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Linen

Linen is a material made of flax. It is strong and durable.

Linen is also used for cloth, canvases[?], sails, tents, ... Due to its fabric use, "linens" is the generic term for sheets and pillowcases, although these are often made of cotton or synthetic fibers[?].

Due to its strength in the middle ages linen was used for shields and gambesons, but also for underwear and other clothings.

Linen is available in different qualities variing from almost silk-like to sack-linen. Linen is usually white to ivory, may be washed at 95C, should be ironed when damp.

When being washed the first time, linen shrinks a lot.


The word linen is derived from the Latin for the flax plant, which is linum, and the earlier Greek linon. This word history has given rise to a number of other terms:

The word lintel, a supporting member above a door or window, is not related.

In addition, the term in English, flaxen-haired, denoting a very light, bright blonde[?], comes from a comparison to the color of raw flax fiber.



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