The preindustrial method of linen production hasn`t changed in centuries. Though over the last hundred years we`ve developed machines that complete the task of harvesting, retting and dressing flax, these processes damage the delicate fibres such that finest linens are still manufactured almost entirely by hand. Because the process is still so laborious, even mechanised production actually requires a great deal more handwork than other mass industrially-produced textiles like cotton and rayon.
This is how the process looks like today :
PLANTINGPlanted between March 15th and April 15th, the seed takes 100 days to grow and reach 1 meter when it flowers.FLOWERINGJune - though the Linen flower only lives a few hours atop its supple stem, all flowers in a field do not bloom on the same day; This is what gives the landscape a delicate blue-ish colour for a few weeks, moving like an Impressionist sea in the wind.
RETTINGSCUTCHINGThe second phase for mechanically transforming the plant into fibres: to use the linen fibres which surround the central wood like skin, it is necessary to separate them. Scutching, a specialised mechanical process, includes shelling, stretching, grinding and treshing. The sunny, sensual fragrances of cut grass and warm bread float in the air.COMBINGCombing is the preparation for spinning, a homogenization of fibres into soft, lustrous ribbons like blond hair.
Untangle, regularised, stretch, thread fibres. The metric number (Mn) corresponds to the number of kilometres of yarn, made out of 1 kilogram of fibre. The higher the figure, the thinner the yarn.
WEAVINGWeaving is the process in which the flax threads are interlaced to form the linen fabric. On a loom, or frame, the length-wise threads known as the warp are fixed under tension while another thread is woven through the warp which is called the weft. The warp threads are separated and the weft is carried through them on a shuttle. Linen can be developed in serge, herringbone, glen plaids, double-weaves, velvet, floating yarns, gauze, satin...
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24-30 April 2017
In 2016, in more than 92 countries around the world, tens of
thousands of people took part in Fashion Revolution Week.
We asked brands #whomademyclothes to show that we care
and demand better for the people who make our clothes.
Next year, we want to go even bigger.
Join us for Fashion Revolution Week 2017.
We want more brands to show us who made our clothes.
We want to thank the makers.
We want clothes that we will be proud to wear.