What Are The Crucial Steps Of Making Linen?


Linen is the most acquired natural and high-quality Fabric. Belgian linen products are a unique blend of Flax fibers. The Flax plant does not require irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers during cultivation. It positively affects the quality of soil fertility. Linen eco friendly products can last for years, making them an excellent choice for comfortable and durable fabrics.

Belgium and other European countries produce approximately 80-85% of flax fiber. Belgian linen fabric is the most precious Fabric due to its exceptional quality. Special flax plant fibers make it superior to other types of fabrics. The Fabric is absorbent, Lint-free, non-allergenic, and antibacterial. In this blog, we will learn about the manufacturing process of Linen, from flax to Linen.

Does Linen Production Affect the Environment?

Linen production is a major environmental concern due to the release of toxic chemicals in the retting process. Chemical Retting of flax stems is faster and more efficient but toxic in low concentrations. Water retting is preferred for environmental reasons, but it increases the cost of organic flax, making it less accessible to consumers.

Land use concerns include soil degradation and the inhumane working conditions of textile workers. Libeco Belgian linen is one of the least environmentally damaging textiles due to its biodegradability and lack of contribution to the microfiber pollution crisis in the hydrosphere.

However, most linen producers use inexpensive processes that may be environmentally damaging to meet global demand without incurring high overhead costs. Proper stewardship of the land is crucial for the sustainability of linen production.

What Are The Crucial Steps Of Making Linen?

The production of Linen included the following sites:

  1. Plowing
  2. Sowing
  3. Harvesting
  4. Drying
  5. Retting
  6. Separating
  7. Hackling
  8. Weaving

Step 01 Plowing

The flax plant needs fertile soil and a cool climate to grow flax seeds. Deep plowing of soil is necessary for planting flax seeds. This involves turning over the top layer of soil to a depth of about 6-8 inches, which helps to break up compacted soil, improve drainage, and prepare the soil for planting. Although most of the work is done by hand, workers also use tractors and other heavy machines for rapid work.

Step 02 Sowing

Once the seed is ready, the workers start sowing. The sowing process begins in the early morning or on a windless day. The size of the flax seed is too small for the wind to blow it off. The professional follows a traditional pattern of throwing the seeds into the land. This method, known as broadcast sowing, involves scattering the seeds by hand across a large area, ensuring even distribution and maximizing the chances of germination.

Step 03 Harvesting

Machines usually produce flax in large quantities. However, traditionally, professionals preferred the handpick method to keep the flax fiber longer and thinner. The workers pulled up the plant roots rather than just cutting them off. The Flax plant takes 100 days to become ready for harvest. Once the stems of the flax plants have turned yellow and their seeds have browned, the flax is ready to harvest.

Step 04 Drying

Harvesting begins one month after the flax blooms and is strenuous. Flax linen is bundled into 'beets' and left to dry. Higher quality fiber turns white, while lesser fiber turns brownish. Linen rippling is a process where the top ends of dry bundles are pulled through nails. The seeds are then collected on a sheet.

Step 05 Retting

Once the flax is dry and ready, it undergoes Retting. Retting is a process where bacteria decompose pectin, freeing the fibers from the stalk without damaging them. This process is essential for flax production. It prevents the fibers from rotting in a hot, moist environment. Then, the workers rinse the flax for four to five days to finish the retting process.

Step 06 Separating

Due to Retting, the flax fiber breaks the inner woody stalk into smaller pieces. Most of the time, the workers use a breaking machine. The machine beats the flax from the bottom, separating the seeds. Once all the fiber is divided, the shives fall on the ground.

Step 07 Hackling

Now, flax undergoes several hackles. The hackles remove straws, polish fiber, and make it a stretcher. Now, the flax is ready for spinning. The workers rotate the flax with a distaff in the spinner's lap to make it thicker. The process is similar to wool, ensuring a high-quality product with a lower-quality product.

Step 08 Weaving

After spinning, the flax thread is ready for weaving. Weaving is the process of interlacing flax threads to create linen fabric. This is done on a loom, a device that holds the warp threads in place while the weft threads are woven through them. Weaving creates Fabric by interlacing two sets of yarns at right angles. Warp and weft are the lengthwise and crosswise yarns. After weaving, the linen fabric is ready for bleach. The bleach makes it white and ready for dye.

Recommend Reading: History of Weaving

What Are Some Major Characteristics Of Linen?

Linen eco friendly and strong textile with stiff and robust flax fibers. It is 30% stronger than cotton and is the second most durable textile. Some major characteristics of Linen are:

  • Linen's water absorption and moisture-wick ability make it comfortable and breathable for summer wear.
  • It also acts as a thermostat, automatically adjusting temperature during hot and cold days.
  • It draws heat away from the body, providing breathability and comfort during summer.
  • Linen also has impressive heat retention capabilities, making it ideal for winter wear.
  • It is hypoallergenic and antibacterial. It absorbs water instantly, eliminating the breeding ground for bacteria or molds.

Linen's poor elasticity makes it prone to creases and wrinkles, but with proper care, it can last up to 30 more years. Sustainable Linen is a top choice for summer wear as it lasts for years and requires proper care and maintenance.

Frequently Ask Questions FAQs 

What is the major difference between Belgian flax linen and flax linen?

Belgian Linen and flax linen are distinct due to the origin of the flax fibers. Belgian Linen ranked second best globally, originates from Europe's outer region, while Flax linen is popular for its superior quality.

Where can you get original Linen home decor products?

Discover luxury and original Linen from sustainable brands like Ecoist. Our diverse range includes Belgian linen sheets, napkins, linen towels, Belgian Linen Tablecloth, and more, providing you with the opportunity to make a conscious choice for the environment.


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