European flax linen, the green fibre of the future, high-performing and 4-seasonal

Linen could well surprise people in unexpected ways and debunk some preconceived ideas: as a versatile fibre, it proves to be excellent for wintry weather, thanks to innovative textile developments. Science tells us so!

Creativity and innovation for a wintry wardrobe

Linen is not only a summer fibre, as Jacquemus has demonstrated with a mixed manifesto-collection, a veritable ode to linen with over 30% of the silhouettes in linen for winter 20-21.” Tagwalk (1).

Yarn, fabric, jersey, the flax/linen industry has developed new generations of A/W textiles for all fashion sectors: from shirting to tailoring, knits, outerwear, athleisure…

Knitted linen has now moved away from seasonal limitations with heavier jerseys, thicker threads, blends with winter fibres, linen-elasthane compact textures and fluffy, fleecy volumes.

In blends, linen is complementary to wool, cashmere or alpaca, all warm, soft and wrinkle-free. Blending with linen makes them firmer. For a cocooning touch, shirting linens are brushed, flannel-like; heavy linens are stonewashed and softened.

Linen answers back to the rain with waterproof treatments: gummy or paper-like coatings, new-generation rain-repellent treatments, obviously bio-sourced and without fluorocarbons, or beeswaxed linen.

Innovation is moving in all directions, extending to technical fabrics and composites for high-performing, bio-sourced products and accessories.

A thermoregulating fibre? The verdict of the Thermal Resistance test

Tested by the CetelorLaboratory(2), European flax/linen has revealed unexpected insolating capacities. It ranks second among the fibres tested, warmer than cotton or viscose, but not as warm as polyester: a good compromise, guaranteeing soft warmth without excess.

In 1st place in the breathability test and on the comfort index, linen has real potential for activewear, sportswear or active sports!

Environmental and social: the double-duty CSR performance of European flax/linen

Grown without irrigation(3), linen is also GMO-free and waste-free. A gentle environmental impact that will be very attractive to fashion brands trying to reduce their ecological footprint starting at product design. That impact has been measured in a new European Flax® fibre LCA , carried out using the European Commission’s “Product Environmental Footprint” methodology.

On the social aspect, this local fibre generates skilled jobs in rural areas: 80% of the world’s flax fibre is grown and produced between Caen and Amsterdam through 12,000 direct jobs. Its traceability is guaranteed by European Flax® certification, and labelled Masters of Linen® for the European sector. More info here


To support responsible sourcing, the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp (CELC) has made a trends-and-sourcing book available to designers, in both printed and digital versions. Upon request at

  • Tagwalk Study x CELC, World Linen Forum February 2020.
  • Study on European flax/linen, comfort and performance, CETELOR Laboratory for CELC – Thermal Resistance & Water-vapour Resistance ISO 11092: 1993
  • 9% guaranteed by CELC

Discover also our product spotlight on winter linens here



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