Wapato is a 11 oz 100% linen. Oeko-Tex 100 Certified. Abrasion 30,000 Martindale. A perfect weight linen for upholstery, especially for slipcovers that you will be removing once in awhile. Also makes great towels, dresses, pants, rompers, drapes, aprons, tablecloths, napkins, runners, throws, and blankets.
We use linen fiber from Belgium for all of our linen needs. Why is Belgium linen considered the best in the world? One major reason (There are numerous. We hope to have the time to blog about this soon. Subscribe to our blog here) is that one of the tricky things about linen is that the fibers used to spin into yarn come from the stalk of the plant (not the flower as in cotton). The process of separating those fibers from the natural glues in the stalk of the plant is called “retting.” Field retting, in which you leave the stalks of the flax linen plants out in the fields to naturally “rot,” is the superior method, both for the environment, and for preserving the strength of the linen fibers.* The trick with field retting is that it is labor and time intensive, therefore more expensive; and the labor required is skilled labor. Belgium luckily honors the skill and Belgians pass on the knowledge.
The Fabric Name
Wapato is the Native American name for the sagittaria latifolia plant, also known as broadleaf arrowhead, duck-potato, Indian potato. Its edible tubers are an honored plant of indigenous people.
- abrasion test results: 30,000 Martindale
- care: In cool temps, Wapato shrinks 4% the first time washed; in hot 10%. Do not over dry: Iron while still damp.
- weight: 11.4 oz yd2 / 387 gm m2
- width: 55" / 140 cm
- * The other methods are chemical retting, obviously inferior; and water retting, which pollutes water if not treated (Water treatment is expensive and, outside of GOTS, rare). Both chemical and water retting more frequently weaken and cottonize the fibers.