What Is Flax Linen?

Flax linen is a fabric made from the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. As a fiber and food plant, flax has been cultivated for thousands of years, dating back to prehistoric times. Flax is native to cooler regions—coastal northern Europe specifically—and offers incredible benefits, both in quality and in hardiness, when grown in its natural habitat. In the flax belt, a zone spanning from northern France to the Netherlands, flax plants are naturally resistant to pests, and require no chemical inputs—or irrigation—to thrive.

Flax field in blossom

To begin the transformation from flax to linen, farmers first pull the mature stalks from the ground. Once the stalks are fermented (retted) in the fields, the inner fibers are removed through a process called scutching. Flax fibers are then separated into categories (short and long), and the longest fibers are set aside to make yarns for linen.

Linen yarn after processing

Flax linen is the fabric that is woven from flax yarns. Because flax yarns are thick and strong—up to three times stronger than cotton—flax linen can last for years, and even decades. All fitted sheets and duvet covers from The Modern Dane are made from European Flax® linen, which guarantees you a high quality, sustainable, and ethically farmed flax product.

Still curious about linen? Read more about the many benefits of flax linen, for you and the planet.

Want to know more about the flax production process? Read about how our duvet covers are made, from flax seed to finished product.