flax plant linen

flax plant linen

After the fibers have been separated and processed, they are typically spun into yarns and woven or knit into linen textiles. It is primarily grown for its seeds and also for its fiber. [26] If packed immediately without exposure to air and light, milled flaxseed is stable against excessive oxidation when stored for nine months at room temperature,[27] and under warehouse conditions, for 20 months at ambient temperatures. At one time it was the country's greatest export item and Russia produced about 80% of the world's fiber flax crop. In the 18th century and beyond, the linen industry was important in the economies of several countries in Europe as well as the American colonies. Flax grown for seed is allowed to mature until the seed capsules are yellow and just starting to split; it is then harvested in various ways. Flax was cultivated by the Egyptians in fields. Additionally, flax fibers are naturally smooth and straight. [4] Some of these are perennial plants, unlike L. usitatissimum, which is an annual plant. Jamieson, Fausset, Brown commentary, Lv. Known as a couche, the flax cloth is used to hold the dough into shape while in the final rise, just before baking. The GMO flax crisis in Canada in 2009 endangered it further, ensuring that lone line linen flax seed is hard to find. [38][39] Flaxseeds are especially rich in thiamine, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (DVs above 90%). [15][16] Linen was sometimes used as a form of currency in ancient Egypt. 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. 19:19. lining. Then the flax is scutched (beaten against a board with a blunt wooden knife). Fine white linen is also worn by angels in the New Testament (Revelation 15:6). [6], The discovery of dyed flax fibers in a cave in Southeastern Europe (present-day Georgia) dated to 36,000 years ago suggests that ancient people used wild flax fibers to create linen-like fabrics from an early date. Linseed meal. The fiber degrades once the plants turn brown. 8. After harvesting the flax plant, it is time to extract the fiber. Solvent-processed flaxseed oil has been used for many centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.[23]. Mildew, perspiration, and bleach can damage the fabric, but because it is not made from animal fibers (keratin) it is impervious to clothes moths and carpet beetles. Flax is grown on the Canadian prairies for linseed oil, which is used as a drying oil in paints and varnishes and in products such as linoleum and printing inks. The standard measure of bulk linen yarn is the "lea", which is the number of yards in a pound of linen divided by 300. The brake, a large wooden machine, is used to break down the trash material and loosen it further from the end product. Three phenolic glucosides — secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, p-coumaric acid glucoside, and ferulic acid glucoside — are present in commercial breads containing flaxseed. Scutching removes the woody portion of the stalks by crushing them between two metal rollers, so that the parts of the stalk can be separated. In fact, the flax from which linen comes could hardly be more different than our hefty, clump-forming phormiums. The mature plant can also be cut with mowing equipment, similar to hay harvesting, and raked into windrows. The fine yarns used in handkerchiefs, etc. Over the past 30 years the end use for linen has changed dramatically. It is widely used in the textile industry to make popular linen clothes. Vector Illustration . [57] Canadian flaxseed cultivars were reconstituted with 'Triffid'-free seed used to plant the 2014 crop. ", "Meta-analysis of the effects of flaxseed interventions on blood lipids", "The effect of flaxseed supplementation on body weight and body composition: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 45 randomized placebo-controlled trials", "Flaxseed consumption may reduce blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials", "Effect of Flaxseed Intervention on Inflammatory Marker C-Reactive Protein: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials", "GRAS Petition by Flax Canada, Agency Response Letter GRAS Notice No. [35] New methods of processing flax have led to renewed interest in the use of flax as an industrial fiber. The cross-section of the linen fiber is made up of irregular polygonal shapes which contribute to the coarse texture of the fabric.[45]. Flax is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. [11], Flax was cultivated extensively in ancient Egypt, where the temple walls had paintings of flowering flax, and mummies were embalmed using linen. At this point, straw, or coarse outer stem (cortex and epidermis), is still remaining. Flax is a plant from which linen fabric is obtained through a lot of processing goes into making the fibers and later fabric. Next, a series of steps free the linen fiber from the boon (unwanted plant material). One study of research published between 1990 and 2008 showed that consuming flaxseed or its derivatives may reduce total and LDL-cholesterol in the blood, with greater benefits in women and those with high cholesterol. The harvest season begins about one month after the flax begins blooming. Courier Dover Publications, p. 22. The plant is pulled up with the roots (not cut), so as to increase the fiber length. Linen is more biodegradable than cotton.