linen

Combining design and sustainability, all our fabrics use flax as raw material. Ann rees chose Belgium for its heritage and its recognised craftsmanship in manufacturing linen fabrics from the best flax. Flax is a natural fiber, and its growing and cultivation have minimal impacts on the environment: it requires no fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide and does not need watering or irrigation. After its harvest, the flax’ roots remnants even keep fertilising and cleaning the soil, making flax one of the most sustainable fibers in the world.

flax a natural fiber

Flax is a plant fibre that grows in Western Europe. Sown in early spring, flax is a fast growing plant: after about 100 days the plant is already around 1 meter tall. In June, the flowers of the flax plants blossom progressively, and each only lives for one day. Then, the linen is not cut but pulled up to maintain the continuity of the flax fibres in the stems.

uprooting the flax plant

The flax plant is not cut but pulled up from the ground to maintain the continuity of the flax fibers in the stems. The fibers are then laid out on the ground.

retting of the flax plant

Retting is the first processing step in the extraction of fibres from the flax stem. The fibres are then arranged on the ground. Microorganisms in the soil, the rain and sun slowly soften the linen fibre, making it possible to extract them from the outer husk.

flax bales

Once the retting process is complete in September, the stems are rolled into bales. This process must be done quickly, as any extra day of dew could alter the fibres quality.

scutching of the flax

The outer layer of the stem contains the flax fibres. In order to use them, they must be extracted and separated from the woody part of the stem. Flax cultivation produces no waste as all parts of the flax plant can be used. There are existing market for long fibres, short fibres, oil and seeds.

hackling of the flax

The fibres are aligned parallel to one another, then combed through with a steel comb and stretched into slivers for spinning.

spinning the flax

What then becomes strings of flax are spun through twisting into linen yarn. Wet spinning smooths out the fibre and creates a thin thread for clothing or household linen. Dry spinning leads to rougher thread, used for instance for furnishings or strings.

weaving the linen yarn

Each bobbin of yarn is manually placed. This step requires critical knowledge as the placement of each bobbin has influence on the warp, weft and design of the fabric.

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