BRING OUR FLAX HOME!
February 9, 2010
At Brahms Mount, we take pride in the fibers we select for our bedding products and accessories. Years ago, we consciously decided to source our cotton domestically rather than purchase from an overseas importer. Although our decision was partly based on using the superior quality of United States domestic cotton, we also saw an array of economic and environmental benefits.
We currently use cotton from the Southeast, so shipping to our mill leaves less of a footprint than if we sourced overseas. We also find comfort in knowing exactly who is growing and profiting from our purchases -- people we can call anytime with questions or concerns. However, due to the nonexistence of a flax (linen) industry in the United States, we source this fiber from Europe. The benefits of flax, also known as the “Noble Fiber,” are limitless and will be elaborated throughout this blog. However, the profitable benefits of flax have not been substantial in the US for quite some time.
Despite the fact that globally the US is the largest per capita consumer of flax fiber,
no flax is grown for fiber in the US and all fiber for textiles and composites is imported.
The above statement is written by Purdue University’s department of Agriculture within their ongoing research to bring our flax home. Purdue University is currently working with the USDA to establish a flax industry in the Southeastern US. During the winter, when their fields traditionally remain dormant, it’s the perfect climate for growing flax for seeds and fiber. This, of course, will add a completely new source of income for farmers, not to mention a domestic source of linen for us! Being the only 100% Linen manufacturers in North America, we can’t help but feel directly considered when they remark in their introduction:
Flax fiber…will improve global competitiveness in supplying
US textile industries with a domestic source of clean, consistent quality fiber.
Unfortunately, domestic flax in the U.S. will not be realized in the immediate future. The goal is not simply to add a commodity, but to launch an environmental and economic movement done right.
The USDA requirements for developing and supporting a domestic flax fiber industry are…
1) quality fibers for multiple applications
2) an environmentally friendly fiber crop (no insecticides, low herbicide and fertilization needs)
3) effective use of domestic agricultural equipment that is already used on US farms and familiar to our farmers.
The source of the above information can be found here. The project is incredibly interesting (they’re even testing harmless enzyme additions to strengthen the crop). Needless to say, we’ll be monitoring these developments as they progress and look forward to updating our blog with any new information.