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Belgian Linen Reviewed by Martin Bailey


It had “Me Giggling Like a Teenager”
Martin Bailey

When respected photographer Martin Bailey put Breathing Color’s Belgian Linen to the test, the results had him “giggling like a teenager.” What caused this irrepressibly positive result from someone who is accustomed to working with high-quality products?

A Test Pattern of the Product Looked Fantastic


The basis to compare apples to apples, Bailey likes to use a test pattern reference he has perfected. Years of experience have made it easy for him to determine rather quickly whether a substrate lives up to his expectations or not. As the story goes, Belgian linen fit the bill – and then some.

Understanding Breathing Color’s Belgian Linen

The linen is free from lint, which makes it ideal for printing. Besides that, it is made in Belgium by weavers who are members of the acclaimed Masters of Linen Club (view certificate). The resulting product is soft as well as durable. (Consider that master linen is 30% stronger than cotton.) Most importantly, it absorbs colors beautifully. Bailey tested the claims the manufacturer made and found them to be truthful.

The Linen Performs Well

Next, Bailey created a profile visualization that showed the belgian linen outperforming the matte Signa Smooth fine art paper product. Test prints show that the material’s makeup brought out the ruggedness of a photo’s subject. Combine this with its texture for an appreciable step back in time. In fact, the test was so successful that Bailey felt its performance fully justified its price. 

Creating a Panel For Home Use

Next, this photographer put the linen through a real test for home use location. He printed and created an art panel using the material as a substrate for a nature photo. It is fair to say that the Belgian linen, made from European flax, impresses with its vibrant color play and beautiful finish. This fact caused Bailey to rave that Belgian linen is the substrate of choice “when utmost quality is necessary.”


Photo credits: Martin Bailey 2019


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