The linen fabric 101

Linen fabric - designers guild sofas and stuff

The history of linen fabric

Linen is a natural fibre widely used through history for many applications from ship sails to shield coverings. Linen is likely the oldest textile known to man. The oldest linen sample studied was found in a cave in Georgia that dates back 36,000 years and was likely made with wild flax fibres. The long fibres are extremely durable and robust, they can also be easily coloured with natural dyes making linen a form of expression and art. Ancient Egyptians took advantage of its coolness and anti-bacterial properties from mummification to garments.

Image via de la Cuona
Image via de la Cuona

The facts on flax

Firstly the craft of linen begins with a humble flaxseed. Sown in the grown in early March. The seed must germinate, grow and bloom before it is ready to be harvested.
Standing three feet tall with glossy leaves and pale blue flowers are a spectacle to see. The flax plant grows wild in cool climates all over the world, from India to Western Europe. The sturdy flax stocks are soaked, causing them to be broken down by a biological process called retting. Although the manual spinning and loom weaving have been replaced by modern techniques, linen continues to uphold the heritage of this traditional techniques.

flax-field - linen fabric sofas & stuff

Linen fabric characteristics

Absorbent and breathable, linen often feeling cool to the touch. It is an inelastic fibre, which is why linen creases so easily. Linen is widely known and used in fashion and interior design. It is extremely breathable fabric with a relaxed aesthetic. Therefore perhaps one of linen’s most shining qualities is its durability. Linen fabric does not pill easily and is resistant to also resistant to moths.

Linen in Interiors

Good-quality plain linen never goes out of fashion, and occupies a special space in the heart of many interior designers. Likewise it’s relaxed aesthetic has a lived in feel and softens a space. “Linen is completely versatile, and we continue to develop different fabrics,” says Bernie de Le Cuona, founder of de Le Cuona, a textile company known for both quality and breadth of choice when it comes to linen.

image via: de la Cuona
image via: de la Cuona

For a space to feel homely interior designers often introduce a mix of textures and layers to bring interest and depth to a space. Whether it’s farm house chic or laid back luxury you are striving towards. Linen can dress anything from windows treatments, furniture to soft furnishings. A structured and buttoned sofa such as the Haresfield takes on a fresh and inviting character when dressed in Sole Linen.

haresfield sofa in linen fabirc sofas & Stuff

A bespoke, British sofa upholstered in a soft and tactile linen is a sophisticated piece at home in a country cottage or townhouse. For Sofas & Stuff linen is a staple and their bread and butter.

Their collection of house fabrics bring the best of British textiles to their customers along with free fabric samples and free design consultations. Finally Sofas & Stuff have everything customers need to design and discover your perfect linen sofa, bed or chair.

Katie Clarke