There is a very important reason why we exclusively sell linen fabrics produced in Europe. In this blog post we’ll be discussing linen fabric in detail, and in particular why European Linen is so special.
As a preface to this blog post let’s take a moment start at the beginning. Owner Carlos Rodrigues is known for his craftsmanship and expertise in traditional artisan upholstery, having been brought up with the skills through his childhood in Portugal. In 1994 Carlos opened Provincial Upholstery in the Southern Highlands of NSW Australia and has come to be highly regarded in the industry for unique and historic restorations. Over the years, Carlos’s knowledge and passion for the craft, along with wife Fernanda’s expertise in fabrics and design, led them to launch Provincial Fabric House. Our upholstery power couple now travel internationally to source a select range of unique and beautifully crafted high quality fabrics for upholstery and furnishings.
Throughout Carlos’s career working in Portugal, he has learnt how to distinguish quality. From the very source of the fibre through to the finished product. This is the very reason why he only imports the highest quality linen fabric from Europe. A finished product is defined by its craftsmanship and quality, if any of the two are missing you have a sub-par finish.
So, here’s what sets European linen apart from the rest, and why Provincial Fabric House has the highest quality linen fabric available on the market.
Quality Comes From the Source
Linen, produced from Flax, is grown all over the world. However, European Linen comes from Flax grown in a wide coastal band of Western Europe stretching from France through to Belgium and the Netherlands.
European linen cultivation cannot be relocated or replicated due to a unique combination of European environmental factors; a natural damp ocean climate, flax’s low thermal density, and a rich soil. These unique climactic conditions produce long, strong fibres which allow the flax to reach up to 1 meter in height.
There are linen/flax producers in other parts of the world which are characterized by different climactic conditions which are not as favorable to the growth of flax fibres. For example, flax plants that are grown in the North Africa, where the climactic conditions are dry and hot, produce a shorter fibre. When these fibres are processed into fabrics or twines they have a tendency to break at lower thresholds leading some to a poorer quality finished product.
Flax grown elsewhere simply doesn’t grow with the same height or quality. Hence, the long and lustrous nature of Western Europe’s flax fibre has a very high breakage point and is therefore what makes this particular linen fabric the highest quality in the world.
Additionally, this unique plant textile is the only plant textile fibre originating on the continent and therefore knowledge and experience in handling Flax is centuries old.
Regulated Quality Controls
Due to the centuries old history of Flax and Linen production in Europe, and their pride in the quality of product produced, our fabric producers proudly belong to a regulatory board called the MASTERS OF LINEN®. MASTERS OF LINEN® is a registered mark and sign of excellence for linen 100% Made in EUROPE, from field to yarn to fabric. By purchasing fabrics with this mark of quality consumers are not only recieving the highest quality linen fabric on the market, they are also supporting sustainable production, respect for the environment, social ethics, and excellence in innovation.
Now let’s talk about Belgian Linen. After the Second World War, Belgian weavers joined forces to found the Belgian Flax and Linen Association. In 1960, they created the Belgian linen quality label to highlight the unique qualities of Belgian linen.
Belgian Linen is widely regarded as the highest quality linen fabric in the world. Linen fabrics carrying the Belgian linen quality label contain a minimum of 85% European flax fiber and are woven in Belgium. These products have a certificate of origin allowing them to be traced to their source. This is your guarantee of Belgian linen of the highest quality.
Quality is important to us, and this is why we sell only European Linens. As always feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our fabrics or upholstery supplies.
We love this beautiful film created to share visually the process & passion involved in producing our European linen. We hope you enjoy watching!
Image credit: MASTERS OF LINEN®