Discover the magic of linen curtains

  • Raw materials

Discover the magic of linen curtains

Welcome to the wonderful world of linen. Did you know that linen, one of the oldest fabrics, was used for clothing as far back as prehistoric times. Egyptian linen, 5,000 years ago, had religious and medicinal value. It was valuable because of its unique properties such as heat regulation and antibacterial activity. Even after thousands of years, linen cloths from the tomb of Pharaoh Ramses II remained perfectly preserved. Linen also served as gifts and even currency, with quality determining the status.

Growth and flourishing

1.       Start of the Season (March).
With the arrival of spring, flaxers prepare to enter the fields. They carefully wait until the frost disappears and the weather is stable for sowing. After only 100 days, the flax grows to a height of about one meter.

2.       Flowering (June).
Flowering flax attracts curious people to the fields. Each flower blooms for only one day. In the morning the flowers open and by noon the petals are already falling off. Since they do not open at the same time, the field is colored blue for several days at the end of June, after which the flowers disappear.

3.       Wear (July)
Slitting is unique to flax. Customized machines pull the plant out of the ground instead of mowing it. This preserves the maximum length of the fiber. The flax is returned to the field in parallel rows. Now it is still fresh green, but that will soon change.

4.       Rooting (August).
The rooting process, essential for flax, depends on Mother Nature with alternating sun, dew and rain. Microorganisms break down pectins, releasing fibers and giving the soil its distinctive color. Retting takes up to 6 weeks, and only experienced flax growers know when the flax is ready. A delicate balance: retting too short makes harvesting difficult; retting too long reduces fiber strength.

5.       Harvest (September).
After the rooting process, flax is gathered and rolled into large bales of about 300 kilograms. These behemoths briefly adorn the fields before the flax moves to the next stage: fiber processing

Processing the fiber

1. Scutching - breaking?
Free the fiber! The scutching machine separates woody parts from the flax plant, transforms the flax, and checks the quality of the long fibers. The woody shives are valuable by-products for slabs or bedding. Shorter fibers are used for coarser yarns or as raw material for the paper industry.

2. Lever to wick
Thousands of fine pins comb the flax until only the pure fiber remains. After heckling, the short heckling rags are separated from the long ribbon. The rags are used for coarser yarns; the ribbon is used for fine yarns.

3. Spinning of the yarn
The spinner combines flax from different regions for consistent quality and color.

4. Weaving & finishing
After the finishing process, a fabric reaches its optimal state. It undergoes various treatments, such as washing, bleaching and dyeing. Due to the influence of sun and soil during the rooting process, the natural color of an undyed fabric varies.

Environment/sustainability

Linen is among the most sustainable raw materials. This is because not much water is needed to grow the flax plant. The fabric is stronger, so hardly any pesticides need to be used to grow flax, as this plant is also not susceptible to diseases. These plants grow mainly on the coastal areas of France, the Netherlands and Belgium. Flax is the only plant textile fiber with European roots. In fact, the plant needs our maritime climate.

Properties

Linen is a powerful natural product with a number of distinctive properties. Like the fiber, it is strong, durable (due to high abrasion resistance) and colorfast. It feels soft and comfortable and has a beautiful sheen; they don't call it the golden fiber for nothing. Because flax is a natural product, the color can vary a bit per harvest which gives you the special natural look.

In June, enjoy the beautiful fields from The Netherlands to France, and know that when you see this blue flower, this is where linen is made.