MADE FROM THE SUSTAINABLE FLAX PLANT
Irish linen is made from the stems of the flax plant. Flax production has less environmental impact than cotton – it uses less water & pesticides. It’s a sustainable annual crop that grows tall with pretty little periwinkle blue flowers (it’s easy to grow a patch at home – see how here). Importantly from a sustainability standpoint, all parts of the plant are used. While the stems produce linen, flax seeds (or linseeds) are a familiar foodstuff also used in a very wide range of oil based applications, some food, some industrial.
TRADITIONALLY PRODUCED IN IRELAND FOR CENTURIES
Flax has been grown in Ireland as far back as 1000 BC. Two thousand-year old evidence of processed flax has been found in bogs all over the country. Linen weaving boomed here right up until the end of World War II – thereafter facing a sharp decline in the face of synthetic fabrics & cheap imports. Today, the tradition is continued by only a handful of family owned mills - Irish linen is one of the last indigenous woven cloths to be made here. By purchasing an Irish linen product, you help keep the traditions, culture & heritage of this small industry alive.
CHARACTERISTICS OF IRISH LINEN v OTHER EUROPEAN LINENS
All natural linen cloth is beautiful, but Irish linen is especially famed & set apart by its very fine, durable finish. Being woven in Ireland using age old Irish techniques is what makes the cloth authentically Irish linen as certified by The Linen Guild - nowadays the flax might be grown by another EU state, it's the spinning & weaving that matter. Essentially it’s less rustic than other European linens, having a closer, firm weave. Naturally hypoallergenic & lint free – Irish linen is made of strong stuff. This natural, heritage cloth is a lot more rugged than cotton & will serve you well, improving with age & use for a very long time