Linen is a natural textile made from fibers of the flax plant. The flax, or linseed, plant is an important crop cultivated in cooler areas of the globe, especially Eastern Europe, where it is used to make food, oil, and, of course, beautiful textiles. First produced thousands of years ago in areas that are now Georgia, the Middle East, and modern Egypt, linen came to Eastern Europe in the 9th century and quickly became a staple fabric for people of all classes.
It’s no surprise that our ancestors from all over the world loved linen so much – linen is natural, comfortable, and durable – it is 2 times stronger than cotton and keeps its shape, color and texture for years, which makes it the perfect fabric for clothing, towels, and sheets. Linen is hypoallergenic and antiseptic – no harmful bacteria or dust mites can grow in it – and is great for those with allergies, sensitive skin, and asthma. The best choice for hot summer months, clothing made of linen is lightweight, breathable, and reflects UV rays, protecting the skin from sun damage.
Linen is eco-friendly and sustainable: the flax crop is much less thirsty and much less prone to insect infestation than its cotton counterpart, which means that little to no pesticides are used in its production and that fresh water sources can flourish as they are not depleted to sustain a fussy crop. Choosing linen will bring you together with items that are beautiful, high-quality, and leave a smaller carbon footprint.
Linen is a beautiful, comfortable, and durable fabric that is made from fibres of the flax plant. Taking care of linen is easy! It becomes softer and more absorbent with age. What The Linen team has been asked many questions about taking care for linen products, so we decided to write an article to make things clear. Just follow a few simple rules, and enjoy your linens for years to come! As with many fabrics, especially if you’re still learning about how to care for them, use a small, hidden area of the fabric to test out any cleaning products.
Here are some basic rules that are applicable to most pure linen items:
– Machine wash in hot water (up to 70°C (158°F).
White kitchen linens can withstand water temperatures of up to 100°C. In the past housewives regularly boiled their linen items to kill germs on their bedsheets and towels. Nowadays, it is uncommon for people to boil their linens, but you can still wash them on the “hot cycle” setting in your washing machine.
– Do not bleach.
Bleach ruins natural fibres of flax linen easily. Also do not bleach your coloured kitchen linens. No matter what kind of dye was used (natural or chemical) the colours and patterns will be ruined.
– Iron at high temperature.
Ironing your fancy tablecloths and napkins makes them more elegant for that formal dinner, and, as a bonus, kills germs. So some people like to bleach to kill the germs – iron instead!
– Tumble dry, low heat, delicate setting.
Take out of the dryer when your kitchen linens are still slightly damp. You can hang them to dry or iron to perfection.
Jacquard is a technique of processing fabric characterized by its ability to achieve elaborate patterns. Patterns are woven into fabric using a particular loom attachment named Jacquard after Joseph Marie Jacquard, the man who invented it. Jacquard is a technique used to achieve various finishes including Damask. Damask uses monochromatic embroidery to create an intricate pattern or design most often on silk, linen, and cotton. The Jacquard technique and Damask fabrics are often used to fashion decorative home apparel such as towel, tablecloths, throws, and bed linens.
Linen comes from the flax (linseed) plant, which is an important food and fibre crop found in cooler areas of the world such as Northern Eastern Europe. The first use of flax fabric in textile production was found in what is now Georgia and Middle East. In the ancient world linen was considered a hot commodity, valued for its practical uses and spiritual symbolism. In ancient Egypt, considered a symbol of purity, flax linen was worn by priests, as well as used in the embalming process; and in Rome it was often used to make sails. After the fall of the Roman Empire linen lost its international popularity for some time, but still had the time to make its way into Europe. In Western Europe linen became popularized by Charlemagne who was aware of its strength and hygienic properties. Flax linen first appeared in the Slavic regions in the IX century; they prized linen for its versatility, and considered the fabric pure, mystical, and holy. Flax was used by Slavic people of all social classes in day to day life, and in marriage and other rituals. Peter I, during his reign, industrialized the production of linen goods, and later, Catherine II encouraged export, making Belorussian linen available to the rest of Europe. To this day flax and the material it produces remains a prized national product of Belarus, prized for its quality, utility, and history.
There are plenty of natural fabrics on the market worthy of their place in your home, but flax linen fabric is by far the strongest and most durable, as well as carries many health benefits. Linen is 2 times stronger than cotton and 3 times stronger than wool, and absorbs up to 20% of its weight in water without feeling damp to the touch, and dries quickly. Another benefit of pure flax linen fabric is that natural linen fabrics are hypoallergenic and antiseptic: no harmful bacteria can breed in it. It does not form any lint, making it perfect for people suffering from asthma, allergies, sensitive skin or any other dermatological problems. Flax linen fabric does not disintegrate over time, it just becomes softer, so towels and washcloths can double as gentle, reusable exfoliant.
Clothing and bed linens made from flax fabric are light and breathable, perfect for both hot and cold weather as linen is great at maintaining body temperature. Moreover flax fabric reflects UV rays, which makes it more effective than other fabrics at protecting the skin from sun damage. Finally, linen is the ultimate low-maintenance fabric: it can be machine washed even in hot water, heat-treated, and even left out in the sun without fading.