Linen is a fabric that is made from the cellulose fibers of the Linum usitatissimum flax plant. The process of making linen is quite labor intensive, but it results in a fabric that is very lightweight, strong and absorbent and conducts heat well.
This ability to conduct heat is why linen clothes help keep a person cool in hot weather, while its ability to absorb water is the reason many towels are made from linen.
Linen is one of the oldest fabrics in the world, and recent evidence suggests humans may have been making rudimentary linen clothing 36,000 years ago. Due to its high quality, linen was sometimes even used as currency in ancient Egypt. Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen as a symbol of purity and wealth.