As a designer, I love working with linen. My home is full of linen bedding, curtains, and tapestries and it’s the texture and sheen of linen that has always drawn me to the material. Linen is a staple (short) fiber but has longer length fibers than cotton. Just for context, silk is a filament fiber (long) which gives it it’s famous sheen. The shorter the fiber, the more matte - the longer, the more sheen. The weave can also affect sheen (ex- satin weave) but the length and nature of the fiber greatly affects sheen.
I’ve always loved the sheen of linen - it’s subtly shiny while still looking earthy and raw. Unwashed linen is super shiny - and if you wash it, some of that sheen will go away, but will be replaced with earthy wrinkles.
If you make clothing or home goods that you intend to press and dry clean, I recommend leaving linen unwashed to maintain it’s sheen. If you prefer a more rumpled, easy care look, I recommend washing linen before constructing your project. Good luck on your latest design!