What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear?
How did originally singular linen for "underwear/household textiles" come to take a plural form in the 1800s United States? Ngram
also linens Articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear, formerly made of linen and now usually made of other fabrics, especially cotton. (AHD)
Often, linens. bedding, tablecloths, etc., made of linen cloth or a more common substitute, as cotton. (Random House)
Linens are fabric household goods intended for daily use, such as bedding, tablecloths and towels. "Linens" may also refer to church linens, meaning the altar cloths used in church.
(also linens [plural]) sheets, tablecloths, etc. made from linen or a similar material: bed linen; table linen
(collective n.) (sheets, tablecloths etc.; often US linens) linge (de maison); (underwear) linge (de corps). dirty or soiled linen linge sale.
Source: Collins-Robert French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985