The Origins of Linen

Linen is the oldest textile material in the world. Its history goes back many thousands of years, well into the Stone Age. Fragments of Linen, in all stages of manufacture ( staw, seeds and seed capsules, fibres, yarns, ropes and various types of fabrics) have been found amongst the remains of Swiss lake dwellings which date from about 8000 years B.C . However it was amongst the civilized people of ancient times that Linen became widely used. In Egyptian - SHENU, in Greek - LINON, in Latin - LINUM, Linen was part of domestic life around the Mediterranean basin long before the Christian era.
Linen was scarsely used during the Dark Ages or in Medieval times, but it regained its earlier popularity from the 11th Century when one realized that the use of Linen helped to cure many skin diseases, including leprosy. Today, despite the increased use of other natural fibres, and more recently the development of artificial and synthetic fibres, Linen's prestige and reputation have remained high, and it is once again playing an important part in the fashion scene Linen is also very much appreciated in the home as interior furnishings fabrics and household linen.

.. Roman fresco, detail
Priestess praying from an Egyptian painting, 14th Century B.C
The dowry tradition; Giovanni da Milano, end of the 14th Century

There is sometimes some confusion between the words "Flax" and "Linen".
Flax relates to the flax plat and the fibres derived from it. For example:

Linen applies to the products made from flax fibres. For example:

Origins | Transformation | Uses | Flax Professional | Contact | Map