Linen is a marvel of nature, a hollow fiber insulator and an old world heirloom. We are proud to be one of a handful of linen weavers in South Africa!
The linen used by Mungo is grown in the Flanders fields of Europe and spun in Bergamo, Italy by our OEKO-TEK-certified master spinners, Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale. From there it wings its way to South Africa, where the threads are warped and woven into linen cloth, before being cut, finished, laundered and pressed to create the final textile – all done from our mill in Plettenberg Bay.
Linen offers designers unlimited creative potential and the consumers lasting enjoyment. We never tire of linen at the dining table whilst the utility of linen in the kitchen is unrivaled. No other fiber can offer this unique blend of luxury and comfort, supreme elegance and down-to-earth practicality.
Why we should all be sleeping on linen
Bedding of pure or blended linen is in vogue once more and amongst our wide range of linen products, our 100% linen bedding has been superbly received! The public’s growing awareness on long lasting quality products has also resulted in an increasing demand for linen bedding. Good quality linen bedding is, however, not only a treasured heirloom to be passed down for generations but also a highly practical and beneficial fabric on which to sleep. Here’s why.
Great for the environment
- One of the world’s oldest fabrics, linen is woven from the fibers of the flax plant and is a completely natural resource. No part of the flax plant is wasted – the left over linseeds, oil, straw and fiber are used in everything from lino and soap to cattle feed and paper. Few products are so efficiently used as flax. Flax plant also grows naturally and needs very few chemicals compared to other crops.
- The production of linen fabric uses five to twenty times less water and energy than the production of cotton or other synthetic fabrics.
- Linen fabrics are biodegradable and recyclable.
A superbly absorbent and durable fabric
- Flax yarns and fabrics increase about 20% in strength on wetting. Linen is therefore stronger when being washed, resulting in greater longevity than, for example, cotton. It also has low elasticity, does not stretch and thus will keep its shape.
- Linen is capable of rapidly absorbing and yielding moisture. It evaporates water as quickly as the pond surface. Linen can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in moisture while still feeling dry to the touch. That explains why linen cloth always feels fresh and cool.
- Linen is renowned for its spectacular durability and long life. The tensile strength of linen thread is twice as high as that of cotton and three times that of wool.
The healthier and more comfortable option
- When linen fabrics are in contact with the skin, the nodes along the length of the fiber absorb perspiration, then swell and release the moisture to the outside air, thus creating a fabric self-cooled by evaporation.
- Linen is virtually lint free, non-static, non-allergenic, a naturally insect-repellent and gives good UV protection.
- According to medical studies conducted in Japan, bed-ridden patients do not develop bedsores where linen bed sheets are used. Wearing linen clothes helps to get rid of some skin diseases – from common rash to chronic eczema.
- Linen is effective in dealing with inflammatory conditions, reducing fever and regulating air ventilation. It is also helpful in the treatment of some neurological ailments.
Did you know? Linen is one of the world’s oldest fabrics. We know this because the mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs preserved to the present day are wrapped in the finest linen cloth. The silica present in the flax fiber protects linen against rotting. These mummies date as far back as 4500 B.C.
Choosing good quality linen
- Due to its one-time common use to make fine fabric, “linens” became the generic term for sheets and pillowcases. The characteristic most often associated with linen yarn is the presence of “slubs”, or small knots that occur randomly along its length. The finest linen has a very consistent diameter with no slubs.
- The standard measure of linen yarn is the Lea, this refers to the diameter of individual threads. A yarn having a size of 1 lea will be used for ropes and sacking. The fine yarns used in handkerchiefs and incredibly delicate fabrics might be 40 Lea. At Mungo we use 25 Lea to give you both beauty and longevity.
Taking proper care of your linen
The more linen is washed the softer, nicer and shinier it becomes. However, Linen should be washed using a gentle cycle with as much room to move in the machine as possible and then dried with a low heat or better line dried outside. Linen is best ironed while still slightly damp with a good steam iron. Think of linen as a woody fiber that will become brittle if dried at a high temperature for extended periods.