Linens & Their Uses

by Yvonne Van Damme ; Updated September 28, 2017

Linen is an elegant and durable fabric. Linen is a fiber that is taken from the flax plant. In addition to being a strong fabric, it is also smooth. Linen does wrinkle easily, but the wrinkles are released easily if you iron them. The fact that linen is lint free and has a fine luster makes it popular for use in clothing and housewares. It is recommended for clothing in warm climates.

Tablecloths

A popular use of linen is in tablecloths. Linen is used by many people as it is more durable than cotton. Also, unlike most other fabrics, it actually becomes more durable when it is wet. As there are often liquid spills at the dinner table, this makes it less likely to be damaged.

Napkins

Napkins are often made of linen for similar reasons as tablecloths. They contribute nicely to a formal table and will not be damaged by spills and wetness, which is important as they are often used to clean up liquids that spill at the table. In addition, they do not pill as much as other fabrics do.

Clothing

Linen is often used in clothing, particularly in warm climates. It tends to be a cooling fabric in hot weather. As it is woven and lightweight, it allows the air to pass through it, which gives the cooling effect. Linen is often seen in shirts, pants and dresses. As it wrinkles easily, you will have to iron it more often. If you sweat in it though, it will not be damaged.

Decorating

Use linen to re-purpose and decorate your home. This is a particularly good idea if you have old linens that you would like to use. One way to recycle them is to cut them up and use them as coasters for drinks. Another idea is to use old pillowcases and make them into tablecloths. These ideas are both budget and environmentally friendly.

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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.