Flax, is a European anomaly. It grows in Western Europe, on the coasts of France, Belgium and The Netherlands where it thrives on the climate conditions, the quality of the soil and the degree of humidity in the air. The only textile fibre with European origins, flax is at the heart of over 10,000 companies in Europe’s fourteen countries: from the farmers who grow the plant to the traders of the final product, Linen, passing by the scutchers, spinners, weavers, knitters and finishers. The pre-eminence in Europe of linen can be seen by these significant figures: 85% of the world’s production is in Europe and France is the international leader in the industry.
This fibre which, by itself, sustains an economic, agricultural and industrial sector is represented by its own association. The European Confederation of Flax and Hemp (CELC) founded in 1951, is a European agro-industrial organisation bringing together all of the stages of transformation and production for linen and hemp. It also incites reflection in the field of analysis, as it does in the more practical fields, creating an ideal competitive environment for companies, stimulating innovation. It assures the promotion of the European industry in the areas of fashion and lifestyle with its Textile Section. The Textile Section aims to encourage development, establishing projects based on a collaborative model: amongst their many objectives is to open up new applications in new markets, by capitalising on the know-how of companies in the linen industry and by validating the linen fibre’s exemplary ecological profile by labelling the ecological end products.
At the heart of the CELC, the Linen Dream Lab, is an area for experimentation and inspiration in Paris and Milan, that has an inventory of textile techniques and innovations from Linen fibres, supporting techniques which use craftsmanship and new creativity.