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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Feel free with Linen

Feeling free with comfort is the real expression which defines Linen. Tagged with high prices and luxury and adapting the commercial market, Linen defines its value with in the comfort of its customers.
Linen is a natural fabric produced from fibers of the flax plant which is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat. Linen fabric feels cool to the touch and is 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton.

Whether its casual, leisure wear, party wear or corporate formals, Linen Fabrics have always been preferred by the trend setters for creating a difference.
Linen fabrics have a high natural luster; their natural color ranges between shades of ivory, ecru, tan, or grey. Pure white Linen is created by heavy bleaching where the linen softens on further wash. Typically, Linen has a thick and thin character with a crisp and textured feel to it but it can range from stiff and rough, to soft and smooth. When properly prepared, Linen fabric has the ability to absorb and lose water rapidly. It can gain up to 20% moisture without feeling damp.

The plant of Linen is sown in April where it produces blur flowers in June and is harvested in August. After pulling, the crop is laid out in the fields to ret, a process where the woody bark of the plant is naturally rotted so that the fibers come loose from the main stem and then it’s further processed to turn it into a cloth.

Looking back to the history, Ancient Egyptians believed that linen was a gift of the God and regarded it as sacred. Linen was used in holy ceremonies and it was the only fabric which leaders of worship were allowed to wear as it symbolized cleanliness and purity. It was also used extensively in the mummifying process, beside gold, as it helped to preserve the dead body, thus ensuring that the deceased’s remains remained immortal.
Legend has it that queen Cleopatra, after her daily aromatic bath would rest in a bed full of Linen pillows filled with flaxseed. Since, it would not aggravate her delicate, alabaster-like skin and body.

The production of linen continued through the middle ages, but it was not until the 17th century that the industry started to develop in structured way, initially under the guidance of Earl Stafford and the Duke of Ormond.

In 1949, Jaya Shree Textiles, a unit of Indian Rayon and Industries Ltd., and Aditya Birla Group Company took the first initiative to bring this nature’s gift of spinning into a world class weaving and finishing plant. The yarn is spun, woven and processed by importing French and Belgian flax fiber. The plant is still the only facility for Linen spinning in the sub-continent with state-of-art-technology.

Compiled by Shreedeep Rayamajhi


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