Flax cultivated in Europe, mainly in Normandy, is well known for being the best in the world. Quality is a combination of three positive factors: the availability of appropriate soil, the favourable climatic conditions and the flax growers’ know-how.
Natural, elegant, European: the secret of the finest linen shirting fabric is hidden in a beautiful pale blue flower.
Linen is a fibre which is European by history and tradition: the entire process of quality linen production takes place in Europe, limiting the transportation impact and encouraging the employment of those communities that traditionally have been dedicated to the processing of this special fibre. Albini Group chooses the linen of Terre de Lin, the largest linen cooperative in Europe.
Linen is sustainable: it needs the know-how of generations of flax growers to assure quality. This characteristic keeps the production rooted to the territories of origin, contributing to the economic and social wellbeing of the growing areas. Terre de Lin applies a fair policy of shared remuneration of the flax growers, based on the quantity and quality of the fibres and seeds produced.
Linen is environmentally friendly. It produces no waste since all parts are used and it does not need watering, since it is the alternation of sun and rain typical of the regions of Western Europe that cares for its growth. Moreover, insects and parasites naturally do not “attack” the flax plant and therefore it can be cultivated using just a few pesticides.
Nature, composition and architecture of the fibres give the flax excellent properties: maximum resistance, high capacity to absorb humidity, insulating and thermo-regulating properties and non-allergenic characteristics.
The flax is sown between mid-March and mid-April and is characterised by rapid growth: its vegetation period is about 100 days. The time of harvesting, between July and August, is among the most sensitive of the whole process of cultivation of flax: the plant must be pulled out from the land to its complete height, only in this way the maximum length of the fibre can be assured.
Once pulled out the flax is left on the ground, deliberately at the mercy of the rains that trigger the entirely natural process of maceration. Once retted, with the right degree of humidity, the plants are lifted mechanically and pressed into large bales which are identified with a label that shows the references of the field and the farmer, assuring the perfect traceability. To extract the fibres from the stalk it is necessary to scutch the plants, removing the woody residue from the centre of the stem. The longest staple fibres are hand-selected at the exit from the turbines and are classified based on their characteristics and colour.
The cultivation of linen is a niche culture, representing less than 1% of the global production of textile fibres.