From Flax to Fabric

Flax is a fast-growing crop, but the process of harvesting and separating the fibers is complex and lengthy, making linen a unique and exclusive fabric. To harvest flax, the plant is pulled out by the roots to maximize the length of the fibers. It is then left in the fields to soften naturally, a practice known as retting. The sun bleaches the green stems as they turn brown and woody,while bacteria breaks down the fibers, allowing them to be separated. This process creates the natural beige hue often associated with linen. Once separated from the plants, the fibers are stored for several months to continue to soften. The long fibers are combed and twisted into yarns, to be eventually used for bed linen, pillows, tea towels, runners, napkins or clothing.

Linen History

Linen is made from flax, and has a long and rich history. As one of the world’s oldest fabrics, it dates back to the Ancient Egyptians, when flax was first woven into garments. Later it was brought to Europe through trade and grew in popularity between the 13th and 19th centuries. Medieval knights wore linen shirts under their armour while elsewhere it has been used for all manner of accessories, from canvases to bedding to clothing, thanks to its versatility and many qualities. Flax grows well in the temperate climate of Western Europe and since its introduction there the region has become central to global linen production. Today the majority of flax used to make linen is grown in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Through many generations of working with the fibers, the locals in these countries are experts in the highly technical tasks of harvesting, spinning and weaving high-quality, durable linen fabric.

Our collections

  • almost no fertilizers are used in growing flax which is the plant used to make linen
  • the production of linen fabric uses 5 to 20 times less water and energy than the production of cotton or man-made fibers
  • during the growth process, flax enriches and enhances rather than depletes the soil
  • due to the parallel arrangement of its fibers, linen is light-weight but stronger and sturdier than cotton
  • the tensile strength of linen thread is twice as high as that of cotton and three times that of wool
  • due to its unique properties, linen undergoes a molecular change when wet and becomes stronger, resulting in greater longevity than cotton