Seven different Hebrew words are translated as linen in the Bible.
Flax was early cultivated in Egypt (Exodus 9:31), and also in Israel (Joshua 2:6; Hos. 2:9). Various articles were made of it: garments (2 Samuel 6:14), girdles (Jeremiah 13:1), ropes and thread (Ezek. 40:3), napkins (Luke 24:12; John 20:7), turbans (Ezek. 44:18), and lamp-wicks (Isaiah 42:3).
It is not certain whether this word means cotton or linen.
It is uniformly used of the sacred vestments worn by the priests. The word is from a root signifying “separation.”
In Proverbs 31:22 it is rendered in King James Version “silk,” and in Revised King James Version “fine linen.” The word denotes Egyptian linen of peculiar whiteness and fineness (byssus). The finest Indian linen, the finest now made, has in an inch [2.54 centimeters] one hundred threads of warp and eighty-four of woof; while the Egyptian had sometimes one hundred and forty in the warp and sixty-four in the woof. This was the usual dress of the Egyptian priest. Pharaoh arrayed Joseph in a dress of linen (Genesis 41:42).