• In 1670 " the wear of flimsy muslin " was introduced into England, before which time our more natural and usual wear were cambric, Silesia canvas, and such kinds of Flaxen Linens from Flanders and Germany. 

  • Mrs. Otter, in Ben Johnson's "Silent Women," mentions a damask tablecloth which cost £18. The good man of the house sat at the upper end of the board " with a fayre napkin layde before him on the table lyke a master." 

  • "In 1855, as the price of paper rose, Dr. Deck proposed to dig up 2 1/2 million tons of Egyptian mummies, ship them to New York, unroll them; and use their linen wrappings to make paper."  Nicholson Baker

  • In 789, Charlemagne gave momentum to linen production in a decree in his Capitulaires (the first law book organized by chapter) that linen be spun in court and that each household in France should have the equipment needed to make linen textiles.
  • In September 2009, archeologists discovered minuscule linen fibres dating from 36,000 B.C. in a Georgian cave in the Caucasus. With their remnants of twists and pigments, they are the first known textiles developed by man.
  • While 90% of European linen is destined for the textile market (60% for clothing, 15% for household linens, 15% for furniture and lifestyle), 10% is now dedicated to technical opportunities : eco-construction, insulation, automobile parts, sports equipment, boating, stationery, surgery and health items.
  • Europe is responsible for producing 80% of the worlds scutched flax. With 80% in France, 15% Belgium and 5% in the Netherlands. This represents c. 138k tonnes on 71,000 hectares of land.
  • Linen gets softer the more it is washed.

  • Flax is a self-pollinating crop.

  • The Board of Trustees of the Linen Manufacturers of Ireland was established under statute in the year 1711. The Board of Trustees of the Linen Manufacturers for over 100 years (1711 to 1823) nurtured and controlled the Irish Linen Industry. The Boards legacy is the World-renowned standards and quality of Irish linen today.

  • The quality of flax is mainly determined by the characteristics of the root-end, length, thickness, and colour of the stem.

  • Cambric is lightweight, closely woven, plain fabric first made in Cambrai.  Initially made of linen (flax), then cotton in the 19th century, it is also called batiste. Cambric is used for linens, shirtings, handkerchieves and as fabric for lace and needlework.

  • Philippe Henri de Girard patented in France spinning frames for both the dry and wet spinning of flax. He also patented his inventions in England in 1815, in the name of Horace Hall

  • The Irish Linen brand's trademark is the focus of all promotional activities. It can only be used to mark genuine Irish linen products such as linen yarn spun in Ireland and linen fabrics woven in Ireland by members of the Guild.

  • Products made from genuine Irish woven fabric, such as garments or table linens, can be labelled 'Irish linen' although sometimes the made up item may have been assembled elsewhere. The term Irish linen refers to the constituent fabric.

  • Flax sails were on all the great explorers' ships, as well as on those of Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Cook

  • "Love is like linen often changed, the sweeter" Phineas Fletcher, 1582-1650

  • The Book of Common Prayer, 1662 states, "The Table3 at the Comm time having a fair white linen cloth upon it4, shall stand in the body of the Church, or in the Chancel, where Morning and Evening Prayer are appointed to be said5. And the Priest6 standing at the north side of the Table7 shall say the Lord's Prayer, with the Collect following, the people kneeling."

  • "Young ladies should concern themselves with what is pretty. England is pretty... babies are pretty... some table linen can be very pretty... " A line by Lord Raglan, played by John Gielgud, in the film The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1968.

  • In the mid 19th century different parts of Ireland were known for different types of linen. Coarse linens for blouses, etc., and common types of export goods, came chiefly from county Armagh medium and fine kinds of export cloth, from around Ballymena and Coleraine damasks and diapers from Lurgan, Lisburn and Belfast lawns , Lurgan and Dromore cambrics, Lurgan, Waringstown, and Dromore heavy linens and sheeting, for the home market, from Banbridge hollands, from the counties of Antrim and Armagh shirt fronts, woven plaits, from Dromore and the coarsest fabrics, such as bed-ticking, coarse drills, etc., from Drogheda.

  • The Jacquard mechanism used a system of punched cards to control the weaving of the pattern. This system of punched cards was later used by Charles Babbage and Herman Hollerith in calculating machinery and was an important step in the development of computers.

  • Top tip: Always dry linen naturally, never tumble dry. While still damp, roll the linen and place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for minimum of two hours. Then steam iron on high temperature (ironing any monograms or decorations on the reverse side). The result will be silky smooth linen.

  • THE BALLAD OF WILLIAM BOAT By Raymond Calvert. In a mean abode on the Shankill Road Lived a man called William Boat. He had a wife, the curse of his life, Who continually got his goat. So one day at dawn, with her nightdress on, He cut her bloody throat. With a razor gash he settled her hash, Oh never was crime so quick, But the steady drip on the pillow slip Of her lifeblood made him sick, And the pool of gore on the bedroom floor Grew clotted cold and thick. And yet he was glad that he'd done what he had, When she lay there stiff and still, But a sudden awe of the angry law Struck his soul with an icy chill. So to finish the fun so well begun, He resolved himself to kill. Then he took the sheet off his wife's cold feet, And twisted it into a rope And he hanged himself from the pantry shelf. 'Twas an easy end, let's hope. In the face of death with his latest breath, He solemnly cursed the Pope. But the strangest turn to the whole concern Is only just beginnin'. He went to Hell but his wife got well, And she's still alive and sinnin', For the razor blade was German made, But the sheet was Irish linen.

  • Byssine- Webster 1913 a. [L. byssinus made of byssus, Gr. by`ssinos See Byssus.] Made of silk having a silky or flaxlike appearance. Coles.

  • Herodotus and Plutarch affirm that linen was preferred, owing as well to its freshness in a hot climate, as to its great tendency to keep the body clean, and that a religious prejudice forbade the priests to wear vestments of any other quality.

  • The word "lingerie" is said to be related to linen.

  • According to Pliny the Egyptians had four varieties of flax, the Tanitic, the Pelusiac, the Butic, and the Tentyritic. Named from the various districts in which they were grown.

  • Flax has been used in the Middle East since the fifth millennium BC

  • The Bible forbids wearing cloth made out of a mix of wool and linen. "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee." Leviticus 19:19 (King James Version) This law is referred to in Judaism as shatnez.

  • The condom made originally of linen was invented in the early 1500's, and was described by Gabriele Falloppio (1523-1562).  He describes linen sheaths soaked in a chemical solution and allowed to dry before use. Casanova, the famous 18th century Lothario, used linen condoms.

  • In 1829 William Wordsworth (1770&ndash1850), toured Ireland with the Leeds linen industrialist, John Marshall. Whilst there it is said he was inspired by the sight of two eagles overhead, near the Giants Causeway, to write in his poem, On the Power of Sound the line, "Thou too be heard, lone eagle!".

  • Common flax is the national flower of Belarus.

  • Linen was used in aircraft, not just because of its lightness, but also, being malleable, it could be stretched around the most intricate of shapes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/belfast/A756984.shtml

  • During WW2 linen was used in "every operational aircraft
    made for the RAF" and the production of flax increased five fold from the outbreak of war. In Northern Ireland in 1944 there were 105,000 acres under cultivation with 60,000 workers involved in the industry. http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/belfast/A756984.shtml

  • The Shroud of Turin in Italy is a single piece of linen cloth measuring about 4.27m (14 ft.) by 1.07m (3.5 ft.). The weave is a 3 over 1 herringbone weave.

  • "The body of Jesus, in accordance with Jewish burial custom, was wrapped in a linen cloth. About 100 pounds of aromatic spices, mixed together to form a gummy substance, were applied to the wrappings of cloth about the body." Josh McDowell

  • Line, is the longer and finer fibre of flax.

  • When told that Irish linen petticoats for Follies dancers were far more expensive than plain cotton, Florenz Ziegfeld replied: "I know. But Irish linen does something to their walk & remember, they are Ziegfeld Girls!"

  • The famous old comedy sketch, "Two Dozen Double Damask Dinner Napkins". Written, supposedly, for Cicely Courtneidge, by Dion Titheradge. Was made famous by Beatrice Lillie in Frank Tuttles 1938 movie, Dr. Rhythm. Which starred Bing Crosby and Mary Carlisle. Incidentally Beatrice's father, John Lillie,was a native of Northern Ireland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P8XSUGSR-c )

  • The seeds produce flaxseed oil. After processing by solvent extraction, flaxseed oil is called linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils and has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing. The use of flax seed and flaxseed oil (which is the most concentrated source of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid) as a nutritional supplement is increasing.

  • Scientific classification: Kingdom: Plantae / Division: Magnoliophyta / Class: Magnoliopsida / Order: Malpighiales / Family: Linaceae / Genus: Linum / Species: L. usitatissimum / Binomial name: Linum usitatissimum Linnaeus

  • There is approximately 2.7 Km of yarn in one Thomas Ferguson double damask napkin

  • Philippe Henri de Girard (1775 - 1845), was a French engineer and inventor of the first flax spinning frame in 1810, as well the town of Å»yrardów in Poland was named after him.

  • The life span of the flax plant, in the field, is 100 days, from the first shoots to full maturity.

  • From the well known works by the old masters to contemporary works of art, the most beautiful painters canvases are made of linen.

  • Flax needs 5 times less fertilisers and pesticides than cotton to grow.

  • The foundation of machine spinning of flax was laid by John Kendrew and Thomas Porthouse of Darlington, who, in 1787, secured a patent for a mill or machine upon new principles for spinning yarn from hemp, tow, flax or wool.

  • From the earliest periods of human history till almost the close of the 18th century the manufacture of linen was one of the most extensive and widely disseminated of the domestic industries of countries in Europe.

