I am often asked what linen actually is so have decided to write this post and to highlight its benefits. Not to be confused with cotton, it is spun from the Flax plant and its earliest use dates back to 8000 BC. The Ancient Egyptians loved it!
As a natural fibre, linen is non-allergenic, anti-bacterial, bio-degradable and recyclable. It absorbs dampness & dries quickly making it the best choice for tea-towels. It is 3 times stronger than cotton, yet will become softer with each wash while lasting much longer.
Linen is an ecological champion thanks to its all-natural farming procedures. It is a renewable crop and unlike cotton, requires no irrigation and very little pesticides or fertilisers. It makes me wonder why we don't grow flax instead of cotton in Australia? I think we could in our cooler states. Flax produces no waste and some of the wonderful by-products include nutritional linseed oil and flax seeds. Hurrah for flax and linen!
From a crafter's point of view, I love the natural texture and colour of linen and it is ideal for embroidery and wonderful for screen-printing. Fellow Brisbanite Rebecca Cason of Edward and Lilly chooses linen for her wonderful hand-embroidered products. This is Kitty and is available through her Etsy store or at the BrisStyle Market this Saturday.
Tasmanian Lisa Kingston also uses natural linen for her hand-embroidered Christmas decorations. See my earlier post about Lisa for more information and how to purchase.
Searching on Etsy, I found this delightful machine-embroidered wallet from LB accessories.
How innovative is the typewriter pillow from Track and Field Designs, also on Etsy?
I only use natural, unbleached linen now for our hand-printed linen tea-towels (not bleached). Spoon and Whisk design is shown. Purchase printed towels on-line or through our retailers. I will be at the Young Designers Market in Brisbane on Sunday with lovely homewares, fabric packs and lots of drastically-reduced sale items (mainly clothing).
Inspired to make your own linen creations? Purchase fabric here. More natural linen fabrics are coming soon!