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Among the oldest flax fibers in the world from 36 000 years ago were found in a cave in Georgia. Hand-spun and plant-dyed in grey, black, turquoise, and pink, wild flax was used for the weaving of linen fabrics.
Ancient Mesopotamia first domesticated flax and linen was mainly used by the wealthy. White linen was worn in ancient Egypt to protect against the heat and worshiped as a symbol of light and purity.
Linen making was centered in modern Germany and the Netherlands in the Middle Ages. From there, flax cultivation spread to Ireland and England first, and to households in the American colonies in the next centuries.
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