In our last article, we wrote about the history of linen in Europe and Portugal. Now we are going to talk about European flax farming and growing.
This article is part of the series that we are writing about conventional and organic linen sourcing in Europe.
The full content of our series of articles will be available on The Slow Fashion Innovation Program platform. If you are a designer or CEO of a sustainable fashion brand and you are struggling to find organic linen suppliers in Europe, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org We offer an exclusive fabric sourcing service for sustainable makers and we will be very happy to assist you with your project.
Now let's talk about linen farming and growing in Europe.
What is flax?
Flax (Linum usitatissimum), also known as linseed is an edible seed and also a fiber crop.
Flaxseed has a high nutritional value. It is rich in fiber, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
According to Mary H. Dyer by Gardening know How, Flaxseed, rich in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids, is considered by many to be a wonder food that may reduce the risk of serious health problems, including diabetes, liver disease, cancer, stroke, heart disease, and depression.
Agmrc explains that flax provides alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), in a percentage that is the highest of any plant source and many researchers indicate additional health benefits related to the autoimmune system.
But it is not only in the kitchen that flax is welcome. As we will see in our next articles, fabrics made from linen can be used to create a variety of products.
Flax cultivation also gives rise to the development of flax fiber, widely used in the sustainable fashion industry due to its environmental benefits, which we will discuss in-depth during this series of articles.
Where is flax grown in Europe?
One of the reasons that most attract sustainable fashion designers to organic linen is the fact that it is possible to fully source linen in Europe.
Cultivated at close-proximity, flax is grown in a wide coastal band of Western Europe stretching from the South of Normandy in Northern France through Belgium and the Netherlands: from Caen to Amsterdam. (European Flax)
From the plant to the fiber, yarn, and finished fabric, Europe has several suppliers of organic and sustainable linen.
Now that you know that Europe is the world's largest supplier of linen, you must be wondering how much flax is produced in Europe and which is the European country that produces it most, right?
This curiosity is normal, and here's the answer.
10 000 companies in 14 European Union countries are involved in the linen industry. A network of interactive professionals – growers, scutchers, spinners, weavers, knitters, finishers, traders (European Flax).
According to European Flax data, Europe is responsible for 80% of the world's production of scutched flax fibers. And France is the world leader in the linen supply. The entity highlights the fact that Flax is a rare product that represents less than 1% of all textile fibers consumed worldwide. In Europe, however, flax plays an important role in the agribusiness, and according to the European Flax, 10 000 companies in 14 European Union countries are involved in the linen industry.
In our database, we have a list of 50 suppliers of organic and non-organic linen. We also have contacts with suppliers of linen fibers and farms located in Europe where flax is grown.
When a designer or manufacturer of organic or conventional linen fabrics and knitwear needs to find a fiber or finished product supplier, we contact them. After receiving feedback from suppliers regarding price and availability in stock or feasibility for future production, we request samples and send them directly to our customers.
So far we have always been well received by them and we recommend to all designers to also discover more about linen fiber from Europe. You will be impressed with all the design possibilities and the environmental benefits that European conventional and organic linen offers.
In our next article to be published on October 11th, we will talk more about the environmental benefits of organic and non-organic flax supplied in Europe.
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Do you have a question about the supply of organic linen and flax in Europe? Leave your questions in the comments and we will answer you in our next articles.