Linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant. It is very labor intensive to manufacture, but, it is valued for its exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. That is part of the definition found on wikipedia. I have a love for linen, thanks to my mother. She always loved linen and to this day, still collects vintage linen pieces. I can never get enough pieces to add to my small collection. It is simply beautiful and the more one washes it, the softer it gets. Here in the states it is not as popular to use on bedding, so I am always in search of linen made duvet covers. For me, nothing looks as inviting as linen on a bed...it has such a soft, relaxed yet luxurious feel.
I also love it on tabletops.
Etsy is a great source for hand made pieces and vintage finds.