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Glossary
basket weave n. A plain weave with relief texture. Used in linen yarn, it results in thick, absorbent fabric suitable for bathroom hand towels and kitchen towels.

double damask n. A type of linen fabric in which weft yarns pass over multiple warp yarns to create a satin finish. Also characterized by extremely fine weft yarns beaten tightly into the weave, for a high thread count. Widely and traditionally valued as the ultimate fabric for table linens.

fitted sheet n. Bottom sheet. An item of bedroom linen sewn at four corners to fit closely over a mattress and to cover it on five sides. Standard or custom bed sheets cover the sleeper, and, because they are easily washable, protect the mattress and the insulating top layer of bedding.

flat sheet n. Top sheet. One of the basic elements of bedroom linen. A piece of fabric used as the first layer of cover. Sometimes used in pairs, with the edges of the bottom piece tucked beneath the mattress. See fitted sheet.

flax n the flowering plant Linum usitatissimum or the fibers derived from its stalk.

hand n. The textural quality of a fabric as sampled by touch. E.g., Irish linen bed sheets have a distinctive hand that makes them highly valued.

linen n. The woven fabric or fibers of the flax plant. See linens.

linens n. A collective term for household textile goods such as bath towels, hand towels, bed sheets or tablecloths. The word in the plural form originated when flax was the raw material for all household textile articles for such purposes. In modern usage, linens, can refer to such goods made from any fabric. See linen.

lint n. Fuzz consisting of fine ravelings and short fibers of yarn and fabric. Short staple fabric is prone to shedding lint. The longer the fibers in yarn, the less lint separates in the course of use. Irish linen glass towels are valued because of the long fibers in the yarn and the correspondingly small amount of lint they leave on the surfaces of glassware, flatware and china.

sham n. A pillow case with a broad, flat border which allows it to overlap others in decorative arrangements. European pillow shams, sometimes called Oxford shams, are square.

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