Since its start way back in ancient Egyptian times, where it was the cloth of choice for both pharaohs and peasants, to its strong presence in the Medieval era where it was used primarily for undergarments and tablecloths, linen has been a fabric of the people. It’s rare that such a fine textile would serve both the serfs and bourgeoisie; but linen’s your guy.
Made from flax and one of the oldest fibres in the world, linen takes a really long time to turn from seed to fabric because, well, nature. Cheaper linen had a raw finish while more expensive linen went through a longer treatment process and had a nicer hand feel. This is how everyone from the help to the ruling class managed to nab a piece of this go-to fabric.
Today, linen still takes a long time to make, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about time, it’s that it comes at a price. Flax is an annual plant, so it’s only around for one growing season and takes about 100 days to become ripe for harvesting. Stocks are cut and dried before the fibres are removed from the stem and combed into a fine fibre. The fibres are then spun and ready for weaving. Linen’s hard to weave because the fibre is stiff and prone to breaking during the weaving process. This breakage, on top of the time it takes to already grow, harvest, and treat flax, is what makes it more expensive than other fabrics.
For our Irish linen, we work with Baird McNutt, a factory with over 100 years of industry experience. They’re one of the few mills that still use traditional methods to make linen – we’re suckers for some old school. They produce some of the world’s finest linen today, and because we work directly with them, it means that we can get you world class, top notch linen for our 2- 3 times markup instead of the 6-8 times markup that traditional retailers are using.
This means we can make the best possible linen and get it to you for the lowest possible price – it’s kind of our thing.
realdeal / by Grana / 05.18.17