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Linen

Margarita Gleba

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Since prehistory, linen, made from flax, has been one of the most widely used textile materials. Linen does not take easily to natural dyes, so before the advent of synthetic colorants it was rarely dyed. Linen is particularly suitable for utilitarian fabrics, owing to its strength, low elasticity, and durability. The earliest known textiles are linen. In Europe, flax was cultivated by the second half of the seventh millennium b.c.e. Some surviving fabrics are so fine that they still cannot be du

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