A cloth (and sewing thread) made from straw of the
flax plant, genus Linum, and especially L.
usitatissimum. The stems are steeped in water to
remove resinous matter and allow fermentation to
take place. After fermentation is completed, the
fibrous material is separated from the woody
matter and spun into thread. The cellulose content
of linen fibers ranges between 70 and 80%. The
fibers, which appear flat like those of cotton,
are thicker than cotton fibers, have knots and
joints, as well as transverse markings and
creasings, and are very tough, can be bleached
white, and take dyes more readily than cotton. The
chlorine test stains linen fibers a claret red.
(93 , 143 )