Sunday, July 5, 2009

Linen - It's Not Just For Miami Vice

My ever so hip & sexy guest blogger, Elena a.k.a. EcoDiva, has provided me with some fashion insight that I unknowingly have been following long before my days of consciously living more sustainably. Read what Elena has to say about a sustainable fabric style that's cool & not just in a Miami Vice sort of way...
Mia's Photo:(Me wearing my linen shorts & Viper Black organic tee. See my big box of recycling in the background too?!)

Linen is another great green fiber that we've forgotten. Some of my favorite summer gear includes fabulous linen tie pants. And who among us has not coveted the perfect tailored linen jacket. If you are among the non-linen-wearing, I will now convert you and answer some of your burning questions about linen and EcoDiva fabulous clothing:

What is linen? Linen is the fabric obtained by using parts of the stem of the Flax plant.

What is the difference between flax and linen? “Flax” refers to the plant and the fibers (flax plant, flax seeds, flax yarn), whereas “Linen” applies to products made from flax (linen fabrics, linen clothing, linen tablecloths etc.)

Which part of the flax plant contains the fibers used to make linen? The flax fibers used to produce linen are contained in the central part of the stem of the plant.

Why is linen so highly regarded as a textile fiber? Linen is luminous, clean, soft and strong. The brightness of linen comes from the nodes in the fibers that reflect light and the fresh feel and scent of washed linen is a luxury for your body. Linen has traditionally played a leading role in fashion; nearly every designer has experimented with this fiber.

How is linen created? First the pulled flax plants are left in the field (“retting”) for a certain period of time, allowing the fibers to separate naturally. Then the process begins by “scotching”—a process that extracts textile fibers from the bark and separates them from the wood particles with crushing and breaking motions. Finally, the flax fibers are combed into smooth, even slivers that will be spun into yarn.

When did linen originate? Linen is one of the oldest textiles around. It dates back to ancient times, making it difficult to say exactly where and when it originated. Known since antiquity, flax
is the oldest textile fiber in the world. The earliest traces of its use date to 8000 B.C. when the Egyptians Pharaohs were wrapped in linen fabrics at burial because of the quality, natural nobility, and strength of the material. Linen reached Europe when the Phoenicians bought flax in Egypt and later exported it to Ireland, England and Brittany. Today European linen is the most treasured luxury fabric in the world.

Is linen eco-friendly? Yes! Flax needs very little chemical fertilizer to grow and once the fiber has been extracted from the plant, it supplies a number of useful by-products, including flax oil (used to produce soap, cosmetics, paints, printing inks etc.) and fibers (paper and even the American dollar contain flax fibers). Nothing is wasted. Now that’s got the EcoDiva stamp of approval.

Signing Off...EcoDiva
Learn more about Ethical Luxury and theEcoDiva at

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