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Flax Field opens on the Parade Ground for I LOVE LINEN

Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
23 April 2018

Jointly financed by the flax/linen industry and the EU, the I LOVE LINEN campaign marks the third and final stage of a mission of public engagement that began in France with J’AIME LE LIN in 2016 and continued to Italy with AMO IL LINO in 2017.

I LOVE LINEN reaches out to British consumers, engages them online and offline, and inspires them with unprecedented collaborations. As the campaign has developed, the beauty and singularity of linen has become clear: traceable, innovative and natural; linen is a fabric like no other.

A man driving a tractor in a field

Linen, the world’s oldest fabric is now its freshest, its greenest and its most progressive. From April 2018, linen celebrates its significance and modernity with a series of special events at the Victoria and Albert Museum, at John Lewis & Peter Jones stores and a network of some 40 local partner’s brand, and Chelsea College of Arts.

Two men in a factory working with linen
Linen going through a machine

Harvested in fields along the coast of Normandy, northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands, the flax plant – the source of linen – is grown with zero irrigation, zero GMOs and zero waste.

The process is human and kind. Smart and sensitive, linen is an everyday hero that is naturally thermoregulating, moisture managing and hypoallergenic; it promotes relaxation and sleep

Fibres are blended, like the finest Champagnes and cognacs, and spun into yarn, dyed, woven or knitted into linen fabric, to become clothes or homeware. Green, creative and innovative, linen fabric becomes softer and more comfortable with use. Age and wear bring an attractive patina. At end of life a pure linen product is biodegradable.

Two men working with linen in a factory

I Love Linen comes to London in April 2018, following successful campaigns in Milan (2017) and Paris (2016). The campaign directly engages the consumer to create greater awareness of linen as a natural fabric with a broad range of applications and properties.

From grower to point of sale, the European Confederation of Flax and Hemp (CELC) brings together all players in the European flax fibre industry. Founded in 1951, CELC is the specialist representative of 10,000 enterprises in 14 European countries, overseeing the fibre, from plant to finished product. Its reach extends internationally by stimulating innovation and building on the values of natural fibres with established environmental qualities.

4 men working in a field

Linen is a fibre of substance in a fast fashion, high consumption world. Its role in our wardrobes is both a constant and ever-evolving presence: linen lights the path to sustainable fashion! Linen’s environmental benefits and capacity for innovation give it a unique authority, a genuine alternative to harsh, fast textile production.

This is the stepping off point for the special project begun at Chelsea College of Arts in October 2017. Students in their third year of BA Textile Design, have been encouraged to explore the intrinsic and potential qualities of linen. Their next step is to develop novel and original communication tools to engage a new generation of consumers.

A magazine about linen

“Linen’s future lies in building on its past heritage and embracing unexpected alliances” Caryn Simonson, Acting Programme Director for Graphic Communications and Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts

Chelsea students have created a new vision for linen without the traditional rules, from sports clothes to automotive elements. Thanks to the strong involvement of the educational team, who are always ready to push borders, CELC have installed a Linen Field in the centre of the Parade Ground of Chelsea College of Arts, “dressed” with surprising linen solutions (rope, yarns, fabric, …) by the students of BA Textile Design.

Linen arriving in a van at Chelsea College of Arts.
The Linen Field being installed on the Chelsea Parade Ground
A linen field installed on the Chelsea Parade Ground.

Flax Field installation on the Chelsea College of Arts Parade Ground.

The exhibition is free and open to the public from Friday 20 April until Wednesday 2 May.

To find out more about BA Textile Design head to our course page

Click here to find out more about the I LOVE LINEN campaign