  • In the Great Exhibition of 1851, yarn of 760 lea, equal to nearly 130 miles per lb, was shown which had been spun by an Irish woman eighty-four years of age.

  • A damask tablecloth woven in Waringstown in 1727 was discovered in 1981 in Winchester. This shows that the Irish weavers could produce top quality damasks more than 80 years before the famous Jacquard Principle was introduced to Irish weaving in 1804.

  • The Irish Linen Guild is the official promotional body for the Irish linen industry and was formed in 1928.

  • The linen is "Irish Linen" if it is woven in Ireland &ndash regardless of where the garment or product is made up. Irish linen refers to the fabric.

  • Never tumble-dry linen as this can over-dry the fibres and makes ironing more difficult. Always iron linen when damp, first on the wrong side to eliminate creases and then on the right side if you wish to enhance the fabric&rsquos natural sheen.

  • In the 19th century Belfast was even given the nickname of "Linenopolis" due to the extent of the linen trade in the city.

  • Linen spinning did not really progress until James Kay of Preston invented &lsquowet spinning&rsquo in 1825.

  • The original flax to be used for its fibre was the wild, Linum angustifolium

  • Top quality flax is primarily grown in Western Europe.

  • Linen is a material made from the fibres of the flax plant.

  • Flax is the emblem of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

  • Flax fibre is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of flax plant.

  • One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and three tablespoons of water may serve as a replacement for one egg in baking by binding the other ingredients together.

  • The seeds produce a vegetable oil known as linseed oil or flaxseed oil.

  • In addition to the plant itself, flax may refer to the unspun fibres of the flax plant.

  • Flax is one of the few plant species that is capable of producing truly blue flowers (most "blue" flowers are really shades of purple).

  • The characteristic most often associated with linen yarn is the presence of "slubs", or small knots that occur randomly along its length. However, these are actually defects associated with low quality. The finest linen has a very consistent diameter with no slubs.

  • Due to its one-time common use to make fine fabric, "linens" became the generic term for sheets and pillowcases, although these are now often made of cotton or synthetic fibres.

  • Linen is available in different qualities varying from almost silk-like to sack-linen. Linen is usually white to ivory, may be washed at 95 degC and should be ironed when damp. When being washed the first time, linen shrinks, as is the case with most natural fibres.

  • When linen fabrics are in contact with the skin, the nodes along the length of the fibre absorb perspiration, then swell and release the moisture to the outside air, thus creating a fabric self cooled by evaporation. As a result linen is a popular choice for bedding particularly in hot climates.

  • Flax yarns and fabrics increase about 20% in strength on wetting. Linen is also therefore stronger when being washed, resulting in greater longevity than, for example, cottons.

  • Linen is one of the world's oldest fabrics. Mummies have been found wrapped in linen shrouds dating as far back as 4500 BC. Although surprisingly these linen wrappings were considered to be cotton up until the early 19th century when microscope examination confirmed it to be flax fibres. This confusion appears to have arisen from disputes as to whether byssus of the ancients was cotton or linen. Possibly the ancients were confused themselves.

  • Paper for the US dollar is 25%linen and 75%cotton. It is specially made for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and possession of the blank paper by outsiders is a federal crime.

  • Linen is available in different qualities varying from almost silk-like to sack-linen. Linen is usually white to ivory, may be washed at 95 degC and should be ironed when damp. When being washed the first time, linen shrinks, as is the case with most natural fibres.

  • The standard measure of bulk linen yarn is the lea. A yarn having a size of 1 lea will give 300 yards per pound. The fine yarns used in handkerchiefs, etc. might be 40 lea, and give 40 x 300 = 12000 yards per pound.

  • The word linen is derived from the Latin for the flax plant, which is linum, and the earlier Greek linon.

  • Linen is one of the world's oldest fabrics. Mummies have been found wrapped in linen shrouds dating as far back as 4500 B.C.

  • Flax yarns and fabrics increase about 20% in strength on wetting. Linen is also therefore stronger when being washed, resulting in greater longevity than, for example, cotton.

  • Over time linen textiles become softer and actually improves in comfort.

  • When linen fabrics are in contact with the skin, the nodes along the length of the fibre absorb perspiration, then swell and release the moisture to the outside air, thus creating a fabric self cooled by evaporation. As a result linen is a popular choice for bedding particularly in hot climates.

  • Linen can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in moisture while still feeling dry to the touch.

  • Linen is virtually lint free, non-static, non-allergenic, naturally insect-repellent and gives UV protection.

  • Fergusons can weave linen damask fabric up to 3m wide.

  • The weft yarn in Fergusons Double Damask is so fine that 25 miles of yarn weighs only 1kg.

  • Pure linen damask is the name given to products woven from pure flax yarns in a special manner so that patterns are visible even in an all white cloth.

  • Linen is woven from the fibres of the flax plant and is a completely natural product. Linen fibre is totally biodegradable and recyclable.