What is Linen?
Linen comes from one of the strongest plant fibers- the flax, which is obtained from the stems of the plant Linum usitatissimum. Flax fibers are of two varieties- longer line fibers and shorter tow fibers. The fine and regular long flax fibers are spun into yarns for linen fabrics of which 70% goes into making clothing with extraordinary coolness. They are also used for high quality textile furnishings. Shorter flax fibers make heavier yarns that are used for kitchen towels, sails, tents and canvas. Lower fiber grades are used as reinforcement and filler in thermoplastic composites and resins used in automotive interior substrates, furniture and other consumer products.
Why Linen is Unique?
The 'so-cool-to-touch' linen fabric is about two to three times stronger than cotton yet it is soft and smooth when felt against skin. There are many properties of linen fabric that go to make it unique.
- Linen is a very good conductor of heat- the reason for its being so cool.
- It is smooth, soft and lint free- in fact, wash it more and it will get more softer.
- It has high natural luster having shades of ivory, ecru, tan, or Grey- if its pure white then it is heavily bleached linen.
- It has a crisp and textured feel. However, it can range from stiff and rough, to soft and smooth.
- If properly manufactured, linen fabric can highly absorb and rapidly lose water- it can gain up to 20% moisture without even feeling damp- that's why it is one of the the finest cool summer fabrics.
- It is very durable and strong- in fact, it is more stronger when wet than when dry.
- It is abrasion resistant and also resistant to moths and carpet beetles.
- It can be easily taken care of as it resists dirt and stains and also don't have lint or pilling tendency. It can be dry cleaned, machine washed or steamed without any concern.