Our trade mark Ekelund only offers textiles manufacturered using 100% natural fibers. We follow our old traditions from the time when everything had its own natural cycle. The natural fibers furthermore offer the best properties for what we use them for. One must not forget the impression and visual joy when seeing textiles created by nature, its beautiful structure and the feeling when touched by a hand.
Flax fibers, which the linen yarn is spun from, grow in northern France or Belgium. This is the geographical area offering the absolute best climate in the world for flax. Historically, flax has been grown in Sweden, but with less success. The exception may be flax from an area in northern Sweden, which does not have the climate for field rotting, and therefore must be rotted using excessive water causing over-fertilization and resulting in an environmental problem. Rotting is the process that allows the release of flax from other plant parts.
Because no-one in Sweden any longer performs flax processing for textile fibers, commercial growth has ceased. However, growth of flax is done for the extraction of linseed oil. In our accounting books from the middle of the 1800s, one can see that we already then were importing flax for quality table cloths. Being able to assess flax fiber and yarn qualities of flax is quite difficult, and here we have knowledge handed down through many generations.
Cotton fibers, unlike the flax fiber, are offered with good quality from many countries worldwide. There is a wide selection of fine cotton yarns from many corners of the world. Cotton accounts for about 50% of all fiber production. Unfortunately, some cotton is grown on land outside the so-called cotton belt. This requires extensive irrigation and use of chemicals for good results. The cotton belt is a region that extends around the globe and offers the right climatic conditions for successful growth.
It is also only in the cotton belt where one can be grow cotton organically. Organic farming is increasing, which is especially good for the local environment and thus for the population in these areas as they do not have be subject to chemicals. Ecological cultivation of all cotton is not the solution for the world needs of this textile fiber. If all cotton cultivation would be done organically, it would barely be enough for a handkerchief per person per year.
The yarn used by Ekelund as raw material is imported, as there are no Swedish mills producing what is needed for our textile manufacturing. Ekelund also uses twinned yarn as it is stronger and precludes the gluing process for the warps as this is a cleaner environmental process.
Future textile fibers
We are convinced that research will develop fibers prepared from the biomass, plant fibers, wood, spruce, pine, bamboo, corn, etc. and thus allow a natural cycle. A good example is rayon, which in recent years has been developed with significantly improved properties. This textile is sold under the trade names or trademarks: LYOCELL and TENCELL.
The manufacturing process for these yarns have been developed to where it has a minimal effect on the environment and can be compared to ecologically grown cotton.