MATTER STORIES: Linen
Taking a stance in building a more sustainable fashion industry means also that, as a concept store, we look into the processes and materials our designers work with. We call them “noble materials”, ones that are naturally available, sustainably or responsibly sourced, and allow for a hand crafted approach. Totay, we talk to you about a material that make it to the top of the list: linen.
Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, so it can kind of be consider a vegetable. The linen has been around for centuries as the flax plant is one of the oldest cultivated plants in history. Flax is one of the few crops still produced in Western Europe, with nearly 75,000 acres under cultivation annually due to the climatic conditions being the best for its production. The growing cycle is fast, it only takes 100 days between sowing in March and harvesting in July. Curiously, the flax plant blooms only for one day. Flax is never mowed, it always has to be uprooted to preserve the full potential of the plant, that is a process made by mechanical grubbers in modern times. The plants go through a process called “retting” to help separate the fibres from the straw which are then graded into long fibers which will be used to create the finest linen yarn. The fine yarn is "wet spun" to impart a smoother, shiny appearance.
One of its main qualities is the high air permeability and heat conductivity properties it has, these makes it a wearable textile all year round as it keeps you cool in the hot temperatures of the summer and warm in winter. This natural fabric absorbs perspiration and allows the skin to breathe while being extremely durable as the more it’s washed the softer it gets. It is also known as anti-allergic, recommended for people with sensitive skin.
But the main reason why we love it so much? It is environmentally friendly!
Linen is fully biodegradable. Every part of the plant is used to make linen so there is s little waste during the production process. The seeds, that are not used for linen, are pressed to make linseed oil, dyes, paint and cosmetics. It does not need any additional water other than rain to grow and does not require pesticides that can harm the environment. Additionally, the durable quality of linen promotes “no waste” as it can last a lifetime if taken care properly. As a whole, it is one of the most sustainable textiles, which makes it one of our primary choices in terms of clothing. And believe me, it looks great!
Text by Maracena Blanco