The Savoir-Faire Behind Loro Piana’s Core Linen Pieces

Emma Hodgson   |   17-05-2024

Linen is one of the core materials at the heart of Loro Piana. The factory which the house uses, the Solbiati Factory, has been a key part of the house since 2013, and has a long history in the world of linen, dating back 150 years. 

Each linen piece the Loro Piana house creates is Masters of Linen™ certified which means it is 100% Made in Europe, from flax field to finished garment. Linen is by nature more sustainable compared to other crops, requiring less water and pesticides thanks to cultivation without irrigation. Linen is also inherently antibacterial, antipilling, extremely breathable, and effectively absorbs humidity. The Maison and its flax growers are committed to preserving ultimate quality, transparency, and local production. 

The process behind sourcing the linen:

A long and meticulous process transforms the naturally rigid stem of the flax plant into fine comfortable linen fibres with a signature touch into fine comfortable garments with the signature touch of the Maison. The first step is the cultivation and harvesting of flax. Loro Piana linen is grown in the naturally humid climate of Normandy in France and Belgium, regions renowned for producing the finest linen. The fibre selection is an expert art, done by sight and with a masterful touch. 

Following the harvest, the dried flax undergoes a transformative journey through retting, a process by which the fibres are released from the stem of the plant by monitored natural degradation, usually by submerging them in water or exposing them to dew moisture. The desirable fibres are separated from the plant’s woody core through beating. Traditional methods employ manual techniques, where craftsmen detach the noble fibres by hand, preserving their integrity and purity. This artisanal approach ensures a superior linen quality and honours the ancient traditions of textile craftsmanship. 

Combing is the next phase of the linen metamorphosis, where the extracted long fibres are separated from the short fibres and carefully aligned and prepared for spinning. They are then arranged into parallel strands, laying the foundation for the yarn’s impeccable strength and resilience. Once the ribbon has been generated, it can be spun, giving life to the thread. 

Guided by the expert hands of artisans, each strand is carefully inspected and adjusted, ensuring uniformity and precision in every thread. Skilled spinners coax the fibres, and with each twist of the spindle, linen is transformed into yarns of unparalleled refinement. Loro Piana also uses Nm110 linen threads, the finest of its kind. If stretched, one kilogram of thread can extend for 110 km. 

The creation of the fabric takes place in the Maison’s factory with the warping and weaving, an artistry that requires attention to detail and precise savoir-faire. Linen can be treated with aloe vera during the finishing process, adding anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking properties and infusing the fabric with softness, for a signature Loro Piana touch. What makes the Maison’s linen truly unique is the extensive research to find exceptional raw material, the use of the finest yarns, the innovation to create new blends and new finishings. 

The house also offers a new blockchain method of tracking products. For example,  each André shirt in linen that is produced has a digital certificate, powered by the Aura Blockchain Consortium. 

So clients will now be able to trace every step of the production of the linen André shirt, from field to yarn to finished garment by scanning the QR Code on the labels. 

This authenticates and verifies Loro Piana’s vertical integration, incorruptible thanks to the data on the blockchain. A dedicated webapp is also launched to enable the discovery of the journey of every André shirt in linen.