There are many reasons to love linen – like its beauty, strength, timeless style and comfort. But at this time of climate crisis the most important benefit of this amazing fabric is the fact that it can be sustainably produced and processed. Read on to find out how linen is a sustainable fabric choice for your textiles and clothing, and discover its incredible natural properties!
Why linen is a sustainable fabric
Linen comes from flax, a plant with a blue/purple flower that flourishes in Western Europe. We have grown flax for millennia and it has an astounding array of uses besides being spun into linen. Some things that are made from or contain flax that you might not have known about are: bank notes, surgical bandages, food, mummification cloth, paint and linseed oil.
As well as its versatility, flax is a highly sustainable crop. It requires fewer resources and less water to grow and process than other crops, like cotton. It also grows without the need for pesticides and chemicals. Flax is also the most productive crop, second to hemp, per hectare, providing optimum use of space. Growing flax organically involves rotating the crops, which prevents soil degradation and erosion.
Once the flax fibres have been spun and woven into linen fabric, the environmental benefits keep on coming! Linen is naturally biodegradable. This means there's less waste and it does less damage to ecosystems once a product has come to the end of its life. And it's extremely long-wearing, meaning less waste.
What are the other benefits of linen?
There are good reasons why linen has been used and loved as a home textile and clothing fabric for thousands of years. There is a long list of its benefits, alongside the sustainability credentials outlined above:
- Durable and hard wearing for products that look great and function for longer
- Timelessly stylish so you can ignore fast fashion or design fads
- Can be machine washed and tumble dried, making it easy to care for
- Soft to the touch for extra comfort
- Pre-washed linen will have minimal shrinkage
- It gets even better with age!
Discover linen's natural properties
As if all this isn't enough, linen also has some magic natural properties. It is inherently antibacterial and antimicrobial, inhibiting the growth of bugs and mould. This also helps neutralise odors – especially welcome in summer when we perspire more! Linen also helps regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. With natural insect and dirt repellent qualities too there's not much that beats this amazing fabric.
Read more about how linen is made here.