Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Flax fiber Directory for Textile Industry Flax is often considered the oldest fiber used in the Western world. While linen is similar to cotton, it is made from fibers derived from the stems of the flax plant instead of the bolls that grow around cotton seeds. We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Because linen absorbs and releases moisture quickly and is a good conductor of heat, linen garments have a cooling effect on the wearer. Flax is a bast fibre found in the stem of the plant 'Linium usitatissium' The plant is cultivated in cold and humid condition So the plantation is centered in cold countries. Linen is valued for its strength, lustre, durability, and moisture absorbency. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. There are, however, accepted "high", "medium" and "low" quality parameters, which are widely used in the industry. …is probably the discovery of flax and wool fabrics at excavation sites of the Swiss lake dwellers (7th and 6th centuries. It has been found in ancient tombs and was used in burial shrouds for Egyptian pharaohs. The fibre is stronger than cotton and also strongest when wet, rather than when dry. The fibre is obtained by subjecting the stalks to a series of operations, including retting (the use of moisture and microorganisms to dissolve the tissues surrounding the fibres), drying, crushing, and beating. Various studies have been conducted to assess the fibre-to-mortar bond properties and to investigate the tensile behaviour of TRMs based on plant textiles, such as flax, hemp, coir, sisal, and jute. Flax is a bast fiber which is cultivated in cold and humid condition. Flax Fiber Art of producing Linen from flax plant was known earlier than 2500 BC, though flax production was introduced to the industry in 12th century. Cool moist growing seasons produce the most-desirable fibre. 23rd September 2010. Flax is one of the oldest textile fibers. Although linen increases in strength when wet, the excessive use of alkalies in laundering can weaken the fibres. The fibre strands, which measure about 30 to 75 cm (12 to 30 inches) long, are made up of individual cylindrically shaped cells with fairly smooth surfaces. Flax fibre is amongst the world’s oldest natural fibre crops. Innovation in Textiles | Portland, OR A bast fibre, flax is one of the oldest textile fibres. It also can be used in cooking, though it is somewhat unstable and goes rancid quickly. Linen is a bast fiber, meaning it is obtained from the stem of a plant – in this case, the flax plant. Flax is an annual plant, which means it only lives for one growing season. Raw materials that we get from flax can be applied in bio-polymers, aerospace and automotive industries as well as for production of agro fine chemicals. The Flaxseed is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is high in a class of phytoestrogens known as lignans. The flax plant produces the flax fibres used to make linen. Linen is an ancient fiber. fiber fragmentation test for flax fiber failure strain and strength characterization is considered. The leaves, alternating on the stalk, are small and lance-shaped. Fibre. A bast fibre, flax is one of the oldest textile fibres. Fabric made from flax is called linen. Evidence of its use has been found in the prehistoric lake dwellings of Switzerland. The fibre, which is very high in cellulose, is extracted first by "retting" (rotting either by water or dew) and then by "scutching" the stalks. When it approaches maturity (after 70 to 100 days depending upon weather conditions), blue (vulgare) or white (album) flowers are produced depending on the variety. Lower grades are used for products requiring strength and the ability to withstand moisture—such as canvas, twine, fire hose, bagging, industrial sewing thread, and fishnet. Generally speaking the blue flowered variety produces fine, good quality fibre, whereas the white-flower plant produces stronger but coarser fibre. In early summer it produces blue flowers and it is harvested in late summer after the plant has reached its full height of 2 to 3 feet. Moreover, flax fibers are used to make linen. As a result, our customers can always find the solution that suits them the best. Linen is a flax-based textile that is predominantly used for homeware applications. Short flax fiber. In North America the expansion of the cotton industry reduced the importance of linen. Properties of Flax fibers: flax is a natural fiber and this fiber is used to make most of the expensive cloth which is most comfort to wear. UCL is the largest bast fibre processing & manufacturing unit in India with a capacity to produce over 1000 tons per month of cottonised fibres (Flax, Jute & Hemp) and over 40 tons of dry spun flax yarn per month. The seeds can be eaten raw or toasted; added ground or whole to salads, morning cereal, and smoothies; or incorporated into baked goods. It can be bleached to a pure white but dyeing is somewhat difficult because the fibres are not readily penetrated. Natural fibres are mostly used for the production of underwear and apparel, especially for higher level products. Flax is grown for its seeds, which can be ground into a meal or turned into linseed oil, a product used as a nutritional supplement and as an ingredient in many wood-finishing products. Fine linen fabrics, indicating a high degree of skill, have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Flax fiber is botanically known as “Linum usitatissimum”. The fabric and yarn which is collected from the flax plant is called linen. The flowers, borne on stems growing from the branch tips, have five petals, usually blue in colour but sometimes white or pink. