Linen is a remarkable and rare natural fiber. Heirloom linen can be found in thrift shops, second hand stores, estate sales, auctions, and antique malls. It has a unique crispness, which the trained hand can feel. Cool to the touch, if you squeeze it, it responds with defined wrinkle lines. Unless it is pressed a folded edge will be curved and springy. Yes, you need to iron it if you want to put it on a table and see the shiny, exquisite surface glow in the candle light. There are two kinds of linen but many weaves of linen.