My Love Affair With Linen

Published November 04, 2015

linen-lover-launches-lineI am a linen devotee.

I love the fact that it is one of the world’s oldest fabrics, and it is biodegradable and recyclable. Linen has always been known to be sustainable. Did you know the production of linen uses five to 20 times less water and energy than the production of cotton or other synthetic fabrics? I also love linen for its durability and versatility. Linen is two to three times stronger than cotton and improves with age.

Ellen Walde, owner of Le fil rouge Textiles, is a North Vancouver resident whose love affair with linen started early in Germany. Walde’s mother introduced her to the natural fibres when she was a child. It was only to be natural fibres in their household for clothing and bedding. The Waldes loved linen and other natural fabrics for their breathing qualities and overall healthier attributes than petroleum-derived fabrics.

In her teens Walde found herself scouring flea markets in Germany and France for old linens always with her latest knitting project close by.

In 1994 Walde moved with her husband and children to Vancouver and in 2000 she returned to college to study textiles and arts at Capilano College.

It was out of a deep appreciation for linen and alpaca, and a love for creating and sharing beautiful things, that Walde started her company, Le fil rouge Textiles in 2003. Working out of a studio at her North Vancouver home, she employs local seamstresses for the production of her linen collection. One of a kind limited edition pieces are personally painted or silk screened by Walde and most are sewn in the studio.

Products include bath sheets, tea and hand towels and linen throws. She also designs a line of alpaca products in collaboration with a small, fair trade-certified, family-run business in Peru.

The 100 per cent linen bath sheet is truly a modern luxury made with Old World knowledge. This sheet absorbs water rapidly and dries quickly. Naturally antimicrobial and odour-resistant, the linen softens over time and ages gracefully.

If you love linen like I do it’s worth a look.

Products may be found on Walde’s website,

Barb Lunter is a freelance writer with a passion for home decor, entertaining and floral design.