Friday Files – Linen: One of the World’s Oldest Textiles

Friday Files – Linen: One of the World’s Oldest Textiles

Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, and is one of the oldest textiles in the world. The history of linen goes back many thousands of years, with the oldest evidence of dyed flax fibers found in a prehistoric cave in Georgia dated some 36,000 years ago. Linen fragments were also found in Swiss lake dwellings that date back from 8000 BC.


The Egyptians used linen for mummification and burial shrouds as the textile was a symbol of purity and wealth. It was so valued, it became a form of currency. Production of linen in Ancient Mesopotamia were also solely for the higher classes, and its use has been documented throughout Grecian writings.

Merchant fleets from Europe brought flax to Ireland, and Belfast slowly became the largest producers of linen in history with the majority of production during the Victorian era.



Quality is very important in linen production, as the longest possible fibers can be made if the flax is either hand-harvested or when stalks are cut very close to the root.

Seeds are then removed and stalks are crushed separating the fibers. Longer, softer fibers are then spun into yarns and woven or knit into linen textiles.

At Boyac, we pride ourselves on offering the highest quality of linen, a testament to the age-long practices from the past. With a vast range of varying linen textiles, each option has been produced using only the finest flax, and milled by our suppliers using the best techniques used over centuries in Europe and beyond.