Understanding the Fabrics Used to Make Linens

the fabrics used to make linensRegardless of the industry you are in, uniforms and linens are a vital part of any business. With several options for linen services (renting vs. buying), most business owners and managers know a great deal about the linen process although understanding how linens are made will allow you to make even better choices about the fabrics you utilize.

Popular Fabrics

Choosing the ideal fabric for your business’ uniforms and linens shouldn’t be stressful. Understanding each different type and how they will benefit your team and your customers will help you make better business decisions.


Linen is made from the fibers of flax, which make it strong and absorbent. Since the fabric itself takes more time and patience to manufacture, it is more expensive than other options, including cotton. The process of making linen is called retting, which separates the fibers from the flax stalk by soaking them in water. Once they have dried, they will be pulled through a series of metal combs before being spun or weaved.


A fibrous plant, cotton grows in a boll (protective case) and once plucked from the plant, is cleaned and packed into bales before being transferred to spinning miles. At the spinning mills, cotton is converted into yarns and weaved together and then bleached, washed again, and dyed if necessary.


Synthetic materials include nylon, polyester, and lycra, which are all unnatural materials and are made from plastics, PVC, chemicals, or wood pulp. Depending on the end material, the manufacturing process is varies but all synthetic materials are more durable than natural materials (cotton, linen, wool).

Mixed Materials

Mixed materials are typically a mixture of a natural and a synthetic fabric, which allows the finished product to be soft like the natural material but durable.

To learn more about the uniform and linen rental services New England Linen offers, give us a call today at 800-222-1886.


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