Masters of Linen labels separate it from pack
By Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, 5/5/2003 12:00:00 AM
NEW YORK —
A new quality label for linen products debuted at the spring textiles show this market, brought to the industry by Masters of Linen, the organization that has been marketing this fiber for 30 years.
The label first launched several years ago, said Pauline Delli-Carpini, U.S. representative, and the reworked version now further distinguishes the fabric content in three forms: one for 100 percent linen products, one for linen and cotton blends and one for items made of at least 50 percent linen.
The organization represents 200 companies in Western Europe, from the flax growers to the finishers, and the label seeks to both educate the consumer as well as separate its product from others in the market.
"There is so much linen from different parts of the world; we had to remove ourselves," she said. "Western Europe produces a better-quality fabric."
The participating companies in Masters of Linen have superior product because they are used to manufacturing for both the basic and luxury markets, she added. In addition, these companies must adhere to standards in order to use the quality label, and products must have color fastness, durability, no visible slubs and must not be considered scratchy.
U.S. consumers may not be aware of the different qualities of linen available, partly because no flax is grown in America, and this label is one way to educate them, she said.
Though the majority of Masters' companies focus on apparel products, home furnishings has surged as a growing segment, Delli-Carpini added, particularly in bedding over the last eight years. And new finishes result in a product that is not as stiff and that softens with each wash, she added.
Masters' characteristics make it ideal for the home furnishings market, she added. Linen is lint-free, for example, making it a potential fabric for kitchen towels. Linen is also 25 percent more absorbent than cotton, she said, and is becoming a popular blend with cotton for bath towels.
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