Here are a few things you need to know while shopping for Belgian Linen for your home:
We often see some linens labeled as Belgian Flax linen and some labeled as Belgian Linen. Not a lot of us know that there is a huge difference in these two. Belgian Flax Linen is linen made from European flax, whereas Belgian Linen is linen made entirely in Europe - from plant to linen.
We feel as a customer, one should know exactly what they are getting.
Flax is the world’s only natural fiber that is harvested, grown and cultivated in Western Europe. No other parts of the world offers the ideal climatic and soil conditions for flax harvesting. In fact, the flax growing belt in Europe is between Cannes, France and Amsterdam, Netherlands where climate and soil conditions are most optimal.
Once it's ready for harvesting, the plant is uprooted and is put through weeks of retting and several other processes to make the flax spinning ready at the mill. It's during this spinning that the flax plant is transformed into yarns of various weights, thickness, sheens, and looks.
This is where the main difference lies between European Flax linen and Belgian Linen. While Belgian Linen is transformed from flax plant to the linen fabric entirely in Belgium, Belgian flax linen (also known as European Flax Linen) is linen made from European Flax plant outside of Europe (primarily in India and China). Since flax does not grow in any other parts of the world, the retted flax plant is exported to India and China where they then go through spinning, weaving, dyeing, and washing processes in local fabric mills.
What you should look for when buying Belgian Linen:
Quality labels and certifications: Masters of Linen vs. European Flax Linen
Masters of Linen Club is an European association that was formed to ensure quality, labor and environmental safety standards.
If you want to get the finest quality, highly durable, and the most naturally made linen, look for the "Masters of Linen" label. This is granted by the Masters of Linen Club to finished linen products produced in Western Europe that meet all the highest degrees of quality, labor standards and eco-friendly environmental standards required by the association.
Since all of our linens are sourced from the oldest, and the most highly regarded Masters of Linen certified mill in Belgium, all our linen draperies and linen throw pillows will contain the Masters of Linen label.
European Flax Linen: The European Flax association certifies a subset of linens as "European Flax Linen". This certification is granted to mills located outside Europe that spin linens using European flax. In order to receive this certification, mills are thoroughly audited by the European Flax Association for certain quality and environmental standards.
Certificate of Origin: In addition to the Masters of Linen label our linens also contain the Certificate of Origin tag. This certificate guarantees that the linen was made entirely in Belgium, which is the best linen making country in Europe.
Although both the qualities are great there will be a difference in finish and durability between European Flax linen and Masters of Linen certified Belgian Linen. So, if your Belgian Linen does not come with Masters of Linen label and instead has the European Flax linen, now you know why.
For more information about our Belgian linens, we talk more in depth about this in the video below: