Linen is produced from fibres of the flax plant. It is highly absorbent and is traditionally used for sheets, napkins, towels, and cool, light-weight clothing suitable for warm weather.
Linen backings for hooked rugs have an even-weave that makes them suitable for both wide and narrow strips of wool. The linen is strong, soft, flexible and easy to work with.
Locally produced linen products, including linsey-woolsey (linen/wool blend), are currently being manufactured in the Annapolis Valley.
Linen yarn and thread is much different than wool – it is shinier, slippery and inelastic. Fibre artists and crafters used to working with wool will need to adapt their techniques to work with linen. Weavers will find linen easier to work with when the air is humid. Due to the lack of elasticity, tension in the loom should be high. Spinners will also need to add moisture when spinning with linen – saliva was once the top choice but modern spinners prefer warm water or a flax seed solution. Knitters should avoid using linen for garments that are tight-fitting or rigid in shape. Linen is also more suitable for lace and cable patterns than stockinette stitch. Whether woven or knitted, linen will soften and become more absorbent with additional washings.