Linen fabrics

9 Things about Linen fabric you may not have known

linen fabrics interesting facts

The world of fabrics is an ocean, in terms of the information it holds. One has to learn things continuously in order to acquire as much knowledge as possible. Linen, a prominent type of fabric used around the world for decades, is a drop in this ocean. Digging on this topic, I found out various facts that I am sure you will be interested in.


  1. Linen is mentioned in the bible

In the book of Deuteronomy and Leviticus in the Bible, Linen is mentioned. “Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together” “….neither shall there come upon thee a garment of two kinds of stuff mingled together”.


  1. Linen textiles are the oldest in the world

Linen textiles are found as long as 8000 BC. This is a recorded or evidence-based fact. There are people who claim to believe that linen was in use even earlier than that. As we will see in the later stage of this article, flax plants were in use since 36000 years ago.


  1. The word “Linen” originates from Latin

The word ‘linen’ refers to lightweight undergarments such as shirts, chemises, waist-shirts etc. The Latin name for the raw material flax plant is “linum”, where the name linen was derived.

This word ‘Linen’ also gave birth to other words in English. They are:

  • Line
  • Lining
  • Lingerie


  1. The earliest finding of dyed flax fibers is dated to 36000 years ago

In southeastern Europe or Georgia, a discovery of dyed flax fibers was made. It was found in a cave, suggesting that it was used for making linen-like fabrics.

Woven linen garments are found in an ancient settlement dating back to 8000 BC and 7000 BC.


“Mummification, the process of burying the ancient Egyptian kings in a tomb, was done using linen fibers. The modern museums have exhibited these mummies around the world for the common man to witness this”


  1. Linen was the fabric of the kings

Linen survived a long time since its inception in ancient times. During the kingdom age, the kings and the high priests wore garments made out of linen. It was considered to be luxurious and holy. Both the mention of it in the Bible and the production process made it so. A linen cap worn by the 16th century Emperor ‘Charles V’ was carefully preserved after his death in 1558.


  1. Linen is used for making diverse types of products

Linen is used for making a diverse range of products: Bags, towels, shirts, Kurtis, aprons, napkins, tablecloths, chair covers and other men’s wear, women’s wear. It has become a versatile item in modern business and trade.


  1. Linen production is a complex process

The process of making linen from flax plants is a long and arduous process. It involves a range of processes like the ones mentioned below.

  • Rippling: Removing seeds from the flax plant through a mechanized process.
  • Retting: Loosening of fibers from the stalk.
  • Scutching: It removes the woody portion of the stalks by crushing them between two metal rollers.
  • Heckling: Separating short fibers from the long ones.

After these processes, bleaching, dyeing, printing, and finishing have to take place accordingly.


  1. Flax, the raw material for linen, is grown around the world

Flax is a popular plant, which is grown throughout the world. But that doesn’t make it more affordable. The prices of linen can go higher as it gets grown in western countries like Ireland, Italy, and Belgium, where top-quality linen fabrics are sold.


  1. China is the Top exporter of Linen fabrics by date.

According to the UN, China is the world’s largest exporter of woven linen fabrics with a trade value of $732.3 million. Italy $173 million, Belgium $68.9 million and Uk $51.7 million follows China respectively.


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