Flax: Yesterday & Today


As in the pre-industrial world, hand crafted items take time. Flax is no longer harvested by hand and the processing of the linen from raw material (flax) to the finished yarn is also carried out in modern factories. But, the weaving and finishing however is still done on wooden, hand-shuttle looms at the Women’s Weavers Guild in Riga, Latvia. Our unique and often delicate designs can not be replicated on machine looms. It might take a little longer, but heirloom fabrics are worth the wait.

Our linen (flax) comes from Western Europe (France, Belgium, The Netherlands) where the world’s best flax is grown. Flax is grown in the Baltics, Russia, and China as well, but in these areas, the quality of the flax varies with the more extreme climatic conditions resulting in often inferior quality from season to season. In order to insure the highest quality of yarn, our flax is purchased in Western Europe and shipped to Lithuania, where it is processed, hackled and combed in rove, and spun into yarn. Much of our linen is natural color flax, but in many cases – again due to climatic variations in color from season to season, our natural color flax is dyed to obtain a consistent color from year to year.

Colored yarns are vat-dyed with color-fast dyes to prevent any color loss in washing.

Click on the photos below to view the various stages of development from the raw material (flax) to the finished product woven linen.