Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibers and has 2 to 3 times the strength of cotton. Linen table cloths and napkins have been handed down generation to generation. Not only is the linen fiber strong, it is smooth, making the finished fabric lint free. Fine china, silver and candles are enhanced by the luster of linen which only gets softer and finer the more it is washed.
Linen is from flax, a bast fiber taken from the stalk of the plant. The luster is from the natural wax content. Creamy white to light tan, this fiber can be easily dyed and the color does not fade when washed. Linen does wrinkle easily but also presses easily. Linen, like cotton, can also be boiled without damaging the fiber.
Highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, this fabric is cool in garments. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during the laundering. Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily.
CLICK HERE for the Glossary of Linen and Weaves.