One of our favorite fabrics these days is linen: light, airy, incredibly soft, and simply a pleasure to use. When we want to treat ourselves, we always turn to this classic fiber for its natural ease and chic rusticity. Did you know this remarkable textile’s benefits go beyond its artisanal beauty?
Linen, spun from the stem of the flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum), is a delicate annual with small spear shaped leaves that stands about 3 feet high and produces attractive blue flowers. Its Latin name means “most useful", and it may well be one of the oldest textile materials in the world. It is a true eco-textile: the plant is used as a food and a fiber, and its cultivation restores essential nutrients to the soil. Cultivation of linen also conserves water by requiring only natural rainfall.
Linen is known to have numerous health benefits as well, many of which ease fatigue and lift spirits. Its ability to suppress the growth of bacteria and micro-flora helps prevent fungal diseases and skin infection.
Because the structure of flax cells are similar to human cells, wearing linen next to the body has the benevolent effect of healing inflammation, reducing fever, and increasing oxygen circulation on a cellular level. According to the work of Nobel Prize winning Doctor Otto Heinrich Warburg, wearing linen can even help cells heal from cancer.
Best of all, linen gets better with age. It’s an easy care fabric that can last a lifetime. Linen naturally resists dirt and stains, has no lint or pilling tendency, and can be machine washed or steamed. It only gets softer the more it is washed, and doesn’t fade.
With its homespun elegance and effortless style, it is no wonder we have worked with weavers in Turkey to create a line of heirloom quality, hand-loomed linen textiles for Indigo Traders.