Is Linen a Natural Fiber ? You Will Amaze to Know About It!

Is Linen a natural fiber? the answer is yes, Linen is the strongest natural fiber which is derived from Flax stalks. The finest linen comes from Europe. Linens’ amazing properties now increases its’ demand day by day. Linen bedding, clothing are now appreciated highly by the end users.

Though cotton machinery can be used in linen manufacturing, linen is completely different from cotton fiber. The unique properties make this fiber a sustainable option. Linen provides your home a luxurious outlook. Belgian linen provides the most luxurious and rich outlook.

Interior designer, artists, restaurants chooses linen fabrics for their uses. We have covered everything you need to know about linen. So, Lt’s dive………………. 

     Fig: Linen fabric   

Image Source:

Fig: Linen fiber

Meaning of Linen

The meaning of Linen stands for,

The word linen is of West Germanic origin and cognate to the Latin name for the flax plant, linum, and the earlier Greek λινόν (linón).

Fig: Pleated linen shirt from Egyptian Tarkhan Dynasty
Fig: Linen fiber   
Fig: Linen fiber texture

20 key differences: Linen vs Cotton:




Derives from

Flax plant

Cotton plant


30% stronger than cotton

Less strong than linen



Less thick


It can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture

It can absorb up to 25% of its weight in moisture


Hypoallergenic, for people with allergy it will be a better option as it has loose structure, less amount of dust will trap on it


Tendency to wrinkle

Wrinkles easily

Comparatively less tendency to wrinkle

Tendency to pilling

Less pilling tendency

Easily tends to pill


Coarser than cotton

Finer than linen

Temperature regulating property

Having this property, keeps the bedding cool and comfortable

Cotton also provides some coolness to extreme heat

Thread count

lower thread count is necessary to guarantee high quality

can be woven into higher thread count fabrics for an incredibly soft and silky feel

Moth resistance & Anti-microbial property

Moth resistant & has anti-microbial property

Not moth resistant & no anti-microbial property


Provides a luxurious, relaxed and inviting look

Comfortable look


As flax fiber is rougher so cotton is softer but with several wash softness increases & lasts longer

Softer and silky but can lose the soft touch with time


Great breathability, as it is being a hollow fiber, air and moisture can easily circulate

Extremely breathable but depends on the fabric weave


Hollow fiber makes it cool in summer

Can’t conduct heat, used for home insulating purpose





Very durable




Not eco-friendly, cotton harvesting process involves harmful chemicals


Rough & textured surface

Smooth surface


More sustainable option

Sustainable too

So what do you think of choosing between this two? Looking for a comfortable bedding?

Concentrate on the above differences & make your own decision whether you should go for Cotton or Linen bedding…….

For a quality purchase check the site: go here

Properties of Linen

Linen fiber is soft and linen clothing is comfortable to wear. It has good strength and easily dye-able. No pilling or static problem rather having a good abrasion resistance. But it always tends to wrinkle.

Physical Properties

Tensile strengthStrong fiberTenacity 5.5-6.5 g/deStrength is higher than cotton
Elongation at break2.7 – 3.5%
ColorYellowish to grey
Length18 – 30 inch
LusterLustrous than cottonSlightly silky
Elastic recoveryNot sufficient 
Specific gravity1.5
Moisture regain10-12%
ResiliencyVery poor
Effect of HeatResistant to heatLess affected by heat than cotton
Effect of sunlightGood resistance to sunlight

Chemical Properties

Effect ofProperties
AcidAffected by concentrated acidDilute acid has no effect on linen
AlkaliResistant to strong alkalis
Bleaching agentChlorine & hypo-chlorite bleach has no effect on it 
Organic solventHighly resistant to organic solvent
Micro-organismAffected by bacteria and fungi
InsectMoth and beetles can’t affect linen
DyesDirect and Vat dyes can be used

What is Linen Made of ?

Linen is made up from flax fiber stalks. Linen manufacturing is a laborious process. The ultimate quality of linen fiber depends mostly upon the growing and harvesting procedure. 

Fig: Sowing & Blooming of flax plant (4 ft plant height)
Fig: Harvesting

Image Source: Libeo Belgian Linen

  • For the longest possible fiber, flax fiber is to be hand-harvested. This is accomplished by pulling up the entire plant. Sometimes stalks are cut near the root. Once harvesting is done, the plants are dried. While drying is complete, seeds are removed by a mechanical process. This process is called “rippling’. 
  • Through “retting” process the fiber is separated from stalks. IN this process bacteria is used to degrade the pectins which acts as binding or cementing material to keep the fibers close intact. Naturally this can be done in ponds, tanks, pools and even in fields. If you want a faster result then you can choose chemical retting. But this process is not environment friendly.
Fig: Retting process
  • After retting, scutching is carried out between August and December. Scutching is a process for dressing of flax fiber to make them prepared for spinning. This removes impurities from the fibers. By this process, straw and woody stem are removed from flax. This is done between two metal rollers and it helps in the separation of the woody portion from the stalks. The fibers are then removed and linseed, shive and tow are set to the other side for other purpose.
Fig: Scutching & Hackling
  • After scotching, heckling process is carried out. With heckling comb, short fibers are separated leaving only soft and long flax fiber. Heckling is the last preparation step to spun the fiber into yarn. It splits and straightens the fiber and also removes impurities along with fiber core. 
  • Once the fiber is separated, they are twisted to spun into yarn and then fabric is woven or knitted for end use. This materials can easily be bleached, dyed, printed or finished. 
  • Flax fiber can also be processed with “Cottonizing” process. In this process, conventional cotton processing machinery is used.

Tired of reading this long manufacturing process?

Let’s get a little bit practical. Dive into this video to get the whole manufacturing process within a short time:

Video Source: Libeo Belgian Linen

7 reasons Linen to be a Luxury:

  • Longevity

Linen seems to be the strongest natural fiber in the world. It is 30% stronger than cotton. Extremely durable it is!!

  • Environment-friendly

The harvesting and growing process of flax fiber doesn’t require that much harmful chemicals. This is almost a green process that doesn’t add any load to the environment.

  • Comfort

Linen is a hollow fiber that helps in easy circulation of air and moisture that makes it more breathable and comfortable. 

  • Sustainable option

Linen is a sustainable option that doesn’t put any burden to the nature. This is completely bio-degradable, if you want to dispose linen garment. Just do this without any regret that you are not add to any waste.

  • Elegant appearance

The rough, textured or patterned surface provides an elegant look for linen. Linen is somewhat different from the other.

  • Health benefits

Linen is anti-microbial, moth resistant and hypo-allergenic. Their loose structure prohibits the entry of dust or germs in it. Allergic people feel relive with linen products.

  • Silky touch

Softer handfeel makes the products from this fiber more popular day by day. With repeated wash the softness doesn’t decrease rather lasts long for years. This property makes Linen bedding more comfortable to the end users. People looking for a comfortable luxury look on their bedding, often choose linen bedding for their convenience. 

To Sum Up!

Often the natural fiber linen is found in our house. Almost all of us love to dream in our soft bedding without knowing that it is made up of linen. What do you think of this luxury fiber? Let us know below the comment section. 

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