Folded Piece of Linen with Hieratic Inscriptionca. 1961–1917 B.C., Middle Kingdom
The TS is made of a linen cloth.
The Shroud of Turin is a centuries old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man.
Linen has been used for a long time going back to the time of ancient Egypt.
The use of linen goes back to the earliest of times. Its use had been so widespread, that it cannot be determined where it was invented for use as clothing and medicine.
The tombs of the Pharaohs in Egypt show that linen was used as burial cloth, and its seeds were considered crucial to the afterlife; as a result, linen seeds have been found in the tombs.
Linen is the most ancient of fabrics, with a rich and romantic heritage. Its widely accepted birth as a textile was in Egypt some 10,000 years ago but there is evidence found in pre-historic caves in Georgia that suggests it might have been used as a textile some 36,000 years ago. But let’s start with what we know and as with most things in the fabrics/textiles industry that means starting in Egypt.
Carbon-dating has proved that linen was used as clothing in Egypt dating back to 8,000 BC. It was prised for its ability to remain cool and fresh in warm weather.
Linen is a fibre made from the flax plant, or more accurately, from the cellulose fibres that grow inside of the stalks of the flax plant. The flax plant grows on a yearly cycle and does not require a great deal of water or maintenance. This made it perfect for Egyptian farmers. The yearly flooding of the Nile provided enough water and nutrients to germinate the flax seeds, which then required intermittent watering for the next 100 days. Ancient Egyptian linen, although coarse compared with modern linen, was used for clothing, currency, furnishings, decorations and most famously as the burial garment for mummies.
Hebrew words for linen:
Linen was used for many purposes.
In Biblical times linen was used for many purposes. It was popular material for clothing of many kinds and for sheets, curtains, sails of ships, for wrapping scrolls, etc. Shesh, or fine linen, always was used for the garments of the priests in the Temple.
It was a law not to use linen and wool together for clothing.
Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.
“garment mingled of linen and woollen” and “garment of divers sorts” is shatnez in Hebrew.
Leviticus 19:19 states that it is forbidden to wear shatnez — a mixture of wool and linen. In the words of the Torah: “You shall observe My statutes: . . . and a garment which has a mixture of shatnez shall not come upon you.” (This mitzvah is also mentioned in Deuteronomy 22:11.)
Several words are derived from linen: line, lining, and lingerie.
This word history has given rise to a number of other terms in English, most notably line, from the use of a linen (flax) thread to determine a straight line. It is also etymologically related to a number of other terms, including lining, because linen was often used to create an inner layer for clothing, and lingerie, from French, which originally denoted underwear made of linen.