a journal of original drawings and screen prints of animals


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Natural Linen

The bolt of linen that I brought home the other day is a "Natural Linen", meaning: it has not been bleached and dyed. Curious to know why there is a range of colours for natural linen, I was informed that climate has a lot to do with it. That was very intriguing, so I did a bit of research.

There are 4 basic colours of natural linen: light grey, grey, yellow and brown. Humidity, temperature, amounts of sunlight, soil and time of year the flax is harvested all have their effect on the colour. On top of that, after it has been harvested it is laid out in fields to be further exposed to the elements for several weeks. 

Hotter climates will produce lighter colours.
Conversely, cooler climates will produce darker tones. The more moisture, the greener the tone.
Most linen is produced in eastern and western Europe:

France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Czechoslovakia & Lithuania.

China, in recent years, has become the largest producer of linen in the world, however, because most of the flax that China grows is a poorer quality (due to a relatively drier climate than that of Europe), it imports high quality flax from France Belgium and Egypt. With this in mind, it should not be assumed that all linen coming from China is inferior.

Pure white linen is the result of bleaching. Many high end restaurants and hotels use pure white linen as that is the only way they can have a consistent colour.

Of course there is a lot more about the production of linen than this. The ways in which Nature influences what we see and have  are always taken for granted.

1 comment:

  1. LU-uv linen. Thank you for your research. So interesting.
    Have a great day at the show tomorrow! x