Russian flax linen - hard to find, but easy to buy

Today, many shoppers are familiar with Lithuanian linen. It is very often that one can find Lithuanian linen tablecloths, bedding and napkins in stores. And if you were to visit the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, you would find many small street shops selling linen textiles.

However, when traveling around Russia, which for centuries has been the center for linen production, in the city center of Moscow or St. Petersburg, you would not find a single linen store. Why is this happening and where can one buy Russian flax linen today? Find out in this article.


Kostroma and its flax wealth

Kostroma is the original flax land of Russia, where long flax has always been cultivated on the majority of the territory. Young women prepared dowry of linen fabric, linen garments and household items with handmade embroidery. Due to this custom, Russian villages fully provided themselves with flax linen.

Kostroma Flax: history

The rise of linen business in Russia began more than 150 years ago, when the Tretyakov brothers, better known for founding one of the most important art museums, organized the partnership named “New Kostroma Linen Manufacture”. Weaving factory and flax spinner were built. Soon this factory became the supplier of the Tsar's House of the Romanovs and the Russian army. Most of the products were also successfully sold to England and France.

In the Soviet years, the level of production continued to grow. During the WWII, the plant workers provided the army with fabric, and in the post-war period the enterprise became the largest in Europe.

A great role in the production of flax was played by a wonderful engineer-inventor - Ivan Dmitryevich Zvorykin. He designed the first mobile high-speed flax spinning machine, and in 1926 he put forward the idea of fully mechanizing the entire production. The constructions were completed in 1935. And through all its history, since its foundation, this company has produced some of the best and most complex linen fabrics.


Where can Russian linen be bought today?

Russian fabrics are still of high quality, they are durable, beautiful and are popular in the world. Such large brands as IKEA and ZARA sew their products from Russian flax linen. The American company Williams and Sonoma and other European brands offer their customers exclusive tablecloths and napkins made of linen jacquard, produced in Russian linen manufactories. Many foreign companies buy Russian coarse linen fabric to create their products (after additional processing like dyeing and softening). The largest exporter of Russian flax is Lithuania. Many shoppers are familiar with Lithuanian linen fabric. But they don’t often know that many products sold under “Lithuanian flax” or “Baltic flax” brands are sewn from fabric produced in Russia.