In our weaving process, we focus on quality, function and durability. We are uncompromising with yarns, bindings and weaves, and we are always on the lookout for new structures that can fulfil a need in the busy lives of our customers. Several years can often elapse from the start of a project to when the finished textile is in the warehouse, as we test and examine the weaves many times in the process.
Did you know?
• There are around 23,600 individual fibres in an Arne Jacobsen damask tablecloth measuring 165 x 260 cm.
• It takes up to 2 days to thread a weave.
• Three months will elapse from a set of bed linen being started at the textile factory to it being ready for tailoring.
Quality and yarns
Regardless of the material used in the weave, the focus is always on quality, functionality and durability. We work with several different types of yarns which each have their own benefits and characteristics.
Cotton: We use Egyptian cotton in the vast majority of our products. Egyptian cotton is the finest type of cotton and has the longest fibres, and is cultivated in most cotton-producing countries. Thus the name is more of a designation of quality than an indication of its country of origin. The length of the cotton's fibre is very important in terms of quality. Long fibres produce a stronger and finer yarn. This means that only 3-5% of the harvest, from a global perspective, can be used in our production. So, we also use combinations of cotton with long and medium-length fibres when needed for functionality or other reasons. In towels, for example, the loops are woven with cotton with long fibres as this ensures extra softness, and the base on which the loops are woven are woven using cotton with shorter fibres, as these have better absorbency. The same goes for dishcloths, for which a cotton with shorter fibres is better for absorbing and releasing liquid.
Flax: In flax production, you use the inner layer of the stem to extract the fibres and make the yarns. In its natural form, flax is a coarse and relatively rigid material, but as we want our flax to have a special fineness, several refining processes are required to achieve just the right degree of softness. The unique thing about flax is that it is a very durable material, which only becomes softer as you use it. In addition, flax has a number of natural benefits that means it is both thermo-regulated and antiseptic. Virtually all flax is produced in Europe as the climate here is perfect for its cultivation. Our textiles in 100% flax are both harvested and woven in Europe.
Wool: We use wool in our collection of accessories. We have cushions and throws in different types of wool. The advantage of using wool for cushions and throws is that wool has especially good insulation and therefore warm up well on cold evenings. In addition, wool keeps its colour, is resistant to wear and does not curl.
Cotton, flax and wool can be dyed in several different ways: as fibres, before being spun and twisted, as piece goods (piece-dyeing) – and finally with yarn dyeing. We primarily use yarn dyeing, as this type of dyeing ensures the greatest possible colour- and wash-fastness for home textiles. Yarn dyeing also allows us to work with different colours, thereby creating more contrast in the design. During the dyeing process, the ratio between the quantity of dye, the temperature, pressure and time are adjusted and monitored carefully. To obtain a product that is easy to handle, withstands water at 60°C and can be ironed or rolled at up to 200°C without this affecting the colour, we set stringent requirements in terms of colour- and lightfastness.
Weaving is the intersection of two right-angled thread systems where the longitudinal thread forms the chain while the transverse threads form the weft. You can work with loom and/or jacquard weaving, with the loom weaving producing simple check or striped patterns, while jacquard weaving enables you to create advanced patterns and designs that are familiar from damask tablecloths and bed linen.
Bindings are the joining points that occur every time the chain and weft pass one another in a pattern: There are three basic types of binding – linen binding, twill binding and sateen binding. We use all three binding methods – depending on the product and design. The different bindings each contribute in their own way to highlighting the optimal look with the different designs.
Linen binding: Linen binding is the simplest of the three types and is used for example in our sheets, for BASE products and for the SOLID tablecloth. The chain threads alternate above and below the wefts. This type of binding produces an especially hard-wearing product.
Twill binding: This type of binding forms a diagonal pattern in the material. With twill binding, the chain thread goes over two and under one weft. As the binding has fewer binding points than linen binding, the result is a very smooth product that is familiar from our tea towels for example.
Sateen binding: The chain thread goes over four and under one weft in a 5-bind sateen. This produces a very smooth and lustrous surface. Sateen binding is therefore the most frequently used type of binding in our tablecloths and bed linen. Bed linen produced with sateen bindings are also characterised by great suppleness and a high degree of breathability.
It is possible with post-treatment to add a range of additional properties to cotton yarns and woven cotton piece goods. Georg Jensen Damask uses mercerisation, which is a post-treatment process for cotton products that provides a smooth and lustrous appearance while at the same time strengthening the fibres and making them more dirt-proof. Sheets are post-treated with sanforisation, which is forced shrinkage that stabilises piece goods and thereby guarantees the product's dimensions. Single sheets are post-treated so that they are dirt-proof and very easy to hold. Flax bed linen and kimonos go through a post-treatment process that softens the fibres and curbs the natural curl inherent in flax.
Damask weaving technique
Damask, which we are especially known for, is a weaving technique that originated in the Han dynasty in China (200 BC), when it was used for the manufacture of colourful and distinguished silk materials. The technique spread to the Orient via the Silk Road, and Damascus in Syria became the home of the damask weaving technique. In the Middle Ages, the technique appeared in Southern Europe and them moved northwards, where it found a new centre in Haarlem, Holland. It was here that the Georg Jensen family was introduced to the weaving technique and brought it to Denmark. The damask weaving technique is characterised by dense and fine-threaded textiles. The relief look with mat and shiny surfaces occurs when the transverse (the weft) and longitudinal threads (the chain) alternate in dominating the pattern. Damask weaving is carried out on a jacquard weave is used primarily for sateen bindings to give the beautiful designs the correct expression and high degree of detail.
Our customers associate us with "high quality" and therefore we work purposefully with quality checks on our products. In close collaboration with our suppliers, we have compiled detailed specifications for the tolerances we can accept for yarns, irregularities and colour differences. The supplier checks compliance with these tolerances before the products are dispatched – and upon receipt, we examine the products again to ensure that any variation is within our specifications. This stringent quality control guarantees that the products from Georg Jensen Damask always live up to our high-quality standards – and ensures that we have an exceptionally low complaint rate of just 0.2%.