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Ireland has contributed many important things to the world such as, Guinness Stout, cheese and onion flavored potato chips, soda water, Irish whiskey, shamrocks, the Celtic cross, St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns, soda bread, Irish stew, brambrack, U2, the submarine and the tank, color photography, great literature, but most importantly in our world of window treatments – Irish Linen.

Recently at Window Accents By Kim Lyon, our customers have been ordering green decorator fabrics. This is so fitting right now because Kim is currently in Ireland.

We are eagerly awaiting some great photos upon her return. In the meantime, we are thinking green and learning about linen and Irish Linen.

Flax for linen

Linen is perhaps the oldest fiber used by man to make garments.

Way back in the 16th century there was an abundance of linen dyed with saffron. So much so that the king tried to pass a law regulating the amount of yardage used in men’s shirts and chemise (the garment wore between the shirt and the body protecting the fabric from body oil and sweat). The shirts used pleating and draping and were indeed made of yards of fabric.

Linen is naturally thermo-regulatory, anti-static, non allergenic, and antibacterial.

The most studied piece of cloth, the Shroud of Turin, is made from ivory linen.

US currency is made of a combination of cotton and linen fibers and is one of the most durable papers in the world.

Linen can absorb 20x’s its weight in moisture before it feels damp.

It is even 20% stronger when wet.

Linen uses anywhere from 5-20% less energy in production than cotton and synthetic fabric.

Irish Linen Yarn is 100% flax fibers grown in Ireland

Irish Linen Fabric is woven in Ireland from 100% linen yarns but they are not necessarily grown in Ireland.

The Flax fibers are not cut, but rather pulled from the ground to preserve the long full length of fibres.

The best fibres come from the yellow flax that is ripened just perfectly, long and supple, not too young and weak like the green ones, or not too brown like the over ripened ones that are drier and shorter.

Wow – we learned a lot about Linen!


John England has been making fine Irish Linen for over 50 years and makes lovely fabrics for the home, as well as television, movie and theater costumes. Their subtle weave, on-trend color palettes and durable fabrics make them one of the leaders in fine linen decorator fabrics for window treatments and upholstery fabrics. It would be great if Kim happened upon them in Banbridge, N Ireland. Just in case she doesn’t here are some photos we borrowed –

John England Irish Linen makers  John England Irish Linen fabrics

And here are some fabrics from one of our vendor’s RM Coco, of great linen fabrics –

RM Coco linen fabrics

If you are interested in seeing Ireland from Kim’s eyes, check back for photos.

If you are interested in seeing and feeling some great linen fabrics for your home decor, email or call to set up your free in home consultation – or 513-398-5798