Linen is flammable. When approached by flame it reacts in the following ways:
Leather is not a fiber; rather, it is the skin of an animal, usually a cow. Other animals that are used for their skin include pigs, lambs, and reptiles. The skin of the animal is treated with a chemical to make it pliant in a process called tanning. The resulting piece of leather, a hide, is a flexible plane, and thus is considered a fabric. Thick hides are split and divided into layers. The top grain is the outer layer and will show marks such as scratches from barbed wire. Full grain leather is thicker. Leather can be natural or dyed.
In an interior, leather is used for upholstery and to make accessories such as desk pads. Being a natural material, leather breathes, making it comfortable as well as durable.
Leather was an early wallcovering, with Moroccan leather used to cover walls in eleventh-century Europe and in seventeenth-century Holland. Today, leather is rarely used as a finish, with the exception of leather floor tiles—a specialty item that should be used in areas that do not receive a lot of foot traffic. Leather can also be applied to walls.
Rayon can be produced with a luster and sheen similar to silk, but it can also be engineered to resemble cotton by cutting the fibers to staple length and spinning. In an interior, rayon is often blended with other fibers to make fabrics for upholstery and drapery. Rayon may also be used for wallcovering.
Rayon has a negative environmental impact. The wood pulp used as a raw material is often clear cut from mature forests. The process of making rayon uses lots of water that is polluted with acids and chemicals. The reason rayon is desirable is that it is cheap—an advantage that is lost when the methods of production are improved.