Sunday Fabrics: French Linen 101

Linen is one of the world’s most sustainable materials. Light and airy, this hypoallergenic material stays breathable on warm nights and cosy on cooler days. Its durability also allows it to crinkle and naturally soften over the years for lived-in comfort.

Linen is created from the flax plant, with an entirely sustainable production process. As flax grows using rainwater, added irrigation is not needed, saving litres of water. To add to that, the average amount of carbon dioxide conserved by flax production yearly comes in at a whopping 250k tons — that’s a 75 percent smaller carbon footprint than that of cotton!

Curious about how flax is transformed into linen? Here’s a detailed breakdown:

1) From seeds to straws

Flax seeds take an average of 100 days to blossom into metre high flax plants. Weather is king during this period as flax plants largely depend on sun and rain to grow.

2) Pulling and retting

In order to keep flax fibres undamaged, mature plants are pulled from the ground to undergo a process known as retting. Retting involves leaving pulled plants out in the open so rainwater and dew can naturally dissolve the sticky substance binding flax fibres with woody stems. This facilitates the extraction process to come.

3) Harvesting and scutching

Once stalks are dry, they are harvested by first having their seed pods removed. These de-seeded, woody stems then go through scutching, a process that breaks down long stems into flattened, smaller pieces called shives.

4) Hackling

Pure flax fibres are then separated from the shives through a mechanical combing process known as hackling.

5) Spun, dyed, and air-whipped linen

After the flax fibre is combed and spun to linen, we dye and air-whip the linen sheets in our MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® certified factory.

Shop our French linen bedding:

Dusty Plum and Cloudy Grey in French linen

Sunny White in French linen