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What kind of cloth is linen and what material is it composed of?
Linen is an elegant, beautiful, durable, and refined luxury fabric. Linen is the strongest of the vegetable fibers and has two to three times the strength of cotton. Linen table cloths and napkins have been handed down from 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 comes 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 colors do not fade when washed. Linen does wrinkle easily and presses well. Linen, like cotton, can be boiled without damaging the fiber. Highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, linen is cool in garments.
Constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds tends to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during laundering. Linen has poor elasticity and does not spring back readily.
Other commonly asked questions about Fabrics and their Features
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