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There seems to be some confusion in the marketplace when it comes to comparing linen and cotton. Most consumers think of ‘bed linens’ as being either cotton or linen, but the name can be confusing. While both materials come from plant fibers, there is a wide and vast difference between the two. So, what is linen made of, Read on to find out?
Linen is a fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. It is named an annual, which means it only lives for the growing season. From planting to harvesting it takes about 100 days to mature. In a normal growing season, flax requires little attention. It grows to approximately 3 to 4 feet in height and has shiny green leaves and blue flowers, even though there is a red variety. It is also known to be one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world.
Flax fibers are strong and dry faster than cotton. For this reason, clothing made of the linen fabric has great value due to the heat evaporation in hot and humid climates. Linen is made from the fibers extracted from the stems of the flax. The fibers are long and usually pale yellow in color and are about the size of a human hair. This is where the term flaxen-haired comes from when one is talking about pale blond hair. This most complicated topic what is linen made of, can be understood now.
Technically, linen is considered a vegetable. There is documentation supporting flax being grown in the warm and humid climes for thousands of years. Not only are the fibers now valuable, but the seeds have recently come to light as a health superpower food.
Let’s start with how they are similar.
How do they differ?
Flax can be grown in just about every country in the world. It has been used to make fibers and ultimately cloth for over six thousand years. If the fibers are pulled or harvested by hand, it is believed that it produces finer linen than the machine harvest variety.
So now that the secret to what is linen made of is known, look for the handpicked variety for clothes and fine bed linens, sheets, and tablecloths. If you live in a hot and humid climate, a crisp white suit or dress made from the fiber of flax plants will help to keep you cool and comfortable. While the material may feel a bit stiff due to the very nature of the fabric, the more it is worn the less stiff and more pliable it becomes.