European Flax Linen Vs. Belgian Linen (In-Depth Comparison)

Suppose you’re looking for one of the comfiest textile materials. In that case, it’s no mystery that linen is one of the best on the market today.

Linen is extremely soft, comfy, and durable compared to other natural materials like cotton or silk.

But not all linen is the same. For instance, European flax linen and Belgian linen are great fabrics. But, many users usually face difficulty choosing the best between these two fabrics.

European flax linen, or Belgian flax linen, is a fabric made from European flax but exported outside Europe for further processing. On the other hand, Belgian linen refers to fabrics made from European flax grown and processed in Europe. Although both materials are from European flax, there are noticeable differences in the quality.

In this article, I’ll help you understand what European flax linen is and what Belgian linen is also. Also, you’ll know if both materials are of good quality.

Ultimately, you’ll know the differences between European flax linen and Belgian linen. 

What Is The European Flax Linen, and How Is the Quality?

European Flax Linen Vs. Belgian Linen

European flax linen is also called Belgian flax linen and French flax linen. The raw material for this fabric is European flax. 

But spinning and weaving occur in Europe and Asia, particularly in China and India.

First, Europe grows the flax plant, particularly the western part, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

This flax material is the best in the world because of the unique weather in this part of Europe.

This unique climate in Western Europe also allows the plant to grow up to 1 meter. Consequently, strong, lengthy fibers are the raw materials for many linen fabrics today.

However, because of the high cost of production in Europe, Asia imports quantities of this raw material from Europe to produce her linen.

And that’s where the name European flax linen comes from. The European flax linen is good quality because of the European flax used in production. 

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The final product is better than linen obtained from flax grown elsewhere other than Europe. However, the quality still depends on the linen fabric’s brand.

Below, I’ll discuss the properties of European flax linen to give you an insight into the quality of the material.

#1. Absorbent

One of the qualities of linen fabric is its high absorbency. Resultantly, European flax linen has high absorbency power.

It can absorb up to 20% liquid of its weight. Its high absorbency makes it a good fabric for tablecloths and bath sheets. Also, it makes it dye well.

#2. Allergy Free

Another characteristic of European flax linen is that it’s free from allergy. It’s a natural fabric and hypoallergenic. You can use it without fear of skin reaction.

#3. Quick Drying 

European flax linen is quick drying. Even with its high absorbency, it dries quickly. This feature is particularly helpful during summer, as it doesn’t leave you sweaty and sticky.

#4. Durable

Good quality European flax linen will last long. There are countless linen production companies outside Europe, and the quality of their products will differ.

The European flax association monitors the production of some of these brands. It certifies the brands’ products as “European flax linen” if they meet its standard.

Is Belgian Linen Good Quality?

Yes, Belgian linen is good quality. It’s the trademark of linens processed in Europe, particularly Belgium, from planting to finishing.

Often, people confuse Belgian linen with Belgian flax linen, but both fabrics aren’t the same.

As I stated earlier, Belgian flax linen is also European flax linen. 

Furthermore, Belgian linen is a premium quality material crafted with fibers from European flax plants.

It’s a  unique fabric with unmatched quality as production employs the best craftsmanship, from harvesting the flax fibers, retting, and spinning to weaving.

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Additionally, brands recognize it as the best linen in the world due to the ideal Belgian climate and temperature for growing flax.

And also due to traditional craftsmanship employed during production.

Below are the qualities of Belgian linen:

  • It’s highly absorbent.
  • It’s a soft yet very durable fabric.
  • It’s a highly breathable fabric that is cool for hot and cold weather.
  • It’s moisture-wicking.
  • It’s very comfortable.
  • It’s lint-free.
  • It’s allergen-free.
  • It’s a highly sustainable fabric.

What Is the Difference Between Belgian Linen and European Flax Linen?

Although European flax is the raw material for producing Belgian linen and European flax linen, there are significant differences in both fabrics, from quality to pricing.

Since Belgian linen production occurs entirely in Europe, many brands regard them as superior quality.

While they’re also good quality European flax linen, the quality is not always guaranteed as sometimes there’s a compromise in the traditional production process.

Below I’ll analyze the differences between Belgian linen and European flax linen.

#1. Origin

The first significant difference between Belgian linen and European flax linen is their origin of production.

While the raw material for producing these fabrics is European flax obtained from Europe, the finishing site differs.

Belgium, Europe, is the production site for Belgian linen. On the other hand, countries outside Europe, particularly China, and India, are the production site for European flax linen.

#2. Master of Linen label

The Master of Linen Club provides the “Master of Linen” label to only certified Belgian linen.

It’s a European association that monitors the production of Belgian linen, from quality and labor to environmental safety.

It ensures that Western Europe-manufactured linens meet quality, labor, and eco-friendly environmental standards.

So, it offers the “Master of Linen” label to Belgian linens that meet this requirement. You’ll find this label only on Belgian linens.

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#3. European Flax Linen Label

The European Flax Association is another European association that monitors the production of European flax linen outside Europe. 

This association certifies a brand of linen as “European Flax Linen” if they meet the association requirements.

So, you’ll only find the “European Flax Linen” label on European flax linens that meets the quality and environmental standards of the European Flax Club.

#4. Pricing 

The cost of Belgian linen differs from European flax linen. First, the cost of production in Europe is very high compared to China and India.

So, this high production cost is one factor that influences the pricing of both fabrics. Belgian linen is usually more expensive than European flax linen. 

In addition, the pricing of each linen will differ across brands producing this fabric in Europe, China, and other parts of the world.

#5. Quality

Although premium quality European flax is the raw material for European flax and Belgian linen, the quality of both materials differs.

Genuine Belgian linens are constructed with at least 85% European flax and the best skills.

They’re very durable and provide optimum comfort. Also, they’re highly sustainable fabric with zero waste tolerance and, most times, carbon-free.

On the other hand, European flax linens may be constructed with less know-how and sometimes chemically aided.

Some production companies may mix other materials, like cotton and hemp, during production. 

Although there are fine-quality European flax linens, their quality is still no match for authentic Belgian linens.

Furthermore, while you can get good quality European flax and Belgian linen, these fabrics still have fakes on the market.

So, you must carefully choose authentic products when purchasing any of these products.

Below is a table showing the factors you should consider when purchasing linens:

Factors Point to Note 
TrademarksNatural Belgian linen will have the Master of Linen® or Belgian Linen™.
Also, you should check for certified European flax linen labels when buying European flax linen.
Natural CreasesReal flax linen has creases throughout the fabric. These creases are due to the inelasticity of the fabric.
It doesn’t spring back when you squeeze or fold it.
Absorbency Real flax linen will absorb liquid very fast.
Elasticity Real flax linen is not stretchable.
Place of purchaseEnsure you buy your fabrics from reputable brands and stores online and in walk-in stores.

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