Unique LinenMay 28, 2008


Following on from my mention of linen in the previous post I thought I'd share a few thoughts about this wonderful natural fibre, its appropriate uses and a few things designers should know when specifying linen textiles.
A good overview and basic facts about linen can be found here. It is also worth noting that linen receives a tick when it comes to ecological impact. Flax needs very little fertiliser to grow and yields many by-products: food, cosmetics, inks, paper etc. Where possible linen textile production uses environmentally friendly methods (natural retting and chemical free scutching) along with 'bio-treatments' such as enzyme polishing. The resulting fabric is very strong, with a wonderful lustre and 'living' characteristics.


Due to these qualities designers should be aware of how linen, particularly in a raw/natural state, behaves over time. Linen fades. It is unreasonable to expect, say, a roman blind made with a natural linen to remain as it did the day it was fitted; the folds will mellow with the sunlight (particularly in the harsh South Pacific light). Although it doesn't pill, linen softens with use, particularly on folded edges and piping. This results in a non-uniform appearance to the surface of the fabric. Again this is just part of linen's natural 'behaviour' and is a sort-after look by many designers. However if you are after a flawless, sharp look then linen should not be specified.


A favourite of mine is the classic linen loose cover. Our pre-washed linens are the perfect choice for this job, eg Akashi, Mito, Izumo, amongst many others. The shrinkage has been minimized and, as linen softens with use and subsequent washing, the covers will create a casual, timeless appearance to a decor.

I hope you enjoy the linen in your home.


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