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What is the history and origin of linen?

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Linen was employed as a textile material about 36,000 years ago by the Neolithic people in Europe and thus linen is one of the oldest textile materials that have existed. Though the art of making linen from flax plants was known earlier than 2500 BC.

It is believed that the linen was first cultivated in ancient Mesopotamia. In addition, it is also believed that the garments composed of linen were only used by the emperor and elite people of Egypt. Around 10,000 years ago linen was also used in Switzerland’s lakefront as evident from the remains extracted from the site.

Many evidences of historical textile materials have been found in Egypt owing to the climatic conditions that helped the evidence to survive. Also, linen as a textile material emerged in Egypt because of its ability to resist harsh sunlight and high moisture absorption. Linen is quite breathable and durable.

Later linen also emerged in Europe however It was only in the 12th century that flax production was organized into an industry. By 1685, AD, Ireland started producing linen fibers from flax plants on a commercial scale.

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