FOR THE LOVE OF LINEN
THE GODDESS OF TEXTILES
I have found pleasure and a lot of inspiration in the instagram hashtag #fortheloveoflinen. So much that I wanted to write this little story about this wonderful material.
The Flax plant has been used by people for more than 10 000 years. It is mentioned in the old Saga of Edda were it was associated with fertility. The Norse fertility goddess Freya, was also called the goddess of linen.
Linen production was a very painstaking process at the time when all was done by hand. Only the innermost fibers of the flax plant could be used for spinning, and the fibers should be beaten several times in order to become soft. The fibers were then soaked in cow urine and later milk to bleach, the process took several months. As one easily can imagine, it made linen an very exclusive material.
Today the process is industrialized, and the prices are more affordable. Flax plants does not require nearly as much water and energy as cotton plants. And they are seldom exposed to harmfull insects making their need for chemical treatment rare. Together with durability this makes linen an environmentally very beneficial alternative to cotton.
Carl Linnaeus gave the plant the latin name "Linum usitatissimum" meaning "the most useful", and it is easy to see why.
Flax plant is a versatile plant. Linseed oil is common ingredient in different wood protection products. The fibers can be spun used to make fabrics, yarns and ropes. Flaxseed is also a good dietary supplement that is commonly used for example in baked goods. Flaxseed and flaxseed oils are also said to have medicinal properties, both externally and internally.
Woven linen is very durable. Lin is antiallergis and antistatic, making it suitable for bedsheets and towels, as the have a lot of contact with the skin. Linen fabric is antiseptic, that is no disadvantage in the kitchen area either.
Last but not least, linen is just soooo beautiful! - I use linen for almost everything... And it the linen will be only more and more beautiful with age and wear.
Are you on instagram I can strongly recommend the hashtag : #fortheloveoflinen - here you will find lots of beautiful linen posted by linen enthusiasts - enjoy!
Below are some photos of my linen projects from the last past months...