Linen is a textile made from the fibres of the flax plant. The fibre is very strong, absorbent, and dries faster than cotton. Because of these characteristics, garments made of linen are valued for being comfortable to wear in hot weather.
Linen textiles appear to be some of the oldest in the world: their history goes back many thousands of years. Fragments of straw, seeds, fibres, yarns, and various types of fabrics dating to about 8,000 BC have been found in Swiss lake dwellings.
Linen fabric feels cool to touch, a phenomenon which indicates its higher conductivity (the same principle that makes metals feel "cold"). It is smooth, making the finished fabric lint-free, and gets softer the more it is washed. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. This wear can show up in collars, hems, and any area that is iron creased during laundering. Linen's poor elasticity means that it easily wrinkles.