Linen has been used since many thousand years ago and remains widely accepted in the modern world. There are many different types of linen fabrics which can be identified from each other by the weave patterns and the texture. Below is a list of the different kinds of fabrics discussed in detail:
AEROPLANE LINEN: a strong, closely woven, unbleached plain linen used as a covering for aeroplane wings and bodies.
ART OR EMBROIDERY LINEN: plain woven, chiefly used as a ground for needlework. Character. red by round (plied) smooth yarns which are desirable when threads have to be pulled.
CAMBRIC: A fine sheer, plain woven bleached linen with a smooth finish used for lingerie, handkerchiefs, collars and cuffs. It is named for the town of Cambrai where it was first woven. It is also known as batiste, for Jean Baptiste, a weaver of Cambrai, who may have "invented" it in the thirteenth century.
CANVAS: a coarse, heavy, plain woven fabric made with hard twisted yarns, usually finished with a stiff size . . . . was used for sails, tents, awnings, clothing and bagging. Originally made of hemp. Its name, the canvas is said to be derived from cannabis.
DAMASK: A smooth, lustrous, sometimes leathery cloth, with a more or less elaborate woven pattern. Classified as single or double according to the nature of the ground weave: Single damask on 5 shafts and double on 8 shafts.
DIAPER: A twill weave in a small diamond of a bird's eye pattern often woven with a damask border and used mostly for guest towels. Originally a silk fabric called drap d'Ypres, after the Belgian city of Ypres in which it was made.
DUCK: A stiff, heavy plain woven fabric resembling canvas. The lightweight bleached duck was used as suit material in tropical countries. Derives its name from the fact that it sheds water.
GLASS TOWELLING: A smooth narrow plain cloth made with tightly twisted yarns, characterized by red and blue stripes or checks on white ground. Ideal for glassware because it doesn't shed lint.
HOLLAND: Plain woven, unbleached, usually finished with glazing of oil and starch to make it opaque, and used for window shades. Unglazed Holland was also used for furniture coverings, made originally in Holland, hence its name. This name was applied to all imported plain linens into the U.S. (According to Clark, Linen on the Green, holland is fine linen, usually beetled and starched for use in garment interlinings, originally from the district about Dordrecht in Holland)
LAWN: A very fine, sheer, plain woven, bleached fabric similar to cambric but somewhat softer and sheerer. Takes its name from Laon, France where it was originally made. Chiefly used for handkerchiefs and lingerie.
Source: “Linen From Flax Seed to Woven Cloth”
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