If you thought doing laundry was a chore, we’ve got some fascinating historical facts about how people cared for linen before modern washing machines and Persil made an appearance. Linenbeauty.com met with textile historian and museums officer Emma O’Connor, of Sussex Past, a charity which runs several historic sites in Sussex, England, and learned some pretty eye-opening things about caring for linens the old-school way. Here’s what she told us:
Browsing for linen and baffled by words like ‘huckaback’ and ‘thread count’? Don’t know your stonewash from your garment wash? Never fear, Linenbeauty is here to set you straight and guide you through the sometimes complicated business of buying linen products. Here are some of the key terms you might come across, and what you need to know to make the right choice.
Ok, so maybe the humble tea towel alone can’t reverse global warming, but did you know about the mind-blowing eco-friendly properties of linen?
By buying linen products or fabric you are helping minimise our environmental impact on the planet, whilst also bringing some beauty into your home. Here’s why we think linen is a super-fabric:
Ever wondered how your sumptuously soft linen sheets started out? Or where your favourite summer linen shirt began its journey?
The story starts with the delicate flax flower that has been grown for thousands of years and whose by-products have been put to a diverse range of uses, from bank notes to cattle feed and dyes to cosmetics. So, how does the humble flax turn into a fitted sheet?
We’ll show you how:
You can read more about the history of linen here.
(Images via: irishgenealogy.com,tristan forward,Skoch3, arts-brighton.ac.uk, linenme.com)
Until the turn of the twentieth century, the only fabrics available were natural fabrics made from fibres which came from animal and vegetable sources. Later on synthetic fabrics became popular and clothing manufacturers started making clothes from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, spandex and nylon.
We talk and write about linen fabric and linen items made of it a lot. Let’s now take a look to the origins of this beloved fabric of mine! Ancestors of linen bed linen, linen tablecloths and linen clothes come from very early days of humanity.
Linen fiber together with wool fiber is one of the oldest used by humans. Linen fibers are produced from the stems of the flax plan. Linen was an important textile before cotton and other fibers as it is very versatile and can serve many purposes. The best thing about flax plant is that all its parts can be used for something – so no part of it is wasted. For quality linen fabric only best stems are used, but the left over parts –like linseeds, oil, straw, lower-quality stems – are turned into many products: lino, soap, healthy nutritious oil, paper, even cattle feed and lots more.