[46]. Growing the flax group from seed is a very easy and rewarding gardening project as its both durable and beautiful. As a result of alternating rain and the sun, an enzymatic action degrades the pectins which bind fibers to the straw. It generally takes place in a shallow pool which will warm up dramatically in the sun; the process may take from a few days to a few weeks. At this stage, many new raw materials are sourced, as we purify the longest flax fiber for further use. Linen is very strong and absorbent and dries faster than cotton. It was also worn as clothing on a daily basis; white linen was worn because of the extreme heat. In September 2009, Canadian flax exports reportedly had been contaminated by a deregistered genetically modified cultivar called 'Triffid' that had food and feed safety approval in Canada and the U.S.,[54][55] however, Canadian growers and the Flax Council of Canada raised concerns about the marketability of this cultivar in Europe where a zero tolerance policy exists regarding unapproved genetically modified organisms. For example, a yarn having a size of 1 lea will give 300 yards per pound. [19][29] One study found that feeding flax seeds may increase omega-3 content in beef, while another found no differences. The fibers of Linum usitatissimum , grown to make linen and related textiles. Linen fabric is one of the preferred traditional supports for oil painting. Linen, a specially selected variety of the flax plant, grown for its long, unbranched stocks, is harvested 100 days after planting, before the seeds are fully ripe. The stems are then pulled through "hackles", which act like combs to remove the straw and some shorter fibers out of the long fiber. It might also act as a substitute to tallow in increasing marbling. might be 40 lea, and give 40x300 = 12,000 yards per pound. It is considered an inferior protein supplement for swine because of its fibre, the vitamin antagonist, the high omega-3 content and its low lysine content, and can only be used in small amounts in the feed. This is achieved through retting. [citation needed] In the Ulster Museum, Belfast there is the mummy of 'Takabuti' the daughter of a priest of Amun, who died 2,500 years ago. 7. The bases of the plants begin to turn yellow. Because of these properties, linen is comfortable to wear in hot weather and is valued for use in garments. Linen can degrade in a few weeks when buried in soil. There are many who use the names flax and linen almost interchangeably whereas, they are two separate things though linen is a product obtained from the stem of the flax plant. There are two varieties: shorter tow fibers used for coarser fabrics and longer line fibers used for finer fabrics. There are also chemical retting methods; these are faster, but are typically more harmful to the environment and to the fibers themselves. [13] Phoenicians traded Egyptian linen throughout the Mediterranean and the Romans used it for their sails. The Lower Rhine was a center of linen making in the Middle Ages. This word history has given rise to a number of other terms in English, most notably line, from the use of a linen (flax) thread to determine a straight line. [48], This article is about the textile. Linen fibre derives from a plant, Linum usitatissimum L., which as a raw material is more usually known by the term flax. Harvesting Linen Flax. Dressing consists of three steps: breaking, scutching, and heckling. This is not an issue in meal cake due to the processing temperature during oil extraction. Currently researchers are working on a cotton/flax blend to create new yarns which will improve the feel of denim during hot and humid weather. 7. Vroeger werd het vlas eerst op het veld gedroogd. This '19th Century Daily Living Series' video demonstrates the tools, techniques and processes for making linen from flax. [41] Conversely, some brands such as 100% Capri specially treat the linen to look like denim.[42]. Linen wrinkles very easily, and thus some more formal garments require ironing often, in order to maintain perfect smoothness. Several grades were produced including coarse lockram. The amount of weeds in the straw affects its marketability, and this, coupled with market prices, determines whether the farmer chooses to harvest the flax straw. [29] The high omega-3 fatty acid (ALA) content of linseed meal "softens" milk, eggs or meat, which means it causes a higher unsaturated fat content and thus lowers its storage time. Description. HACKLING FLAX To generate the longest possible fibers, flax is either hand-harvested by pulling up the entire plant or stalks are cut very close to the root. Today, linen is usually an expensive textile produced in relatively small quantities. [39] It was once the preferred yarn for hand-sewing the uppers of moccasin-style shoes (loafers), but has been replaced by synthetics. This evidence of this touchy technology comes from Late Neolithic Alpine lake dwellings beginning about 5,700 years ago--the same types of villages where Otzi the Iceman is believed to have been born and … Traditionally, the process involved many members of a family. This second part is performed by a refining machine. [12] The Sumerian poem of the courtship of Inanna mentions flax and linen.[13]. After harvesting, the plants are dried, and the seeds are removed through a mechanized process called “rippling” (threshing) and winnowing. [25] Refrigeration and storage in sealed containers will keep ground flaxseed meal for a longer period before it turns rancid. Linen is a natural cellulose fiber and comes from the inside of the stalks of the flax plant. Linen was used in ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia[2] and ancient Egypt, and linen is mentioned in the Bible. [citation needed] When the tomb of Tutankhamen was opened, the linen curtains were found to be intact. It can only be added at low percentages due to the high fat content, which is unhealthy for ruminants. Flax for fiber production is usually harvested by a specialized flax harvester. However, in the case of many present-day linen fabrics, particularly in the decorative furnishing industry, slubs are considered as part of the aesthetic appeal of an expensive natural product. Many products can be made with linen: aprons, bags, towels (swimming, bath, beach, body and wash towels), napkins, bed linens, tablecloths, runners, chair covers, and