For centuries, Linen has been serving a vast range of necessities in our world. It is a textile derived from flax plants. The name Lenin is from Latin name for flax plant, Linum. Linens are considered one of the oldest textiles of history dating to about 8000 BC. The prime factor that made Linen stand the test of time is its longevity. Linen manufacturing is very time consuming process, nevertheless is vogue and appears extravagant and gorgeous at the end.
Although the use of linen has changed dramatically over the years, the basic element of it that never changed is its dominance in clothing industry. It is widely used in producing a numerous range of fabrics such as towels, bed sheets, tablecloths, napkins etc. It has been also extensively used in women’s apparel for ages. There has been a slight depression in demand for Linen during 1970s, but it incrementally rose to 70% by 1990s for its quality. It is now a symbol of luxury and status.
Linen keeps the heat under control for the wearer. The bed sheets made of Linen are weather conditioned – they are warm in winters and cool in summers – such is its efficiency. Pure linen that is made from natural flax fibers or 100% linen is the best material for clothing.
Linen weave made of cotton, hemp and other non-flax fibers are called as Linens too. Clothing pertaining to Bed, Bath and Kitchen favor the Linens that are united with cotton for its affordability and absorb-ability. These have a huge market in Hotels, Restaurants, Hospitals, Assisted Living Facilities, Churches, Weddings, Hospitality and Healthcare Industries. The main reason for these renowned industries to opt Linens for their services is their durability, strength, flexibility and yet being extremely comfortable for customers and for their staff to launder it. Frequently used fabrics such as Hotel Bed Sheets, Hotel towels, Hotel Linens, Restaurant Linens, Hospitality Linens, Napkins, Table Linens – all are commonly made of Linens but different types. The change in the style of weaving differentiates one linen from another.
Let us look into a few types of linens and their uses.
Mercerized – The feel of cotton and make of linen makes it dual advantage as it offers the softness of the antique fabric and durability of cotton. Even after a series of washes, it still holds the same quality making it a perfect value for money.
Damask Linen Fabric – Do you want a touch of luxury then go for Damask. Damask Linen fabric is woven in plain and satin weaves, which has an extra soft texture on the fabric that is smooth and pleasant to feel. The stand out feature of this fabric usually comes in single color – mostly blue or red or both – with very fine design on it and in reversible pattern.
Plain-Woven Linen Fabric – This is the most used fabric for cleaning glassware. It is famously called as Glass Toweling. This one is a loosely woven fabric, which makes it a best water absorbing fabric and thus its domination in cleaning services. There are again many types under Plain-woven linen fabric – each having its own purpose. Holland Linen is used in making windshields and Lamp shades for it is opaque and thick enough to block sun-rays entering inside. Cambric Linen is another plain-woven fabric that is used in making of handkerchiefs and lingerie as it is the thinnest woven fabric of all. Butcher’s linen as the name has it, is used by butchers as aprons because of its strong plain weave. These fabrics are rigid and hard textured, capable of withstanding the harshest of stains.
Loosely Woven Linen – These are the most absorbent fabrics among the rest Linen fabrics. There are again variations under this Linen to serve a range of necessities. Bird’s eye linen and Huck-aback Linen are widely accommodated for its geometric designs and delicate requisites such as diapers and sanitary towels.
Sheeting Linen – Sheeting Linen is used to manufacture Bed Sheets. It has highest demand in service-based industries and is commonly preferred for Hotel bed sheets. Egyptian cotton is the most desired sheeting for its luxurious experience, real Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt under careful supervision and is hence, extremely soft and also durable. Buyers have to be vigilant in buying an Egyptian cotton because there are more false ones than originals in the market.
Toweling – These linens are specifically used for producing towels of different sizes and lengths for Hotels and Restaurants for hotel towels, restaurant napkins and bathroom linens. They are made after exact and accurate measurements to give the guest the best experience of touch, feel and usability.
How do you know whether the linen you bought is genuine, reliable and superior in quality? The quality of linen is measured in GSM – grams per square meter. With the weight of the Linen fabric, you can determine its perfection. The higher the number of GSM, the better is the quality of linen fabric. Before going to buy a linen fabric, it is wise to do some research on GSM levels. Typically for a towel linen, 400-600 GSM indicates a fabric of medium quality, anything under 400 GSM is thinner and of cheap quality. Levels higher than 600 GSM are considered luxurious, super absorbent and superior quality fabrics. For Bed linens, 160 to 200 GSM is recommended. GSM level below 140 is again not of good quality and is best to ignore. Linens of lesser GSM levels get a hard workout and lose parts of fabric every time it is laundered.
Now, comes the toughest part – a good wholesale linen supplier. To elect a good supplier becomes a challenge when the market is as broad as the linen market. To select the best wholesale linen supplier, one has to reconsider the above discussed factors. Test the knowledge of the supplier, being cognizant is the only way to discover the best wholesale linen supplier and master the art of linen purchase.