Known for simple, clean designs in natural fibres The Linen Press operates out of a converted farm building in the heart of rural Cumbria. In addition to the office space, warehouse and packing departments we have the one and only Linen Press shop with our full range of current lines plus bargains from The Big Back Bedroom. Order online or by telephone, speak to a 'real' person from 8am until 8pm, 7 days a week!!
Directions to find us can be found in the 'Contact us' page but if we are a little far away for a personal visit we do get out and about around the country and a list of shows and sales is on the 'Shows' page when appropriate.
The best quality linen comes from the long stems of the flax plants which are grown in the fields of Western Europe, in the coastal regions between Normandy in France and Amsterdam in Holland.
Linen has numerous natural qualities:
1 - eco-friendly, renewable resource
2 - antibacterial, anti-fungal
3 - hypoallergenic
4 - hygroscopic i. e. absorbs moisture which then evaporates, meaning it is cool to wear
5 - naturally thermo-regulating: warm in winter, cool in summer
6 - stain resistant, to a degree. Don't spill curry on your best white tablecloth!
7 - very strong fibre, stronger than cotton
8 - natural exfoliant
9 - moth resistant
10 - resistant to abrasion and not prone to pilling
11 - durable, so an excellent investment
12 - anti-static
13 - has high air permeability
14 - bio-degradeable
15 - environmentally friendly: no irrigaton is needed and hardly any chemicals are used
16 - resistant to the effects of UV
- The whole flax plant can be used, leaving no waste. Not just cloth but linseed oil and flaxseeds.
- Flax grows naturally and requires no irrigation and grows with little, if any, help from potentially dangerous chemicals.
- Because it is a natural fibre, flax linen is recyclable and biodegradable.
- Flax is gentle on the land and is easy to incorporate into modern crop rotation cycles, preventing soil depletion.
- Very little energy is required to process flax. The production process is mainly mechanical.
- Linen yarn is inherently strong, which reduces the need for starching during spinning and weaving.
- Flax is many times stronger than cotton, which means clothing and upholstery made from linen are made to last, rather than end up in landfill.
Linen production process:
Linen is made from the fibre of the flax plant. It is a bast fibre which means it is collected from the inner bark, or 'bast' surrounding the stem of the plant. Flax fibres vary in length from about 25 - 150 mm and average 12 - 16 microcentimetres in diameter.
The flax growing cycle is brief, with only 100 days between sowing in March and harvesting in July. The plant flowers briefly, dotting the fields with blossoms of violet, blue and white. Each flax plant blooms for 1 day only.
The production process is a lengthy, labour-intensive one, and is quite complicated. It is carried out by purely mechanical means or by hand. This explains why linen is a more expensive fibre, more expensive than other fibres, like cotton for example.
Different stages of the production process:
Harvesting - Flax must be treated carefully, so to preserve the full potential of each plant, flax is never mowed but must be uprooted. Until the second half of the 20th century, this was painstakingly done by hand. Today, it is done mechanically.
Retting and turning - The woody core and pectin which binds the fibres together must be allowed to naturally decompose in the process known as retting. The preferred method requires the intervention of nature as the flax is spread out in the fields and exposed to the rain, dew and sunshine for several weeks.
Scutching (stripping) and Hackling (combing) - During these mechanical processes the fibres are separated from the outer layer (shive), and then graded into the short fibres (tow fibres) which are used for coarser yarns, or the longer fibres (line fibres) which will be used to create the finest linen yarn.
Spinning - Drafting and carding draw out the long or short fibres into sinuous 'ribbons' which are then plied together on spinning looms in various weights and thicknesses. The fine long fibres are 'wet spun' to impart a smoother, shiny appearance. The shorter tow fibres are usually 'dry spun' yielding a less regular and coarser yarn.
We accept credit card payment. If you are shopping from outside the UK, place your order and your credit card company will convert the transaction to your own currency.
We accept Visa and Mastercard and you may send your credit card information via phone, fax, snail mail or over the Internet.
When confirmation of order is received, this is to indicate that we have received your order. It does not indicate that a contract exists between us. We will indicate acceptance of your order, and hence a contract between us, when we send you an invoice. We have included this term to protect us in the case that a mistake has been made in pricing, we have inadvertently under-priced goods, or we are no longer able to supply a particular product for some reason. In the case of a change of price, we will always contact you first to ensure that the price is acceptable.
If, within 10 days of buying something from us you then see the same goods being offered at a lower price on our website or in our catalogue, you may request a credit to the value of the difference. This may be used against a future full price purchase.
We at The Linen Press do not disclose buyers' information to any third parties other than when order details are processed as part of the order fulfilment. In this case, the third party will not disclose any of the details to any other third party.
When you buy goods from us you are entering into a contract with us therefore we do need to ask you for some personal information such as your name, address and delivery address (if different), phone number and e-mail address.
We only share your information with necessary companies in order to provide you with the very best possible service, these include invoicing systems, payment processing companies and delivery companies. If you wish to view their policy statements please visit https://quickbooks.intuit.com ; www.sagepay.co.uk/policies/security-policies ;
www.royalmail.com ; www.fedex.com
At The Linen Press we are committed to complying with the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. We want you to feel confident that we look after your personal data and we would like to reassure you that we understand the importance of ensuring that your details are kept safe and secure.
If you have any concerns or would like any further information, please write to: Data Protection Officer, The Linen Press Ltd, Hartley Fold, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, CA17 4GH.