What is Flax Linen?


The flax plant is responsible for more than just a nutty, high-fiber addition to your green smoothies and healthy eating activities. Your stylish, soft, and breathable clothes are also made from this incredibly diverse plant!

What is flax linen?

Learn more about this sensational clothing material synonymous with comfort and quality.

What is Flax Linen Made Of?

The term 'flax linen' summarizes two primary attributes of this timeless fabric material. The first word, flax, defines the origin of the material, with the second word describing the final product, aka- linen!

The Flax Plant

Let's start with the origin of flax linen, the plant itself.

Flax, scientifically named Linum usitatissimum, is an easy-to-grow flowering plant/vegetable first domesticated in the fertile crescent.

The seed and oil of the flax plant have been used as food and medicine for centuries, as well as in commercial applications such as paint.

the flax flower

And the stalks of this beautiful, blue flowering plant are turned into our favorite summer fabric.

To summarize, flax linen is made from the inner cellulose fibers of the matured flax plant stalks, called bast fibre.

Why Flax?

Embracing Sustainability in the Sunshine Linen Loungers.

Flax is a manifestation of sustainable agriculture. In its cooler native regions, specifically in northern Europe near the sea, flax requires minimal water and nutrients to grow. This means little fertilizer and irrigation are needed, resulting in little to no pollution of nearby bodies of water/groundwater.

Just as well, it's an extremely hardy plant resistant to pests, reducing the need to utilize pesticides harmful to the environment and personal health.

Similar to hemp, flax is sustainable and diverse, a plant with many potential uses and an impressively low carbon footprint.

When cultivated, every part of the plant is used, reducing waste, and the roots remain to fertilize and enhance the quality of the soil for future use. So yes, flax linen very much nurtures our planet.

How Is Flax Linen Made?

The process of transforming the flax plant into flax linen is similar to that of hemp and other fabric materials derived from fibrous stalks.

Once matured, a growing process that typically takes 80-100 days, the stalks are harvested from the ground, again leaving the roots to fertilize and filter the soil. These stalks are then left in the fields to ferment in water, a process known as retting.

Retting aims to "dissolve or rot away much of the cellular tissues and gummy substances surrounding bast-fibre bundles", and these resulting bast-fibres are cleaned through the process of scutching. In scutching, impurities such as seeds are removed from the usable fibres.

Following scutching, the fibres are spun, separating the higher-quality long fibres from the short, which are then dyed, turned into yarn, and made into the linen materials we love and use.

Flax Linen Vs. Linen

Linen: A Beach Day's Best Friend

This is a common question with a simple answer. If a product is made out of true linen, it is derived from flax and is, therefore, flax linen. Essentially, linen is just a shorter term to describe flax linen, and they are the same.

However, not all fabrics made from flax are always linen, as flax is used to make other textiles such as lace.

What is important to note is certain instances of shady marketing and false advertising.

It is common for a material that looks and feels like true flax linen, but that isn't, to be falsely labeled as linen. With this, you won't receive the same benefits of flax linen when you might think you are.

I actually did a write-up on the benefits of linen clothing and why I love linen, a few being:

  • Incredible durability
  • Breathability
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Style points

And it's really important to ensure your linen is of the highest quality when purchasing your killer linen surf clothes and other home products, like bedsheets, if you want to reap these insane benefits.

It's also good to note the overall quality of the linen itself. Some linens are simply made better than others, and those crafted with longer fibres will showcase increased durability and a more lustrous appearance.

Good news for you, when you shop at Salty Shreds, we embody quality and sustainability in every piece produced. Our linen clothes are made of true flax linen fabric, and they are waiting to accompany you and your groms with the epitome of comfort and style during all your salty adventures.


Hello to all my salty people! Thanks for readin' my blog and for the continuous support towards our brand. Make sure to sign up to our newsletter by creating your account to stay in the loop with new releases, sales & giveaways, and all our future blog post!

Live rad, stay salty.

- Ash, Dev & The Salty Shreds Fam.


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