Egyptians harvesting Flax

The world of linen is a complex world with no standards. Especially here in SA. Many people who sell fabric in stores will tell us we have cotton-linen. But that is like saying you have gold-silver. And unless you are speaking about a cotton linen mix, cotton is cotton and linen is linen. The Ancient Egypts were the first known civilization to use linen in their garments. And linen comes from a plant (flax), (a different plant to cotton). 100% Linen is no good for us as it is very prone to creasing. The best linen for us is when linen is mixed with synthetics like Viscose to keep it straight and smooth. Ramie linen is actually NOT linen, it is Ramie made from a very similar plant fibre from the flowering plant Urticaceae. God Knows if what they call Ramie in SA is actually Ramie. But it is the most popular type of linen on sale in SA. We, however use it in 30% of our designs.

 

We are linen fanatics and find its properties ideal for African attire. It is cool to beat the heat and works very well with embroidery. It is not light like most cottons and thus can be creatively used in many more designs than cotton would allow us.

 

Premium African pantsAt Ocacia we have a special premium linen made just for us that we use in some of our garments. It primarily only comes in Black and manufactured just for us in South Africa. We call it premium linen to contrast against Ramie linen which is also used in designs where premium linen can be used. But Ramie and "Premium" linen (formerly known as a Casidy) are all "premium" in price. Actually Ramie cost 25% more than our premium linen, but it weighs less and thus cost us less in total when postage is considered. Ramie is also more common, Casidy is not (another reason we call it premium). It has a beautiful quality and thread count and does not crease easily. The downside is that it is prone to a phenomenon called "Shine" when ironed and can be heavy. Casidy looks best in Black or White, brown versions of the fabric are unimpressive and we do not use them.