What is linen? Everything you need to know!

We rarely ask ourselves about the origin of the fabrics that we use to dress or with which we decorate our houses, in this case, we will talk about what is linen.

Linen is a refreshing and breathable fabric, durable and made of natural fibers, just like cotton.

Both fabrics are widely used in the textile industry and are among the most popular in the world, but what is the difference between linen and cotton?

linen cloth

What is linen and how is it made?

If you ask yourself what is linen made of, in a nutshell, the answer will be that linen is a natural fabric, whose fibers are derived from the flax plant. Specifically, from the cellulose fibers that grow within the stems of the flax plant or Linum usitatissimum.

Linum usitatissimum

It is characterized by being a soft, light, breathable, strong fabric that dries quickly. It is for this reason that this fabric is widely chosen to wear in places with a hot and humid climate, although it tends to wrinkle easily.

However, manufacturing linen cloth is not an easy task, it requires a lot of time and dedication. Its process begins with the planting of the flax, whose stage lasts approximately 100 days and is carried out in the coldest time of the year and ends with the spinning of the flax fibers that are wound into coils.

The uses of linen are varied and historically, linen was one of the most popular textile products in the world.

It is used in fabrics for the kitchen (table cloths or kitchen towels), for the bed (sheets), for the bathroom (bath towels), as home decoration (upholstery, curtains, wall coverings), in clothing (underwear, dresses, shirts, pants) and in countless other things.

What is linen and how is it made

Linen vs Cotton

We previously talked about what is linen, but to differentiate linen from cotton, we have to know that cotton is also a natural fiber that comes from the cotton plant, specifically from the part that grows around the seeds, in the form of capsules.

Some similarities and differences between linen and cotton are:

  • Cotton has more elasticity and flexibility than linen, but it is not as durable.
  • Linen and cotton are recommended fabrics for people with allergies or skin diseases.
  • Cotton and linen have good moisture and water absorption capacity, but linen dries faster than cotton.
  • Both linen and cotton are fabrics that wrinkle easily.
  • Cotton is softer to the touch than linen because linen fibers are rougher and more textured than cotton fibers.
  • Both cotton fabric and linen fabric are breathable and do not conduct heat.

I hope this article is useful to you and that you have learned what is linen and the differences with cotton.

As you can see, both fabrics are very good and their differences are subtle. The choice of one or the other will depend on which one you like more, your budget and the use you will give it.