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  1. #46
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    Thanks, how interesting to know where tow-headed and flaxen-haired came from!

    Other than price, how can one tell if linen is line or tow, when buying online? I have never seen that distinction before.

    I have had a bit of lint off of this one (I think it did settle down after 4 washes or so)
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/5045...n-natural-grey

    But I never had any off of these ones:
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2095...wel-mint-green
    https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/2109...ned-pre-washed

    I love my linen towels, they are wonderful to use and since I usually line-dry my laundry I am grateful for their quick drying properties.

  2. #47
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    Cristina:

    I can kind of tell from the photos that the first towels are loosely woven and fuzzy, so I would expect lint.
    Your second two are tightly woven with smooth surfaces and look like line linen. I would not expect lint off them.

    If these are handwoven, you can ask the etsy seller if they used line or two, and wetspun or dryspun.

    ----------------------

    When buying yarn, I don't buy it unless it specifies if it is line or tow.

    Also, linen can be wet spun or dry spun. Wet spun slicks the fibers down, and dry spun doesn't, so the yarn is hairy.

    Unless the cloth manufacturer states on the bolt of cloth if it is line or tow, or wet spun or dry spun, you won't know until you wash it.

    Sometimes you tell by the look or feel if the fabric is smooth or linty. Rub it slightly between slightly damp fingers and see if lint sticks to your fingers. That may not be perfect proof, but if you do get lint on your fingers, run away.

    And you can sort of tell by the price. Expensive linen should be wet spun line linen. Cheap linen is usually dry spun tow. You certainly might get lucky and get line linen on sale, but generally speaking the inexpensive stuff is usually tow they are trying to get rid of.
    Last edited by BWeaves; 10-04-2017 at 06:02 AM.

  3. #48
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWeaves View Post
    Line linen looks like long blond hair, which is why princesses in fairy tales always had long flaxen locks.
    Little children with short blond hair are called tow headed, because their hair looks like tow linen.
    Etymology lesson over my morning coffee and perusal of the forums--I LOVE it. Thanks @BWeaves for all the great info.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares. ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  4. #49
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    Just a bit more information.

    Hemp (not the kind you smoke) is also a good fiber for towels. It's grown for its stems, not its leaves, and the leaves do not contain the illegal stuff. Hemp is a little more rustic looking than linen. Not as fine. But it dries quickly and does not mildew. It was used for sails and ropes for boats for centuries. I often mix hemp and linen yarns in my handwoven towels.

    Bamboo yarn and fabric is rayon made from bamboo. It is not a bast fiber like linen and hemp. Old style bamboo yarns made from the actual bast fibers is very stiff and disappeared off the market years ago, because nobody liked the feel of it. It was replaced by rayon made from dissolved bamboo that was extruded into spaghetti like yarn. I do not like bamboo rayon fabric. I find it does not work as advertised. That's why most bamboo fabrics now have to say their content is "rayon from bamboo" instead of just "bamboo."

  5. #50
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    Awesome education, @BWeaves. LOVE! I was going to respond to @mausermama that I knew there was a reason why the linen cloth remnant I bought off JoAnn's is cheap and why the linen towel set I bought off Amazon was heavily discounted. Nonetheless, I am happy with them for the purpose I use them.

    In the future, I will treat myself to a wet spun line linen towel. But that day is in the distant future since I now have more towels than I can use.

    Sent from my SGH-T889 using Tapatalk

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