For a fabric that has been around for centuries, it continues to amaze me how little we really know about organic linen and why it costs so much more than your everyday synthetic fabric.
As 100% natural Linen is our primary product, we kick our first blog off with some insight on : What is organic Linen.
What is organic linen?
Flax, or sometimes referred to as Linseed, is the plant from which linen is produced. It is a small flowering plant with tiny blue blossoms forming part of the Linaceae family.
The process of creating Linen textiles is started by pulling or cutting the fibres by hand. Thereafter the seeds are extracted through a process referred to as winnowing or ripping (separating the seeds from the fibres).
The plant supply is then removed from the fibres during a process of retting. And lastly the fibres are separated to be spun into yarn which is eventually woven into the fabric we know and love as Linen.
The flax plant with it's tiny blue blossoms
Why choose Linen?
Linen has many benefits but some of the more well-known, is the superior strength of Linen over any other natural fabric. It also has a rapid drying rate when compared to other fabrics such as cotton.
Due to the porous nature of linen, it has great moisture-wicking ability (transporting moisture away from the skin). And is a natural conductor of heat, making it the ideal textile for summer bedding. Linen also naturally hold colours well and as a result is great for printing purposes.
So, if you have a lovely bespoke design in mind for your scatters or duvet set, linen should be your fabric choice.
Many people who suffer from skin allergies have noticed that certain fabrics agitate their condition, linen does the opposite due to its resistance to moisture build-up (and the resulting bacteria build-up) it is naturally anti-bacterial. Nevertheless, this does not mean Linen is the natural cure for allergies or night sweats however it will certainly help with alleviating the discomfort caused.
Strong Linen Yarns from which Linen fabric is made
Is Linen hard to Wash and Care for?
This one is interesting as there are quite a few pseudo myths surrounding the wash and care of linen products, the short answer is: Yes, Linen can be washed and cared for quite easily. We have decided to share a few tips and tricks on caring for your linen products.
Tips on washing Linen
1. The most important tip, whether washing by hand or with machine, is to not use any detergent. Only diluted vinegar water for the first wash. This also helps to seal the colour of the dye into the fibres.
2. Only use phosphate free detergents when washing linen fabric.
3. When washing by hand, always use a gentle motion, do not scrub, wring, or soak the fabric. Make sure that all residue is rinsed off before drying.
4. When washing in the machine, always choose your machine's gentle cycle (wool or silk). If possible, select the water level to the highest as the linen needs to be able to move freely. Do not overload the drum as this can pull the fabric out of shape. Wash linens separately.
Tips on Drying Linen
1. Linen fabric should always be dried flat. Avoid hangers or clothing pins as this can leave marks or pull the fabric out of shape.
2. Avoid placing the fabric in direct sunlight to dry as this will make the colour fade.
3. Linen has a reputation for being wrinkly, if you don’t love the wrinkles, simply iron on the reverse side. For best results ensure the fabric is still a little damp.
In conclusion, handle your linen fabric exactly the same as your silk or wool jersey- with care and respect.