Learn about linen, about its origin, and production process and people prefer it over everything for comfort. Fall in love with the linen as you learn the process it is made and its magical fabric properties.
What is linen and where does it come from?
Linen is made from the fibers of Linum usitatissimum, flax plant. Has been used for centuries to make everything from canvases and wallpaper to clothing and bedding. They have been in use since 10,000 years when Egyptians utilised linen’s durability for mummifying pharaohs and medieval knight’s shirt and pants under their armour.
As years passed people starting using linen in household items such as bedding, tablecloths, towels etc. Combining pure luxury and breathability, linen is used to personalise fashion that romanticises the sharp yet relaxed fit of the fabric.
Benefits of linen
If you’ve already had some experience with linen in your life, you may know about its main properties, but for those who are new to linen, here are the main reasons behind its reputation
The flax fiber, which is used to make linen as they are hollow and it absorbs moisture well to be correct, it can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in water before it is damp. This is an essential feature when it comes to towels, bath linens, bedding, and clothing as well.
How linen is made
As stated before, linen comes from the fibers of the flax plant, renowned as one of the first plants cultivated by humans and still came well into the 21st century due to its unmatched physical characteristics.
Grown majorly in cooler regions all over the world right from Western Europe to India and Pakistan. It has a growing cycle of only 100 days. But, the journey from the little flax seed to woven linen fabric is a difficult and complicated process, which is why linen is considered a luxury item and comes at a higher price point than cotton and other materials.
Linen is typically seeded in March and collected in July. Throughout that time, the flax plant goes through a magical transformation as the ephemeral bloom when the whole field gets painted in sky blue blossoms.
After that, the flax plant is collected but unlike other crops, it cannot be mowed as they have to be pulled up by the roots to maximize the length of the fibers and preserve the full potential of the plant, to make a variety of different products later.
Collected flax then goes through a process called retting, which means keeping it open to moisture in order to sever the fiber from the stem. They will be soaked in water until existing bacteria breaks down the holding the fibers together. After retting, the plant goes through another process called scutching that separates the woody stem called shive from the raw material, the flax fibers which has a short coarse fibers are called tow and are used to make paper, twine, and rope, while the longer flax fibers called line are used to create linen yarn that goes into clothing, bedding, and other high-quality textile products. The next stage of the process is spinning the linen fiber and weaving linen yarns into yards of fabric, which will be bleached or dyed or both.
The linen we use is Stone-washed for maximum softness, which is a technique takes stones, usually, pumice or volcanic rock and puts them in industrial washing machines together with the linen fabric and wash it for a couple of cycles until the fabric gets a nice and smooth feel. Enzyme wash is becoming more popular nowadays as it gives off the same effect but without actually using the stones.
Linen then and now
Over its 10,000-year history, the making of linen has developed quite a bit. All the hand made process has now become automated. Linen which is once exclusive only to the royal family can now be found in hotels, restaurants, and many homes especially across European countries where linen has been growing for centuries.
Lithuania has deep roots in folklore and mythology with linen. As there are many songs and tales that mention the blue flax fields, and it is part of a tradition to pass linen items down in a family as an heirloom. Nevertheless, modern linen looks and feels much different than its predecessor.
We aim to produce things that acquire the rich history of linen and fit it into our modern lives. All our linen products are designed with the consumer in mind and hence we have a wide range of styles, colours, and sizes. You have to touch it to experience it.