Linum usitatissimum

Linen is our favourite textile, no doubt about it.

Made of flax pants (linun usitatissimum) fibers, linen is very strong, absorbent and dries faster than other fibers such as cotton. Linen is well-know by its exceptional coolness and freshness, becoming softer, stronger and increasing its capacity of absorbing water each time is washed.

Since thousands of years ago, linen has been used as an expression of class, for warm climates and undergarments. The Ancient Egyptians used the finest woven linen to wrap their mummies in linen bandages.

V&A Museum, Linen, the original sustainable material
Linen from mummy wrapping. Placed in a box with glass lid. Dep. from NM 1928 Only fragments preserved. Egypt Etnografiska museet, Stockholm Deposition från Nationalmuseum 1928. Source: Europeana

From Middle Ages, flax became one of the most commonly used fibers in Europe. Each family dedicated a small part of land to grow flax for their own needs. Then flax was prepared at home to make linen for clothing, bedlinen and domestic textiles.

sleeve Children’s sleeves, motifs on white ground, contours black and red (dut) mouw – Source: Europeana

The whole process (including sowing, pulling, retting, scutching, combing, spinning and weaving) is well explained in the video below and article, prepared by the V&A Museum in the framework of the past exhibition Fashioned from Nature, exploring the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to nowadays.

Source: V&A Museum

Nowdays, linen is still extremelly fashioned and given its ecological values (longevity, aesthetic, zero-waste production, no need of pesticides, irrigation, fertilisers and herbicides and pesticides, if grow under concrete climate circunstances). Linen is becoming one of the most relevant textiles used by fashion brands and makers. Moreover, most of world linen is produced in Europe.

“80% of the world’s production of scutched flax fibers are originated from Europe, and France is the world leader. Flax is a rare product which represents less than 1% of all textile fibers consumed worldwide.”

European Linen and Hemp Community

“Flax even retains 3.7 tons of CO2 per hectare per year.”

V&A Museum, Linen, the original sustainable material

As you already might know, all our garments are made to last and with natural, and when possible organic or vintage, fabrics such as linen, cupro and wool.

Boro Col Dress

But linen is our favourite textile for our garments collection , no doubt about it, for all these reasons, and some others. Bought organic from Lithuania or via vintage markets, we keep trusting in its qualities and capacity to bring a new and trendy old fashioned proposal into the landscape of sustainable fashion.

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