200 years ago one fifth of the clothes worn in Europe were made of linen. Then cheap cotton and mass production of chemical fibres conquered the market almost completely which certainly has to do with the fact that linen tends to crease.
In Italy linen never fell into oblivion. The cooling material had always been used for summer dresses and suits, radiating nonchalance and elegance. The typical creases were considered a sign of the genuine, noble quality of linen.
Linen was referred to as “woven wind” by the Egyptians who held a highly evolved linen culture as early as 2000 B.C.
In the tomb of Thutmosis III a linen cloth was found as burial object which showed the incredible density of 60 threads per square cm and a running length of nearly 2000 m on 100 grams, handspun and handwoven of course.
The Phoenecians, Greeks and Romans used linen as coarse canvas for sails, transparent batiste for robes and for towels in bath houses.
The extraction of the linen fibre from the stringy flax stalks is a long and tedious procedure. The flax has to rot on the fields or in water before the fine long fibres can be extracted.
The undyed linen fibre is of brownish-grey colouring. Depending on the amount of bleach used its shades can range from light-blonde to snow-white.
With increasing use linen becomes softer and lightens up , and the creases disappear.
The smooth and shimmering surface is dirt-repelling and doesn’t shed fluff. Linen is very robust and hardwearing. Half-linen, mostly with a cotton warp and a linen woof, is cheaper than pure linen and more robust than cotton.
Pure linen is a sensual experience. Its lively and somehow nostalgic structure and appearance constitute its character and beauty.
In a world full of synthetics and even plastic surfaces linen relieves the eye, has a hearty grip and a smell of hay and summer meadows.
Linen is one of the most agreeable materials whith hot summer temperatures because of its cooling effect. Physically active people with a good blood circulation feel very comfortable in it.