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Linen Shirts instead of Synthetic or Cotton?


Commercial Interests
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2001 (+more)
VDLP 2013, 2018
I was just wondering if anyone has tried wearing other natural-fiber shirts for walking instead of cotton? I usually use synthetic shirts but I was thinking of trying linen.

I know that cotton absorbs and holds moisture, but what about linen for mountain use? I wear it a lot in the summer here in Paris as it's highly breathable and doesn't remain wet if I sweat too much: it just dries quickly.

What about linen for hiking? Does anyone hike with linen shirts?
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Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
Good question - I would think linen might be preferrable to straight out cotton for the reasons you mentioned. I would still be concerned about skin irritation when the fabric is wet (which is one of the primary reasons I avoid cotton for innerwear)- I am curious what others think.

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
Had a pilgrim stay here last summer who was the earthy type, she made all her own clothing from linen. Her only drawback was the light-colored pieces turned yellow in the spots where it soaked up the most perspiration.

Two young nuns stayed here two years ago. The parts of their habits worn against their faces and shoulders were made of linen, because it does not chafe and it wears like iron, I was told. They, too, dealt with the sweat-turning-yellow problem, but if you use dark-colored shirts you have that one figured out already.

All of them said the clothing is very comfortable and durable. The first pilgrim had walked from Slovenia, and the sisters from France, so they knew what they were talking about.

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