Think of pure linen as the fine jewelry of textiles. It's expensive because it's rarer and requires more time and skill to produce.
- Flax thrives in cooler climates. Due to the higher costs of living and business in these regions, the cost of growing flax is simply higher than cotton which is grown worldwide.
- Harvesting flax is time-consuming and laborious. From sowing the seed to harvest takes ~90 days. The plant must be uprooted and not simply cut in order to maximize the length of the fiber harvested. Extracting the flax fiber then involves a laborious 3 step process of retting, scutching and hackling.
- Weaving flax into linen fabric is art too. Linen fiber is inelastic, so great care must be taken when weaving. These machines run at lower speeds, giving lesser yields and increasing costs.
WHY NOT LINEN BLENDS?
While linen cotton and synthetic blends are less expensive (usually half the cost), we lose the wonderful properties of linen— like its ability to get softer, stronger, and more beautiful over time. Unlike most fabrics, it does not easily pile or get weigh down by oils and regular use. In fact, in Europe, pure linen is considered to be an heirloom passed down through generations! Pure linen is an investment.