I love linen.
I love the way it feels, I love the way it looks. I love wearing it and I love sleeping under it. I love it in pillows and on sofas, table cloths and tea towels. It is an integral part of my life.
Apart from it’s beautiful aesthetics, linen is one of the most sustainable fabrics in the world, another of the reasons I love to use it in my garments.
Linen is made from the flax plant and the wonderful thing about this plant is it’s amazing versatility: every part of the plant is used - nothing is wasted. The seed (linseed) is a nutritious food for human consumption (think LSA) and also for animal consumption. Linseed oil is also found in soap, paint and cosmetics and used in the care of timber furniture. The shives are processed into animal bedding or chipboards. The long fibres, and the highest-quality short fibres, are used for fabric. The other short fibres get used in the insulation and paper industries.
This wonderful plant can be grown in very poor soils and can be grown without additional irrigation; rainwater is often sufficient. In addition to its low-water consumption, flax uses far fewer pesticides and fertilisers. In fact it uses 13 times less fertilisers than potatoes!
Flax is also one of the strongest plant fibres - two to three times stronger than cotton. This means that products made from linen are very durable. Which is important to the slow fashion movement – if you make a garment that lasts longer, it needs replacing less often, which reduces consumption and makes it a more sustainable choice.
Another wonderful thing about linen fabric, is that it is fully biodegradable, fully degrading after 6.5 months. On the other hand, products made from synthetic fabrics can take 30-40 years to degrade.
Linen is absorbent, breathable and antibacterial. The fibres are porous, and it’s wonderful at keeping you cool in the summer but is also insulating in colder temperatures.
Overall, it’s just ace. What more can I say…
The Benefits of Linen:
- All of the flax plant it used - no wastage
- Little or no extra water used in growing
- Little or no pesticides and fertilisers used in the growing
- Stronger fibre - lasts longer
- Insulating properties
- Looks good!