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Linen is one of the most ancient fabrics known to man. Linen is made from flax and the process of manufacturing flax is quite arduous. Linen has several advantages over other natural fibers; one is that is stronger than other fibers, and the other is that it is cool. Trousers made of linen will never feel clammy in humid weather as linen can absorb over twenty percent of its weight in water. Linen is a cool fabric and that’s why it’s preferred over other fabrics.
Linen was mostly found in white color and it’s only recently that fabric makers have started dyeing it in other colors. Linen has a number of advantages. It’s a very soft and smooth fabric and always feels nice to touch. The second advantage is that it’s cool and preferred over other fabrics in hot weather. The third advantage is that being a strong fabric it’s long lasting. As linen has the ability to absorb and loose moisture rapidly it will absorb perspiration and dry it out rapidly. Texture is resistant to moths and carpet beetles. The disadvantage of texture is that it’s an expensive fabric.
Texture has been popularly used for making bed sheets, towels and table napkins and handkerchiefs. Linen has a certain glow to it which is not matched by any other natural fiber. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been found wrapped in texture. The white texture portrayed purity and wealth. Linen’s natural colors are ivory, tan or grey and are heavily bleached to make it white.
The major advantage of texture is that it ages gracefully and the older it gets, the better it will look and feel. Texture is now also being used in making gents and ladies trousers and ladies skirts. In tropical climates men also wear texture suits at formal occasions. Dyed texture cloth can fade with over exposure to sunlight.
Texture table napkins add a touch of formality and elegance to any meal. They can be pressed and folded into different shapes to suit the occasion. Texture handkerchiefs are folded and displayed in the breast pocket of men’s jackets. Here again they break the monotony of the dark colored jacket and add a touch of refinement.
Linen towels have a distinct advantage over cotton towels as they are soft and more absorbent than cotton. Also, they very seldom need softeners like cotton towels do. Linen bed sheets make the bed look clean, cool and welcoming.
Linen is a relatively easy to wash fabric and does not stain easily. Linen loves water and requires a lot of water for rinsing after it has been washed. In fact linen is best rinsed in running water. Linen needs a medium to hot iron when ironing and can be starched as well. If too much starch is used the fabric will become stiff, therefore it should be lightly starched. Linen should be ironed when it’s still slightly damp.
Linen will remain a prized fabric as its production remains quite low. White linen is the preferred color in linen and it looks its best in this color.