There is so much to love about this earth-friendly fabric, as many have for thousands of years...
Linen has been around for just a little while.
Juuust a little while - a mere 30 000 years according to Wikipedia. Used in ancient Mesopotamia & Egyptian civilizations, it’s one of the oldest fibres known. It was used as currency, incorporated into battle armour, and let’s not forget mummies. Even our use of the word ‘linens’ says a lot about its rich history. It was even used in the composition of the American dollar bill.
Linen linens (say that 3 times fast) were traditional heirlooms passed onto future generations. Some of the ‘poorer’ populations in early centuries used linen for everything, whereas now in modern times - linen tends to be a little bit more costly in comparison to other textiles - but we’ll explain more about why that is, below.
Linen aka FLAX! Let’s talk about the plant.
One remarkable thing about the flax plant is that it can grow in poor soil, where good soil is often reserved for food agriculture. In some cases, it can even rehabilitate polluted soil. According to the European Confederation of Linen and Hemp (CELC), retains 250,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. They also reported that, “Across its lifecycle, a linen shirt uses 6.4 litres of water” in comparison to 2,700 litres for a cotton shirt.
Cultivation of Flax
Flax grows easily - boding well with rainwater alone, and it requires fewer chemicals in its production than cotton (one should note that often some chemicals are used unless organic). It requires less energy and water in its processing as well.
It also generates little waste, with virtually every part of the plant being used. Linseed oil, flaxseed oil and seeds; the stalks are used to create your fibre. It truly is an earth-friendly textile.
It is a little bit more of a laborious harvest and production process, with many parts of the process best done by hand - so this is often reflected in the cost of your linen product. Fair trade standards help to ensure that the worker’s human rights are not being exploited in the production process.
Benefits of Linen
We know it feels like a dream during summer months, right?
Linen is breathable, absorbent, quick to dry, hypoallergenic and its fibres are thermo-regulating, allowing you to stay cool, or to insulate with varying temperatures. If linen and cotton were to arm wrestle, linen would win, making this fabric very durable and long-lasting.
Another reason to love linen in the sun - it is resistant to sunlight, protecting the wearer from UV Rays!
Go play outside!
But is linen a high maintenance textile?
It’s easy peasey. Wash it in cold water. Air dry or tumble dry with no heat if necessary. Folding? If the fabric starts to get a set crease, it can lead to tearing, so switch it up and be gentle, or hang if possible.
Ironing? Yeah, linen does have that dreamy natural and crinkled thing going on sometimes. No problem to iron linen - it can handle high heat and you can spritz a little starch for a fresh look.
Where can linen be found in Pokoloko designs?
Linen is found blended with other natural materials in our collections, Turkish cotton primarily.
Find linen blends in the following fairly & directly traded textiles: