In much of the luxury bedding on the market today, you can find Belgian linen. The best flax in the world is grown in Western Europe, after all. The excellent Belgian linen is a direct result of the experienced flax growers who actually care about quality, along with the a favorable climate and well-suited soil. The flax growers in Belgium perform all the steps required in flax harvesting with enthusiasm, from the preparation of the soil to the extraction of the fibers themselves. The use traditional methods which have been passed down from master to apprentice and father to son, yet they're also eager to incorporate scientific research as well. This is why Belgian linen is seen by some as the essential linen to use in luxury bedding.
A stalk of flax is made up of the bark, and the woody core. Flax fibers bound to the core make up the bark. The process of decomposing the adhesive materials, called pectins, using bacteria, in a manner that the fibers are safely separated from the wood core is called retting. A specialized bacteria that is only active at high temperatures and extreme moisture is used. During the retting period, if the flax were to be left for too long, it would rot and end up useless in making luxury bedding. As time has gone, water retting has disappeared as it was considered way too labor intensive and was having negative effects on the nearby environment. The current process, called dew-retting, is natural and has no impact on the environment. Dew-retting provides an environmentally safe method of producing linen for luxury bedding.
The spinning of the fibers into yarn is referred to as spinning flax. It's at this stage that flax begins to look familiar to the layman's eye. Using only the latest technology and the best raw materials, the Belgians produce many yarns of very high quality, suitable for many applications, including luxury bedding. Depending on how much yarn is to be produced, the flax spinners will use varying techniques to untangle, spread out, draft, and spin these fibers into textile yarn. There are two traditional methods of spinning pure flax. Scutched spinning for the long fibers, and tow spinning for the shorter fibers.
It is at this point that the flax, or threads, as they are now, are suitable for weaving. Sometimes the threads are woven with other fibers to produce mixtures, such as cotton or linen, but usually the threads are spun together for luxury bedding.