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Linen fabric is made from the cellulose fibers that grow inside of the stalks of the flax plant, or Linum usitatissimum, one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history. Linen fiber is collected from the flax fiber. Plants cultivated for seed are shorter and many-branched. Low elasticity, imparting hard, smooth texture, also makes linen subject to wrinkling, which can be reduced by chemical treatment. Fibre colour ranges from buff to gray, with the best qualities creamy white. The word linen comes from the Latin name for flax. The characteristics of the fibre are great strength, fineness and durability. The strands of flax fibre are embedded longitudinally in the stalk of the plant, between the outer epidermis and the central woody tissue. It has the highest level of ALA of any vegetable oil, and food-grade linseed oil is sometimes taken as a nutritional supplement. Developing the foundation for a sustainable, ethical, thriving agricultural and fibre-arts business that produces dynamic, fun, and accessible linen pieces within 200 km of where the flax is sowed. Its diameter varies from 40 to 80 μm. Flax is an annual crop, which when fully grown reaches a height of 50 to 100cms. In most areas planting of the same land with flax is limited to once in six years to avoid soil exhaustion. The strands of flax fibre are embedded longitudinally in the stalk of the plant, between the outer epidermis and the central woody tissue. Linen fiber is relatively smooth, straight and lustrous, linen fiber is more brittle and less flexible than cotton.It is more difficult to prepare and spin into yarn. Māori made textiles from a number of plants, including harakeke (New Zealand flax), wharariki, tī kōuka, tōī, pingao, kiekie and toetoe—although the paper mulberry was introduced by Māori, who knew it as aute, it seems not to have thrived and bark cloth was always rare.. Flax fibre is obtained from the stems of the LINUM USITATISSIMUM plant, belonging to the LINACÆ family. Remnants of flax fabric (linen) have been found in excavations at the historic lake regions of Switzerland, which date back to about 10,000 B.C. At first it is used in the industry among all of the vegetable fiber. J. Müssig, N. Graupner, Characterisation of Fibre/Matrix Adhesion in Biobased Fibre‐Reinforced Thermoplastic Composites, Textile Finishing, 10.1002/9781119426790, … An update to Camira’s Craggan family of natural wool upholstery textiles, Craggan Flax incorporates natural bast fibres (a material gathered from the phloem surrounding the plant’s stem) to enhance the characteristics of the pure wool without the need for … Summary: The use of lignocellulosic fibers, pineapple leaf fiber (PALF) and sisal as reinforcements in thermoplastic and thermosetting resins for developing low cost and lightweight composites is an emerging field of research in polymer science and technology. The specific epithet, usitatissimum, means "most useful". Lower grades are also used in the paper industry (largely for cigarette tissue manufacture) and, in a chopped form, in the automobile industry and for insulation purposes. It is also known as linen fiber. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Flax fiber is 10–100 cm in length. Fine linen fabrics have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. Today flax production for commercial textile purposes (it is also grown widely for its oil-yielding seed, especially in North America, India and China) is primarily in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Belo-Rus, Ukraine, Egypt and China. Deeply intrigued with all aspects of the process of creating textiles, Fernandez decided earlier this year to grow, process, and spin her own flax—the fiber used to make linen. A follow-up to the enthusiastic response of 2018 Design Week's panel discussion, "Connecting Threads: Rebuilding our Domestic Apparel System", Shannon Welsh and Angela Wartes-Kahl of Fibrevolution, present a primer about this incredible bast fiber. Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a bast fibre plant cultivated for the production of fibres, for use in a wide range of woven and non-woven end uses. It is stronger than cotton, dries more quickly, and is more slowly affected by exposure to sunlight. Flax, (Linum usitatissimum), plant of the family Linaceae, cultivated both for its fibre, from which linen yarn and fabric are made, and for its nutritious seeds, called flaxseed or linseed, from which linseed oil is obtained. It is shown that fiber fragmentation ... are isolated from the flax plant for the use in textile industry. It is the first natural fiber that was produced industrially from the flax plant. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, flax - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). According to some reports, it uses less water and uses less energy than the production of cotton. These technical fibers consist of elementary fibers with lengths generally between 2 and 5 cm, and diameters between 10 and 25 Pm. Flax, hemp, jute and kenaf are bast fibres, fibres which develop in the bast of the plant. The productivity of processing using flax is said to be twice as efficient as it is with hemp, yielding nearly twice as much usable fibre after going through the Crailar process. “Today, we are pleased to announce that we have created a sustainable, commercially viable com. Flax is one of the oldest textile fibres used by humans; evidence of its use has been found in Switzerland’s prehistoric lake dwellings. Linen fiber is collected from the flax fiber. Flax fibers are naturally smooth and straight. Sales are normally affected on the basis of samples delivered from each annual crop. The major source of supply of flax is from old U.S.S.R. The end result of this project is linen, however it begins as flax. When densely planted for fibre, plants average 0.9 to 1.2 metres (3 to 4 feet) in height, with slender stalks 2.5 to 4 mm (about 0.10 to 0.15 inch) in diameter and with branches concentrated at the top. It is also known as linen. Short flax fibers are especially relevant in the production of dry spun yarn (small counts), paper, insulation, and