing value. These fabrics are free of chemicals and dyes and are made from herbal extracts. What sets them apart from vegetable dyes is that they come with medicinal values of the herbs. A coat of direct and actual herbal extracts on the fabric keeps the remedial value intact. Herbal textiles have been helpful in curing diseases like hypertension, asthma, diabetes and even cardiac ailments.
Indigo for instance is used to cure skin allergies, Cuscus grass for asthma, turmeric fights skin problems and enhances it, and sandalwood extracts keep one relaxed and calm because of its refreshingly mild fragrance. Herbal textiles are also used to make garments and bed covers.