"linen" is descriptive of a class of woven textiles used in homes as towels, sheets, and tablecloths. Modern linens are typically manufactured of natural fibers like cotton, silk, modal, and (sometimes) flax, as well as synthetic fibers including polyester, rayon, etc. Historically, linens were manufactured almost exclusively of fibers from the flax plant ("linum usitatisimum") but also hemp, cotton and/or a blend of these fibers. Flax fiber is strong when both wet and dry, durable, cool to the skin, and resistant to rotting in damp climates. It is one of the few textiles that has a greater breaking strength wet than dry. It has a long "staple" (individual fiber length) relative to cotton and other natural fibers.