One of the oldest textiles in the world, linen is a woven fabric made from the fibers found in the stems of flax plants. Every year around June, the fields in Belgium turn blue for a couple of days, after which the flowers disappear.
During the harvest, the plants are pulled, not cut, because the fibers extend to the roots of the plant. Long stems are preferable as the longest fibers produce the finest quality linen.
Afterwards, the retting process begins. Dew, rain and sunshine help to loosen the fibers in the plants. The soil also plays an essential role and contributes to the typical beige colour of flax. Once the stems are collected, they must be stripped down into their essential fibers. Machines break and beat the plant until only the fibers remain.
The long fibers are combed until only long, shiny fibers remain and are then spun into threads, from which the textile can be woven.
For many years, Flax has been grown and transformed into linen throughout Belgium. The unique climate and the expertise of the Belgian artisans explain the superior quality of their linen.
» Artisans in our region have been working with flax for centuries. Their skills and expertise have been passed on from generation to generation. From field to fiber, from fiber to fabric, the making of linen is a story of people. «
Raymond Libeert, CEO at Libeco
Flax is a fiber with a low environmental impact, as it requires no irrigation and very little chemical treatment. Every part of the plant has value. For instance, shorter fibers and shives are separated to be processed into chipboards, animal bedding or to be used as raw material for the paper industry.
When woven into textiles, linen has a unique combination of properties. It is very breathable due to its loose weave with a cool touch, making it very comfortable. Linen is very strong and durable and, the more it is used, the more beautifully it ages. It is a truly natural product.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF LIBECO