They cover the windows, the tables, the bathrooms, the bedrooms. If linens are the eyelids of your home, there’s more than meets the eye. This multipurpose fabric has a rich history and diverse portfolio for uses. Here’s our quick guide to how to use linens in your home. But before we dive into the ins and outs of your linen closet, let’s dive into a history lesson.
Linens come from the fibers of a flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum, Latin for “most useful linen”), and were used as a symbol of wealth. The Roman’s called it textus ventilus, or “woven wind.”
Harvested from flax plants, which technically makes them vegetables, linens go through a lengthy process before becoming the stylish cloths we used today. All parts of the flax plant get used: fibers for linens, oils from the seeds. The fibers get separated into short and long, to create the coarse or fine texture of certain linens. Handpicked flax plants are viewed as more valuable because they maintain most of the root, which can be used to make longer, finer linens. After that, the fibers are spun into yarn, woven, bleached, and dyed (or used in the raw state-it’s a very versatile plant).
This superfabric has mildew-resistant, antibacterial qualities, can be vibrant or subdued in color, absorb messes, or softly sooth sleeping skin. Linens are eco-friendly and among the most durable fabrics available, and can absorb up to 20% of their weight.