Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.

The word linen is of West Germanic origin and cognate to the Latin name for the flax plant, linum, and the earlier Greek (linón). This word history has given rise to a number of other terms in English, most notably line, from the use of a linen (flaxthread to determine a straight line. Many products are made of linen: aprons, bags, towels (swimming, bath, beach, body and wash towels), napkins, bed linens, tablecloths, runners, chair covers, and men’s and women’s wear.