French linen

October 20, 2010


“Pure linen” has a 100% flax content.  Linen is reputed to be one of the the top natural fibres in the world for many uses. It is one of the strongest fabrics, that lasts a lifetime and was therefore the preference of people with high status ; It has always been more expensive than other fibers.  Another consideration is that flax is ecological because it requires little fertiliser and pesticide (much less than cotton).  Pure linen fabric is machine washable and becomes softer with washing.  For vintage or antique fabrics, colour depends on how the fibres were processed : this starts with how the retting was done : left on the ground in the field or in water ? If the fabric is somewhat greyish in colour it is certain to be because it was retted on the ground, regardless of the amount of times the fabric has been washed. If the fabric is snowy-white, then the flax has certainly been retted in water.   Regarding bleaching, it was common to sell both bleached and non-bleached linen fabric, so you often find both sorts of unused items : unused items that have never been or rarely bleached are always a beige colour ! …and will whiten with washing!


Bedding
: People have difficulty getting to sleep nowadays. It has been scientifically proven that pure linen sheets help people to get to sleep faster and deeper…  This fabric is insulating in winter and cool in summer, absorbent, non-allergenic, anti-bacterial and is particularly beneficial for tired legs in particular and skin in general.  One reason why it enables people to get to sleep faster is that the internal temperature of the body reduces more efficiently with pure linen sheets allowing one to fall asleep.

Curtains/Drapery : Because of its natural density, a pure linen fabric is more weighty than a mix or a cotton one, so for this reason, it hangs beautifully as drapes.

Upholstery : Choose thick types of fabric that will give substance to your project. You can use the weight of an item to calculate the weight/surface ratio to compare different fabrics. 

Clothes : A disadvantage when using linen for clothing is that it easily crumples, but if the fashion of the moment allows for this, then why not ? Anyway, it is the best fabric for perspiration as it is really absorbent and there is no doubt that if you are living in a warm or hot country you will have made the best choice with this superb natural fiber.


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2 Responses to “French linen”

  1. Jeff Says:

    I recognize the top picture. ( JD)

  2. bill barr Says:

    John Darien in Ptown… always in good taste!


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