Linen is made from a plant called flax. Linen is famous because of its strength and durability hence it is known as versatile fabric. It is highly absorbent and can absorb up to 20% of its own weight. Linen is 100% natural and oldest fabric used by ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece.
The history of linen dates back as far as 8000BC, where fragments of fibres, yarns and various fabrics have been discovered in Swiss lake dwellings. The Phoenicians eventually brought flax growing and linen production into Ireland where Belfast became the most famous linen producing source in history.
Turning the flax plant into linen is a complicated and lengthy process. Traditionally, the plant is pulled up by the roots and then dried. The seeds are then removed (a process known as rippling). The dry flax straw is then retted to separate the fibers from the woody parts of the plant stalk. Actually why don't you quickly have a look at this video which quickly shows the process: