Linen Bedding: Are Wrinkled Sheets Sexy or Messy?

Ever since the Restoration Hardware sourcebook fell with a thud through my mail slot I have been obsessed with their new(ish) linen bedding collections. The catalog shows them just perfectly rumpled and textured and wrinkled. Not messy wrinkled; sumptuously wrinkled. But taken out of the studio and into the real world (my bedroom) I wonder if linen sheets like these would look less "sexy rumpled bed head" and more "morning after walk-of-shame disaster".

Made from flax, linen has long been a covetable fabric. But flax is a temperamental crop, and hand-picking the fibers off of the stalk is a laborious process. As a result, linen is typically more expensive than cotton. In addition to being beautiful, linen is moth-resistant, repels dirt and wicks perspiration away from the skin.

But as everyone knows, linen wrinkles easily. While most of us appreciate the beauty of linen, we shudder at the prospect of ironing our clothing — let alone our sheets! But these days a little wrinkle is considered a good thing, not a sign of poor housekeeping. If the latest catalogs are any indication, we aren't expected to iron our linen sheets at all.

The question is, how wrinkled do today's linen sheets actually get? And when does rumpled linen bedding go from being sexy to just plain unkempt?

Image: Tricia Rose