The Glories of Linen

The delicate blue flowers of the flax plant.

I been talking quite a bit about the glories of linen, but where does linen come from? Linen is made with fiber from the flax plant, a versatile plant used for clothing, food, and other items.   Flax is a sustainable crop which requires little fertilization.  Flaxseed is used for food and as a nutritional supplement; flaxseed oil (linseed oil) is derived from flax.

Linen blends are popular for decor fabrics.

Flax fiber is strong and flexible.  It resembles golden blonde hair.  It has been used for centuries to weave cloth.  The finest fibers are used in the production of linen and paper, while coarser fibers are used in the production of twine and rope.

Irish Linen–Avocado

Although linen is somewhat more expensive than cotton it has distinct, unique qualities that set it apart from most other fabrics. The natural properties of flax fiber, such as its ability to help regularize the temperature and to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, have helped to contribute to linen’s popularity in recent years.  Linen is also hypo-allergenic, making it an excellent choice for people who suffer with allergies.

Europe, Canada, and China are the leading growers of flax.  It is also produced in the United States, India, and Africa. The Puritans are thought to have introduced the crop to America.

Certain countries, such as Ireland, are known for finely woven linen. Irish linen is widely used for table and bed linens.  It comes in a variety of colors. OFS has a wide-selection of quality linens in both apparel and décor weights.