They say sustainable fashion is not a trend, but the future. As sustainable fashion becomes the need of the hour, more options for natural fibres to craft sustainable natural fabrics become imperative. Let us explore natural fibres from the flax plant and linen as a natural fabric in this blog.
Linen fabric is in use from time immemorial. The earliest evidence of it being manufactured dates back to approximately 4,000 years ago. Cellulose fibres that grow inside the stalks of the flax plant are used to make linen fabric. Fabrics derived from natural fibres, such as the flax plant, are more sustainable than man-made fibres. As Flax fibres are strong they make linen fabrics or textiles durable and also long-lasting. Materials such as linen do not contain harmful plastics and are not manufactured using a harsh industrial process that produces chemical by-products.
The journey: Transforming the flax fibre to Linen fabric
Flax plants grow well in loamy deep soil that is fertile, silty, and well-drained. The cultivation involves planting flax seeds before harvesting standing paddy crops in order to maximize moisture utilization. Flax plants can be cultivated without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. Flax crop in our country is usually grown in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, West-Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana.
When the stems of flax plants turn yellow and the seeds turn brown, they are ready to harvest.
The harvested flax stalks are processed through a machine to remove leaves and seeds. The fibrous outer stalk is separated from its soft, woody interior.
The flax stalks are crushed to remove the outer fibers from the stalks.
The separated inner fibres are combed into thin strands so that they can be subjected to spinning.
Short and combed flax fibers are connected with spreaders. The resulting strings, called rovings, are then spun.
The flax yarn is reeled onto a bobbin. The reeling process is performed in wet and humid conditions to ensure that the flax yarn won’t fall apart. Further, spun yarn is run through a hot water bath for cohesion.
Flax yarn is dried dyed, treated, and weaved into fabrics or apparel.
Linen Fabric and its unique features
Unique attributes of Linen fabric
- Linen fabric gives an easy breezy feel as it draws heat from the body and keeps the body cooler.
- Qualities like good abrasion resistance make Linen fabric stronger than cotton and durable
- Linen is biodegradable and recyclable
- Linen is widely used in the fashion industry to make a variety of garments such as pants, dresses, shirts, and Indian ethnic wear such as linen sarees and salwar kameez sets.
- Linen’s strength and resistance make it ideal for a variety of non-fashion products, including curtains, tablecloths, bedsheets, and other common household fabrics.
- Linen can also be woven into more rigid structures such as canvas for painting and baking gloves.
ReshaMandi and natural fibres
The name ReshaMandi resonates with natural fibres. It started with digitizing the silk supply chain in India and further diversified into other natural fibres like cotton, bamboo, linen, and many more. It is working closely with natural fibre farmers, yarn manufacturers, weavers, and retailers to perceive their problems and create a value-added natural fibres supply chain. It has become the backbone of the Indian natural fibres sector. All its efforts are ultimately culminating in making India self-sufficient in natural fibres production and bringing sustainable natural fabrics to the forefront of the fashion industry.