Linen is an extremely strong, yet lightweight fabric made from the flax plant, part of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. The word “linen” comes from the Latin name for flax, “linum usitatissimum.”
Linen is a natural fiber, like cotton, but it takes longer to harvest and make into fabric, as flax fibers can be difficult to weave. The fibers are extracted from the plant and stored for long periods of time to soften the fibers. Linen is a common material used for towels, tablecloths, napkins, and bedsheets. The term “linens” still refers to these household items, though they are not always made out of linen fabric.