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Both a fabric and a fiber, linen is one of the oldest of textiles, with examples dating from many thousands of years B.C.E.

The fabric is made of the fibers of the flax plant, and because of the natural variations in the fibers, characteristic slubs occur in both warp and weft. It is of a balanced plain weave. Linen is coveted for its absorbency, strength even when wet, being lint-free and quick-drying. It is famous for its use in making garments worn in hot climates. The name linen is derived from linon, the Greek word for the flax plant, and linum, the Roman word.

Bedding and table coverings can be called linens, no matter what their fabric.

Uses: Suits, slacks, skirts, dresses, tablecloths, dish towels

See also:
Butcher cloth
Butcher linen
Handkerchief linen