A LAND IDENTITY
Ranking first in terms of quantity and quality, European Flax is outstanding for its eco-sustainability and the ethic values it fosters.
The balanced combination of tradition and climate conditions make the art of growing and processing flax in Europe universally renowned.
The cultivation of flax has but a trivial impact on the environment. Starting from the fibers which are woven into fabrics, the whole of the plant is used, and flax is therefore extremely eco-friendly.
AN INNOVATIVE FIBER
A natural, innovative, high quality fiber, flax is both ecological and eco-sustainable. Perfectly located thanks to the European chain of production, the fiber responds satisfactorily to the growing concern about the environment, and embodies such basic, present-day values as simplicity, naturalness and quality. To really know and appreciate flax we must bear in mind that it is a living material. Like all living beings this natural element needs love, passion, interest, attention, care and respect, and by understanding this simple principle we can also understand why flax can rely on a future and be processed and studied focusing on intelligent, responsible ethic principles.
The seeding of flax in the north of France is the starting point of its magic. In the area between Caen and Amsterdam flax is grown along the sea, an ideal place for its humidity and low range of temperature perfectly suitable also for flax steeping that mainly occurs in Normandy. In these areas and under the above climate conditions flax acquires the correct thinness and becomes homogeneous through the next processing stage, flax-scutching. From northern Normandy to Flanders and the Netherlands qualified group-work leads to the best features of flax fibers: thinness, strength and homogeneity. Although the spinning that follows is entirely machine-made, the future of flax is left to the loving, precise, respectful and meticulous care of man. Through machine-hackling flax fibers are bent, thinned and strengthened without the use of chemicals or oils. After processing flax acquires a living, breathing, vibrating structure, and recent experiments have led to innovative techniques to obtain new textures and performances. The resulting valuable yarn is a top product due above all to the way it can be combined with different fibers. In the knitwear manufactured particularly in the French Rhone-Alps area, flax is used in combination with cashmere to obtain a warm, soft, teased flax fabric, just one of the countless new proposals pointing to new aspects and performances. That’s why flax is to be considered a valuable material that enables to innovate, experiment and be daring.
LINIFICIO – ILMIOLINO
Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale’s (National Flaxmill and Hempmill’s) work and production is based on the processing of flax and on its natural and ethic features. Since 1873 the firm has processed flax constantly following a natural approach since when, on January 14th of the same year, Andrea Ponti established Linificio e Canapificio Nazionale S.p.A, a totally Italian company, today controlled by Marzotto Group. This partnership has enabled the company to widen its production to home furniture and clothing, and to become one of the oldest European firms as well as a symbol of Italian excellence in the production of flax and hemp yarns, in bath spinning and dry spinning. This is the background of IlMioLino’s birth. The processing of flax, the outcome of experience, experiment, research and risk, is carried out on machines, invented and patented by the firm’s technicians, by men who are respectful of the environment, and whose good taste, passion and experience give the yarn quality and value, from mixings to mélanges, from dyeing techniques to special productions. IlMioLino processing is achieved without polluting the waters, without using any defoliants or pesticides and is open to recycling, so much so that all wastes are used as secondary raw materials. Another reason why IlMioLino is praiseworthy is that production occurs in five different European countries, a fact that leads to the social and economic integration of European workers. If flax growing and first processing occurs in France, for example, Lithuania sees to the mixings of flax, cashmere and wool to enhance yarn quality. The final result is a hypo-allergenic fabric that hardly wears out, suitable for the most sensitive skins, at once sustainable, renewable, and trendy, for IlMioLino enhances the fabrics and transforms them into unique fashion products, as is testified by the 4.5 million kilos of yarns manufactured yearly by the Flax Mill.
AMO IL LINO
Amo Il Lino was an exhibition held in Milan from the 4th to the 12th May 2017,edited by Philippe Nigro in collaboration with Associazione Montenapoleone and the Italian federate industries within the section Lino di Sistema Moda Italia and within CELC, Europe. In Via Montenapoleone a real flax plant was on show on a 550-metre route between Piazzetta Croce Rossa and Piazza San Babila. The route showed the various stages in flax processing, from the plant to the finishing. At once an artistic installation and a didactic contribution, the exhibition’s objective was to illustrate the various stages in the transformation of flax, from the plant to the yarn and the fabric, to finally show the daily use of materials.
Specific showcases in collaboration with specific partners illustrated the versatility of flax in all its uses and performances. A showcase, in particular, was created by John Malkovich.