the automobile industry. Analytical differentiation is complicated by strong interventions into these fibres during the textile In the 17th century the German states and Russia were major sources of raw material, and the linen industry was established in the Netherlands, Ireland, England, and Scotland. Fine grades of flax fibres are made into woven fabrics and laces for apparel and household furnishings. Linen is a textile made from hairs of the flax plant. Following the process of retting, the straw is dried and then scutched, a process which by mechanical means breaks down the pith, or "boon", and removes it as completely as possible from the fibre. Flax, hemp and jute have more or less similar morphologies and can have similar functions in the composite. Russian flax was used for marine ropes in the British Navy until it was superseded by the use of Abaca Fibre. Many other bast fiber plants have been used for textiles throughout history and the world. Their properties are similar and they are scarcely differentiated at the fibre form. This year, Fernandez took her love of textiles one step further. It is a natural, cellulosic, bast and multi cellular fiber. Flax fibers have been used for textile utilization such as woven, knitting and technical textiles for many centuries. The fabric and yarn which is collected from the flax plant is called linen. All rights reserved. Garments made of linen are desirable in hot and humid climates. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Updates? The fruits are small dry capsules composed of five lobes. Flax and hemp are cellulose fibres produced from stocks of row material. Once the fiber is spun, it is called linen. Flax fibres are 9% lighter than any equivalent carbon material and offer significantly better vibration damping. The fibre, which is very high in cellulose, is extracted first by "retting" (rotting either by water or dew) and then by "scutching" the stalks. Phoenician traders apparently brought linen from the Mediterranean area to Gaul and Britain, and the Romans introduced linen manufacture throughout their empire. Some higher specification textile flax qualities are used in the production of bank note paper. Cotton, wool, flax and silk are the main natural fibres used in the clothing industry with cotton being the most widely produced. The use of textile flax for heavier quality products purposes, such as canvas and toweling, has declined in recent years and its main use today is for finer textile fabric yarns (including blending with wool, silk and cotton as well as synthetic fibre). Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Flaxseed, or linseed, harvested from flax (. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). These fibres are composed mainly of cellulose and some lignin and are sometimes called ligno-cellulosic fibres. please follow the … From fields of golden flax to linen fiber... Oregon's Willamette Valley has a storied history with linen fiber, and a bright future ahead. The use of flax for weaving into "linen" cloth dates back to the Egyptian dynasties over four thousand years ago and from the latter part of the Middle Ages it became the most commonly used textile material in Europe. The plant is adaptable to a variety of soils and climates but grows best in well-drained sandy loam and in temperate climates. Flax fiber is obtained from the stalk of the flax plant. Evidence of its use has been found in the prehistoric lake dwellings of Switzerland. Flax also so much popular for the comfortableness and softness. Flax fibers are used to make linen. Fibres and dyes. Flax is a herbaceous annual. Omissions? It was not until the early part of the nineteenth century that cotton began to challenge this premier position. Flax is stronger than cotton as its polymers lie almost parallel to the fiber axis. All Textile Flax fibre is sold in accordance with samples provided against specific orders. Hemp and flax are the most well-known bast fibers, followed perhaps by ramie, a nettle-like plant native to eastern Asia used for coarse fabrics and rope. Fine linen fabrics, indicating a high degree of skill, have been discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs. The other countries which have flax growing areas are North Ireland, Egypt, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, France, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand the latter, which is considerably different in price. lets have a discussion about properties of flax fiber. Flax is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. Flax is grown in wide areas of temperate and sub-tropical regions of both hemispheres. It is also high in dietary fibre, protein, iron, calcium, manganese, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. Thanks to Bcomp’s ampliTex flax fabric and powerRibs technology, the greater vibration absorption and impact resistance makes the natural fibre material well suited to use in the driver’s seat. At first it is used in the industry among all of the vegetable fiber. It is used for fashionable apparel, fine household textiles, technical textile. Harvesting the fibre usually takes place after the lower portion of the stalk has turned yellow but before the fruit is fully mature. Flax is planted in spring. There is non-standardized grading system, as it is an annual crop, and fibre quality can vary due to the variations in the weather conditions during the growing season. This is a natural plant that generally has a more eco friendly growing and harvesting stage than say for example cotton, or compared to the making a synthetic fibre like polyester. It is a natural, cellulosic, multi-cellular bast fiber. Flax fibers have been used for textile utilization such Flax fiber is obtained from the stalk of the flax plant. Linseed oil, derived from the seeds, is used in the production of paints, printing inks, linoleum, varnish, and oilcloth. 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