The fibre of linen is one of the most precious natural fibre. It has a shiny e weightless aspect which gives to the fabrics great elegance and an inimitable sense of freshness.

The linen fibre has very ancient origins. It has been used since 4000 B.C. In fact, there are evidences of linen uses already in the Egyptian and Phoenician cultures. In Europe, it begun spreading in pre-Roman Age and since then it has remained one of the most used fibre for high-quality fabrics, even after the introduction of the cheaper fibre of cotton.

The process to obtain the cotton fibre out of the initial plant (Linum Usitatissum) is quite long and complex. The fibre comes out of the stems of the plant, which must be dried after the harvest. Later, they undergo a phase of maceration, traditionally it should be done putting the stems in water for few days but nowadays they are mainly treated with hot steam in order to obtain the same result quickly. This process decomposes the substances those previously hold the fibres together, releasing the fibres. Then, it comes a further phase of drying and chipping of woodsy parts to be removed, so to let the fibres free to be separated and combed.

The final fibre is rigid and, when it is used alone, it may give to the cloth a peculiar “creased” effect. For this reason, in our laboratory, we always prefer to use it together with fibres of cotton, using a mixed yarn (50% cotton and 50% linen). Acting this way, we ensure the fabrics with a higher degree of wrinkle resistance and with grater regularity. 

© Artes Monteriggioni 2012