This is abit more of a technical look at the different aspects of linen, I thought though, that you bedding fans might appreciate a sort of look at bedding and linens from another angle. Hope you enjoy it and that and thanks Christopher!
Linen is made for people who prefer comfort over cost. Linen fibre is derived from the stem of the flax plant and spun into a lustrous and strong yarn which, like cotton, is both extremely washable and comfortable to wear in hot weather, as it draws moisture quickly away from the body.
While woven linen wrinkles easily, knitted linen has wonderful elasticity. It is best for high humidity areas, since it absorbs moisture better than cotton. Plus, it has anti-bacterial properties that protect the skin. In fact earlier linen thread was used for stitching up wounds. The silkier property of linen fibres is also supposed to make it more difficult for dirt and other stains to stick to linen, making white linen easier to keep clean.
Linen can also be bleached. For these reasons white or unbleached linen was the favored and most common material for underwear for both medieval men and women. (it’s not bad in modern days too I might add)!
Linen fibre, as a percentage of total fibre around the world, is less than one per cent. Producers of linen are very few. As a fabric, linen is very costly to produce so you get to see it only in the upper end. A cotton fabric manufacturing will cost only 1/3 of a plant with similar capacity in linen fabric. A synthetic plant will cost 1/4th of the linen plant cost. European manufacturers make linen for eight months of the year. For four months there is no sale, because they wear linen only in summer. But in India, linen is made round the year
Linen is ideal for apparel in hot and humid climates also has many industrial uses. Defense forces use linen fabric to make water bags and water-storage tanks that can be folded up and carried to remote locations. When linen fabric comes into contact with water, the fibres expand and there is no leakage. Linen also has some anti bacterial property. Just as an earthern pot, water can’t go out but the water is kept cool. Thicker varieties of linen fabric go into seat covers and drapery, while some are used as, well, table linen.
Linen was sometimes used for lining outer garments for outdoor and winter garments in cooler climates. It was a cheaper lining material than silk and much lighter than fur. Linen is cool in summer and warmer in winter than cotton. You can tell real linen in the shops – crinkle it up in your hand, then release it. Cottons will have a few creases, but linen will have lots. Linen will also feel a lot cooler on warm days to your hands, and will quickly warm up to your hands on cool days. Get that linen feel