Material deep dive: Linen

Once one of the world’s most common textiles, linen now represents only 1% of global apparel fibers in use. Consumption peaked in 2005 at 709,000 tons and has been in decline since. It is the oldest known plant fiber used to make textiles and was widely used until displaced by cotton. Primary apparel uses are for suits, shirting and summer wear.

Flax is a cellulosic bast fiber that is found in the stems of the annual plant Linum sitatissimum. Flax plants produce a fiber bundle that contains many closely-packed cells that provide...

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