Discover the Beauty of Linen
In July the flax fields in Europe are a haze of blue flowers...
making them ready for harvest. Linen is a textile made from the fibres of the flax plant, Linum Usitatissimum. The only plant textile fibre originating on the continent, European linen cultivation cannot be relocated, its excellence is thanks to a unique combination: a natural, damp ocean climate, rich soil and the experience of flax growers.
Here is a link to a wonderful film Be Linen by Benoit Millot which really brings to life the cultivation of flax to the production of linen. Well worth sparing 10 minutes to watch if you'd like to find out more.
Linen is 100% natural It is a plant that respects the environment and preserves the land - as well as the surrounding plants and wildlife. Flax needs no irrigation, with rain water being enough for it to grow and very little fertilizer and no pesticides.
Linen is eco-responsible. A true carbon well - each year one hectare of flax retains 3.7 tones of CO2. Flax has also proven itself as a leader in crop rotation.
Linen fibres have a lively, heat-regulating quality which encourages sleep. This is why linen sheets feels so pleasantly cool on a hot day. In cold weather, linen works the other way round and retains warmth perfectly. It is also a hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial fibre. Producing a guaranteed sensation of well-being whatever the weather. Now that's really ingenious!
Linen can be machine washed. In fact, the more you wash linen, the more the fibres soften, making the fabric easier to iron and ever more beautiful. If there is time and space, line drying is always recommended and an eco-friendlier choice. That said, tumble drying will really soften up your linen and is after all perhaps the most practical option on a cold winter's day.
Linen is particularly easy to iron as it can tolerate high temperatures. However, it doesn't have to be ironed to be attractive and many people prefer the more relaxed effect.
Linen has two to three times the strength of cotton and is the strongest of the vegetable fibres. The high wax content of flax gives linen fabric its characteristic lustre.