The flax flower, characterized by a typical white or light blue color, is beautiful and fleeting. It blooms in June for a few hours and tinges the countryside of a blue hue, leaving an unforgettable picture both in the eyes and in the heart of the beholder.
The Linum Usitatissimum, generally called Linen, is an ancient plant part of the Linaceae family. Linen is one among the first eight plants grown by humankind in the region of Western Asia known as the Fertile Crescent. Despite linen cultivation dates back to the Holocene, the charm of this fiber has remained intact over time. Nowadays, linen is regarded as one of the best examples of sustainable agriculture.
Flax grows rapidly: sowing happens from March to April for a 100-day vegetation cycle. Flax is ecological because it does not need any water for irrigation, nor fertilizers and the deriving products are biodegradable. Flax is smart because every part of the plant is used: fibers are used to produce fabrics, seeds and oil are employed in different sectors such as cosmetics and the production of panels, varnishes and floor coverings (linoleum). The stem – usually 1 meter high – yields a noble textile fiber called bast. Fibers are separated from stems, then combed, spun and finally woven to become the elegant and fresh fabric that we all know.
Linen is made of 70% of cellulose. Therefore, it results solid, resistant to wear and tear, stiff and it lose its shape hardly ever. Among all natural textile products, linen has such strong fibers to be compared to carbon fiber. Linen is a thermo-regulator and hygroscopic fiber. In fact, it has a great moisture absorption capacity, as it is able to retain a mass of water equal to its own dry mass. In addition, being hollow, linen fiber becomes similar to an air chamber that plays an important temperature-control function. This characteristic makes linen fabric comfortable in all seasons because it protects from heat as much as from cold.
Flax from Western Europe is regarded as the best in the world because of climate conditions and the availability of soil in this geographical area, as well as the known how of farmers and of the entire supply chain. The coastline between Caen in Normandy and the muddy fields around Amsterdam is the ideal territory for flax cultivation. In this area in fact, there is the perfect climate for its growth: the right quantity of rainfall during a short period of the year alternated with sun favors the development of long, thin and soft fibers. However, climate conditions are not enough without a wise craftsmanship. In this area in fact, there is a skillful and experienced craftsmanship that passes on the known-how from generation to generation. The strong relationship between plant, man and territory contributes to the fame of the European Linen.
Excellence fiber processing along a controlled and sustainable supply chain, from plant to yarn, as well as a first-rate industrial craftsmanship guarantee European producers an unrivaled qualitative advantage. This expertise and a rigorous attention of the European supply chain allowed the development of new textile processes and innovative technical applications. The European linen is supported by a special agro-industrial confederation called CELC – la Confederazione Europea del Lino e della Canapa (the Europena Confederation of Flax and Hemp) – that aims to promote and control the entire supply chain.
MARTINELLI GINETTO is a long-standing member of the MASTERS OF LINEN CLUB – the organization that brings together the best European industrial companies involved in transforming flax fiber into high quality and innovative products which are sold all over the world. Martinelli Ginetto only uses 100% European long-bast fiber, selected from the best French and Belgian producers, debaters and combers partners. The use of long-bast fiber results in higher resistance, elasticity and performance of the fabric, giving it great versatility and a comfort that increases over time.