April 26, 2018

Linen – a sustainable natural fibre

FROM THE SEED TO THE FIBRE: Flaxseed, which is sown between mid-March and mid-April, takes about 100 days to grow one metre tall and flower. Each plant only blossoms for a few hours. However, as the plants do not all flower on the same day, gently swaying fields of flax colour the landscape a delicate shade of blue for a few weeks.

Special techniques are used to harvest flax because it is very sensitive and easily damaged. The whole plant is pulled up by the roots. Then Mother Nature takes care of the first stage of transforming the plant into a usable fibre. With dew-retting, sun, dew and rain – plus bacteria – help to separate the fibrous skin from the woody core. Alternatively, the water-retting method can be used. This involves submerging the stems in water at a temperature of approximately 35°C. After retting, it is easy to peel off the wood or rind, leaving behind bundles of fibres. The retted material is dried, broken and finally scutched. During scutching, the inner core is scraped to remove the last remaining pieces of stalk and short fibres, leaving behind bundles of fibres ready for spinning.

LOW ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: Growing flax has a low impact on the environment, using five times less fertiliser and pesticides than a comparable amount of cotton. Flax does not need any additional watering: natural levels of rainwater are all the plant needs to grow. Flax is a real carbon sink: one hectare of flax stores 3.7 tonnes of CO2 per year. On top of all this, flax has proven itself to be an excellent cover crop: planted in rotation every six or seven years, flax naturally optimises the soil quality, thereby increasing the yield of subsequent crops. What’s more, the flax plant is processed to make linen fibre in a purely mechanical fashion, without the use of chemicals.

IMPRESSIVE PROPERTIES: Linen is a very stable, incredibly tear-resistant fibre which possesses both hypoallergenic and antibacterial properties. Linen also has a temperature-regulating effect, insulating in the winter and staying cool and breathable in the summer. In addition, it can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in moisture and then allows this to evaporate, thereby maintaining its cool, dry feel. The yarn has a natural shimmer. As linen fibres can be spun very finely, the fabric is exceptionally smooth and does not contain much air. This means it remains fluff-free for a long time and is easy to keep clean. Linen does not have a tendency to become static and repels dirt.

THE LOOK: Linen is an all-rounder with rustic charm. Whether it is used in a natural, rural setting with wood, leather and stone or in the minimalist, cool interior of a new build, this traditional fabric adds a cosy, homely feel. Unlike days gone by, when linen was primarily white and starched, it is now prized for its laid-back, crinkled yet sophisticated look and comes in delicate colours. As well as curtains, linen bedding, rugs and accessories are now in fashion, marking the return of this tough, traditional, easy-care material.

OUR PRODUCTS: Choose from the many attractive linen products in our decor fabric collection. Our COLLEZIONE ITALIA contains a host of linen products for interiors – plain and patterned, dense and transparent. If you love the look of linen but would prefer a flame-retardant option for safety reasons, try our range of linen-effect, flame-retardant interior fabrics. With the LINO CS collection, Christian Fischbacher has succeeded in making linen-look fabrics durable.

With its muted, masculine colour scheme, our fine PUROLINO linen bedding conveys an urban character. The first-class linen comes from the far reaches of the Western European coastline and is processed by an Italian weaving mill. Thanks to its high density, PUROLINO is extremely compact and very stable, with a fabric weight of just 120 grams per square metre. The yarn-dyed fabric of our PUROLINO guarantees that the colours do not wash out, and the linen retains its wonderfully smooth and silky character for years to come.

The rugs in the 'LINEN DREAMS' range are hand-tufted using high-quality linen. The yarn has a natural shimmer that changes in different lights, resulting in rugs with vibrant surfaces and a distinctive patina.