Linen, believed to be one of the oldest textiles in the world, dates back to 6000 BC. Some historians will have you believe that Indians encountered Flax, through Mediterranean trade via Egypt, but others debate that linen was present and woven in India before cotton even.Linen is made from flax fibres, a crop that is valued as much for its nutritional content as it is for its tensile fabric power. Flax flourishes in alluvial soil, found both in the northern and southern regions of India.
Our linen, which is woven in Bihar, is the ideal upholstery fabric – soft, elastic, and tensile. The benefits of linen are manifold. It wrinkles and softens with greater use, it has microbial resistance and antibacterial properties, it is antistatic, and it absorbs moisture which makes it a popular fabric to use in apparel especially in hot and humid climates. In fact, linen can absorb up to 20 times more moisture than its actual weight. For the environmentally conscious, linen is a favourite, as not a single part of the flax or linseed plant that is cultivated, is wasted; the fibre is used in textiles, the seeds rich in Omega-3, Oleic, and Linoliec acid are consumed for nutrition, and the wood scraps are used in making bio-composites, paper, furniture, and particle boards.
Applications for linseed have been found in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and printing industries as well. In recent times, increased awareness of the benefits of environmentally friendly, recyclable fibres like linen have become hugely popular. Today, even though India is the third largest cultivator of flax after Canada and China, due to the escalating demand of linen, linseed imports continue to increase.