Le lin est-il victime de sa réputation ?

Is linen a victim of its reputation?

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Linen is gradually intruding into all areas of “responsible” textiles. It's impossible these days to open the page of a conscientious fashion brand without coming across a growing number of linen-based products. This “miracle” fiber would be a remedy for the consumption of unnatural fibers, it would be ecological, biodegradable and robust for fabrics. However, many consumers still have difficulty going through the process of purchasing a linen-based item, and we're not even talking about 100% linen items!

So is linen a victim of its reputation?

Linen has long been associated with resort outfits, those jacket-trouser sets so characteristic of vacations in the sun. Its properties, particularly in terms of thermoregulation, have been recognized for centuries and make it one of the preferred textiles in the face of extreme heat but also in the face of cold and the vagaries of the weather - remember that Egyptian mummies are bandaged with linen, allowing us centuries later to find bodies in good condition. However, while linen was widely used until the end of the 20th century, recent decades have seen it neglected in favor of other newly created fibers – artificial fibers in particular. The latter would be too creasable, a little old-fashioned and therefore not easy to wear. In recent years, however, linen seems to be regaining its former glory and making a significant comeback. Designer Simon Porte-Jacquemus also made it the central material of his fall-winter 2020 fashion show, thereby reminding us that the thermoregulatory properties of linen also apply to the cold. The collections of brands attentive to the impact of their production are therefore increasingly returning to linen. The natural fiber is used for its strength, and it is often mixed with other fibers such as cotton. We are also observing an increase in the number of 100% undyed pieces, leaving room for the natural color of the fiber.

Linen is therefore making a comeback , and that’s so much the better. Because this natural fiber has many advantages. Its production, of which France is the leader with Belgium (close therefore!), does not require artificial irrigation, but relies on rainwater – very present in the North, as we all know! It is a biodegradable fiber, which is easily dyed using natural dyes, avoiding the creation of micro-plastic linked to the destruction and use of artificial fibers or dyed using non-natural dyes. . Flax production is good for the soil, the fields are carbon sinks, and each part of the fiber is distributed between different uses – technical insulation or home textiles for example. Because linen is extremely durable, making it one of the noblest materials. We can still find embroidered Victorian linens dating from the 1800s in perfect condition today!

Linen is therefore a beautiful and good fiber which will indeed shape the future of the textile industry. Its properties in terms of robustness and the few negative externalities on the environment make it one of the allies of the sector. The current enthusiasm for linen, whether due to its raw and aesthetic appearance or its durability, allows us to imagine a long-term, more meticulous and sustainable industry. And as a final note, remember that while linen is easy to crease, it is also easy to iron. Linen would rather have been a victim of the cyclical rhythms of fashion than of its so-called bad reputation...

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