Our very first bedding items were our French Flax Linen sheet sets. This is a fabric that is near and dear to the members of our team, because it was the launching point into the brand.
We enjoy your questions, and sharing more insights on the raw materials used to create the bedding our community has come to love! So today, we’re doing a deep dive into our linen material so we can answer the question: What is linen made of?
Before we get into that, let’s cover this: What is linen? Linen is a natural fiber that is soft, breathable and extremely durable, making it an excellent option for home textiles, clothing, and of course bedding. Considered a luxury material, this fabric, and the products made from it, can be quite expensive depending on how it is manufactured, where the raw materials are sourced, and various other components.
What is linen made of, as far as the raw material?
The raw material used to create linen is flax. Flax is a plant material from which the stems, through processing, are transformed into fibers that are then used to create the material. You might be thinking “flax? Like those seeds that are supposed to be healthy for me?” Yes! The material, however, is not derived from the seed, like flax oils are. The cellulose in the stems are used to create the fibers and fabric.
Where is your flax sourced from?
We source our flax from the Normandy region of France. French and Belgian flax are considered among the best and highest quality raw materials from which to create linen. The raw materials in this region help to create stronger, more durable fabrics. This allows you to have bedding that will last years and that will maintain quality.
How is this plant turned into material?
Once the plants are harvested or pulled, the seeds are removed, the plant stock is removed and the fibers are extracted. The fibers are then spun into yarn, and the yarn is subsequently made into the material. It is important to remember that this is a natural fiber. This is because it is both derived from plant material and is not made through a synthetic process.
There are, of course, different types of linen as well.
Linen comes in many forms. There are plain weaves, loose weaves, weaves that are softer than others. There are also variations based on where the raw materials are sourced, or where they are manufactured. So Belgian or Belgian Flax Linen, French or French Flax Linen, etc.
Belgian Flax Linen
Belgian linen is linen sourced and manufactured in Belgium. This is a durable, high quality linen. Belgian flax linen is sourced in Belgium and may be manufactured elsewhere.
French & French Flax Linen
Like Belgian linen, French Linen is sourced and manufactured in France. It is another high quality linen material, and is excellent for bedding. French flax linen is sourced in Belgium and may be manufactured elsewhere.
There is a special type of linen that blends two weaves, and this is called Damask Linen. It has the standard weave that many people have come to know from linen as well as a sateen weave, giving it a bit of that silky smooth type of finish.
Plain Weave Linen
The plain weave is extremely soft because it does have a bit of a loose weave. The tightness of the weave does contribute to benefits such as softness, in the case of plain weave, and absorbency, which we will discuss next.
Loose Weave Linen
Loosely woven linen has the most absorption of all linen types. This is not often used for bedding, but rather for uses when fabric would need to have a high level of absorbency. For example, towels.
What are the key benefits of linen?
Being a natural fiber and material, linen is safe for the skin. It also is a breathable material that performs well in both warm and cold weather. Breathability lends itself to temperature regulation, which is why we often note that this is our favorite Sijo bedding type for all seasons.
The softness linen naturally has is also a benefit. We stone wash our linen as well, which contributes to increased softness. Even better? With each use and wash, linen becomes softer and softer, meaning that it just improves as time goes on.
Another benefit of linen that you may not think of is its durability. This is a fabric crafted to last for years and years. In fact, linen is actually proven to be much stronger than cotton, which is why recently some people are opting for linen bedding more often than cotton bedding. Linen also requires less water in its manufacturing process than cotton, making it more sustainable. This is an important benefit and distinction for our eco-conscious customers.
I love the idea of linen, but it’s so pricey! Why is that?
The process of creating linen, especially our French Flax Linen, is quite intensive. There is a great deal of work that goes into the harvesting, the cleaning of the raw materials, and the creation of the material itself. Also, because we use safe dyes free of harsh chemicals and natural materials in our manufacturing process, manufacturing can be a bit more expensive. All of these factors contribute to the price of this material. It is also important to ensure we are working with responsible manufacturing partners who pay their staff fairly. This can also drive up costs a bit. This is why many items that are sustainably and responsibly sourced and created tend to cost more.
Sustainably made, high quality linen material made of our French flax is truly a great choice. It is an investment in your bedroom, the sanctuary of your home, as well as an investment in restful and comfortable nights of sleep. We know our customers and prospective customers are discerning, and are proud to create a luxurious item that is also responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly.
We offer several chic colors that mix and match with each other, but are neutral enough to pair with any space or decor style. Shop the Sijo French Linen Collection here!
Linen bedding is durable, breathable, luxurious and soft, making it an excellent choice for bedding, or for updating your bedroom space. If you’ve tried our French Linen bedding, or if you have more questions on it and on our color selection, be sure to let us know!