Linen is one of the oldest types of fabric. Flax, from which linen
is made, was cultivated in Egypt as early as the 4th millennium BC.
To produce linen, cellulosic fibers from the stem of the flax plant are
spun into yarn, which is then woven into fabric. Both lightweight,
handkerchief linen and heavyweight linen, for suiting, are available,
as are fabrics woven from linen blended with other fibers.
Linen is a fabric that is ideal in warm climates. It is absorbent, cool, and crisp. Producing no static electricity in its pure form, linen fabric dries quickly, retains its shape, and is lint-free. Linen usually resists stains and dirt, but it yellows with age and may lose some crispness if washed. Loosely woven linen fabrics won't withstand laundering well. Linen's biggest drawback is that it wrinkles easily.
Linen fabric is not always easy to sew with. It frays, shrinks, and sometimes slips during the sewing process. It is fairly inelastic and not very giving. It presses best using a press cloth, but unwanted creases may be hard to remove. When buying linen, choose fabrics that have smooth, straight yarns which are closely and evenly woven. Good quality linen fabric has fine yarns with high thread counts.
Linen fabrics are used for a variety of household products, ranging from table linens, towels, and bedding to clothing, window treatments, and home decorating projects.
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Linen Fabric - Linen Fabrics Guide