When we first started Artha Collections we were working with fabric seconds which we found by almost literally digging through rolls and rolls of fabric in the dusty markets in Bangalore. This was great at first and exploring the markets was always a fun challenge, but the problem was that when we went back to get more of the same we found it almost impossible. We had fallen in love with the properties of linen and after some local research found the supplier we've been working with now since 2015.
Linen is an extremely versatile fabric. It's incredibly strong, it's at home in both casual and formal settings and is popular throughout the year. Linen accent pieces on a sofa add texture and a table set with linens can be styled to look extremely elegant or perfectly casual. And who doesn't dream of cozying up in bed under soft linen sheets topped with a linen duvet!
But that's just one part of the story! As we are made more and more aware of the environment and the effect we're having on our planet it's great to know that linen is much gentler on the environment than cotton! Linen as a fabric is something that has been used for centuries, and it is here to stay for good reasons.
Technically linen is a vegetable. It's harvested from the flax plant which is grown primarily in Western Europe, mostly in France.The seeds are sown in Spring and it takes about 100 days for the plant to reach maturity at about 1 meter in height. Unless the weather is unusually warm and dry, it's happy with just rainfall and is hardy, requiring no pesticides. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants in history.
The plant produces beautiful blue flowers in June and though these only bloom for one day the fact that there are several on one stalk ensures beautiful blue fields can be seen over a longer period.
There are two different types of flax plants: The ones grown for the seeds used to make oils or ground into flour and those grown for the inner fiber which is woven into linen. The fibers go through several processes including retting, dressing and spinning before being woven.These long fibers extracted from the core of the flax plant give linen products their strength.Good quality linen products will not lose their shape and will not pill.
Linen even gets both stronger and softer with washing making it long-lasting and durable which means you need to replace linen items much less often. It’s also biodegradable so any waste will decompose.
Its natural colors include ivory, tan and grey which are the colors occurring throughout our collections so it doesn't need to be dyed - eliminating one process in the production which is responsible for much pollution in countries which don't have the proper treatment facilities or regulations in place
Crisp, clean, luxurious, durable and with a lower impact on the planet. We never tire of the elegance and down to earth practicality of linen. If you have a choice consider linen!