Famous Last Words on Linen
Napoleon I "A price of one million francs will be granted to the inventor of any nation for the best machine for the spinning of linen thread…." This decree, of May 7, 1840, opened the doors to the linen industry.
Giorgio Armani : "I love linen because it's a regal fabric with unlimited possibilities."
Anne-Marie Beretta: "Linen, a living fiber that plays to the rhythm of the body, the only fiber that ages well, because linen retains its essential truth: freshness."
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac: "I love linen for its smell, its drape, its elegance, its history. I love linen, it's an eternal material."
Nina Cerruti: "I love linen for my clothes because, in my opinion, it's the material that, more than any other, provides for the actual needs of women – comfort, freedom and motion."
Gian Franco Ferré: "Linen: for making ensembles that are pure, clear and rigorous."
Kenzo: "Linen, a material noble, subtle, nonchalant, fresh, and light."
Claude Montana: "Linen of the past, present, future, modern or sophisticated, I love."
Hanae Mori: "For me, linen evokes the freshness, the authenticity, the charm of a young woman embraced in her time and yet loyal to the ravages of the heart."
Valentino: "It's something very difficult to work with, but of such an elegance that it's worth the effort to try and tame it. Then it can become supple like silk, soft like cashmere, fluid like moussseline, remaining all the while chic."
…Linen is the most ancient of all the utilitarian plants and its fabric is the most ancient textile in the world.
…The Egyptians named linen "woven moonlight" for its particular beauty. Less poetic, but nevertheless significant, is its Latin name, "linum usitatissimum" – extremely useful linen.
…Linen's usage goes very far back. From the beginning it has been associated with the idea of purity, and gives its name to 'linge, (fr.) or household linens (from the Latin "linga").
…Linen's Natural Qualities: Linen is comfortable next to the skin (it absorbs 20% of surface moisture without getting wet and thus its common usage in hot countries where it's come to be seen as a sign of social standing) and it is fresh, comfortable, the fabric for summer. Anti-allergenic and "anti-stress," it aids sleep. It's the most appropriate fiber to ensure relaxation as well as physical and psychological well-being. It's a fiber that is very resilient, one that lasts a long time without losing its properties, and that doesn't pil. The more household linens are washed, the more beautiful and supple they become. It grows softer and softer with use. Linen, a noble material respectful of the environment, is the leader of ecological fibers. In effect, everything is recycled and used in the transformation of the flax plant into linen.
…Holding linen in one's hands for the first time, one notices at once the particular character of this fiber. The fabric gives a sensation of dry freshness and is naturally silky. Sobriety and elegance give to it, in both clothing and household linens, a characteristic of pure style, classical and distinguished.
…The principal characteristic of linen, that one could state about its everyday use and in contact with the skin, is its refreshing effect. In fact, the linen fibers can absorb more than 35% of its own weight in ambient moisture that it then eliminates rapidly. This, added to its massaging qualities on the skin, must be one of the reasons for which Sebastian Kneipp highlighted linen in his writings, recommending it as a wise choice for clothing.
…Our grandmothers already appreciated linen for its robustness and its durability. Today artisans work with linen fabrics while collectors, more and more, are searching for antique linens!
…Linen is easy to spin, resilient and doesn't pil. It's a thermal regulator, thus refreshing in hot weather and hardly electrostatic at all. Linen fabrics reject dirt and are antibacterial, very absorbent and insensitive to the damage of alkaline solutions (detergents) and high temperatures as well as very receptive to colored dyes.
…The arrival in the mid 19th century of cotton fibers, more sensitive to dirt and less resilient, brought forth a tremendous rise in investment in detergents and other cleaning products, many of which were not at all necessary in the times when linen was widely utilized.
…Today, Europe is the first producer of linen fibers with two thirds of the global production. Normandy alone represents almost half of Europe's cultivation. In addition, European linen is ecological: it requires five times less pesticides and other chemical sprays than cotton, notably, because its cultivation is rotational and because it doesn't exhaust the soil. As well, linen needs neither energy nor solvents in order to transform into fiber.
…In spite of all, linen has weathered its competition with cotton as well as with the synthetic fibers since the beginning of the 19 th century. Fortunately, it's enjoying today a renaissance as since the beginning of the 20th century its production has greatly increased