men's and women's wear. ... #151952796 - Flax seeds and flax oil. [21] Flax was cultivated and linen used for clothing in Ireland by the 11th century. Sort by : Relevance. It is also etymologically related to a number of other terms, including lining, because linen was often used to create an inner layer for clothing,[4] and lingerie, from French, which originally denoted underwear made of linen. It is then stored by farmers before extracting the fibers. ", "Linen Fiber and Linen Fabrics from the Flax Plants", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Linen&oldid=990781341, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2016, Articles with incomplete citations from January 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2016, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 November 2020, at 13:41. Some of the straw is scraped from the fibers in the scutching process, and finally, the fiber is pulled through heckles to remove the last bits of straw. Flax plant and linen: history and production . Flax is the emblem of Northern Ireland and displayed by the Northern Ireland Assembly. The earliest evidence of humans using wild flax as a textile comes from the present-day Republic of Georgia, where spun, dyed, and knotted wild flax fibers found in Dzudzuana Cave date to the Upper Paleolithic, 30 thousand years ago. Thus linen is considerably more expensive to manufacture than cotton. Flax fibers vary in length from about 25 to 150 mm (1 to 6 in) and average 12–16 micrometers in diameter. [48] Flax is often found growing just above the waterline in cranberry bogs. High-quality linen fabrics are now produced in the United States for the upholstery market and in Belgium. Although brown flaxseed varieties may be consumed as readily as the yellow ones, and have been for thousands of years, its better-known uses are in paints, for fiber, and for cattle feed. He settled in the town of Lisburn near Belfast, which is itself perhaps the most famous linen producing center throughout history; during the Victorian era the majority of the world's linen was produced in the city which gained it the name Linenopolis. A fabric woven from the bast fibers of the Flax plant, especially from the Linen usitatissimum plant native to the Mediterranean region and the Atlantic coast of Europe. Moreover, flax fibers are used to make linen. All . Flax contains hundreds of times more lignans than other plant foods.[38]. The symbol is NeL. New. In England and then in Germany, industrialization and machine production replaced manual work and production moved from the home to new factories. The flax plant produces the flax fibres used to make linen. The flax stalks are processed using traditional cotton machinery; however, the finished fibers often lose the characteristic linen look. In Europe, however, linen is usually the only fabric support available in art shops; in the UK both are freely available with cotton being cheaper. Textiles made from flax are known in Western countries as linen, and are traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. [19][20], By the Middle Ages, there was a thriving trade in German flax and linen. Its survival as a plant is threatened by industrial homogenization. In the past, slubs were traditionally considered to be defects, and were associated with low-quality linen. The flax plant turned over and is gripped by rubber belts roughly 20–25 cm (8-10") above ground, to avoid getting grasses and weeds in the flax. not dyed) it is fully biodegradable. Linen is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics in fashion history. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15–25 mm in diameter, with five petals. In field retting, the flax is laid out in a large field, and dew is allowed to collect on it. It is cultivated as a food and fiber crop in cooler regions of the world. This form of retting also produces quite an odor. SCUTCHING FLAX. Difficulty— Easy. [56] Subsequently, deregistered in 2010 and never grown commercially in Canada or the U.S.,[57] 'Triffid' stores were destroyed, but future exports and further tests at the University of Saskatchewan proved that 'Triffid' persisted among flax crops, possibly affecting future crops. Pond-retted flax is traditionally considered of lower quality, possibly because the product can become dirty, and is easily over-retted, damaging the fiber. In a coronet, it appeared on the reverse of the British one-pound coin to represent Northern Ireland on coins minted in 1986, 1991, and 2014. [17], 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. [24], Linen was also an important product in the American colonies, where it was brought over with the first settlers and became the most commonly used fabric and a valuable asset for colonial households. [32], In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, linen was very significant to Russia and its economy. When the retting is complete, the bundles of flax feel soft and slimy, and quite a few fibers are standing out from the stalks. [10] To the southwest, in ancient Mesopotamia, flax was domesticated and linen was produced. [9], In December 2006, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2009 to be the International Year of Natural Fibres in order to raise people's awareness of linen and other natural fibers. In the past, linen was also used for books (the only surviving example of which is the Liber Linteus). At this stage, many new raw materials are sourced, as we purify the longest flax fiber for further use. Flax straw that is not of sufficient quality for fiber uses can be baled to build shelters for farm animals, or sold as biofuel, or removed from the field in the spring.[50]. Flax fibers taken from the stem of the plant are two to three times as strong as cotton fibers. [19] The high omega-3 content also has a further disadvantage, because this fatty acid oxidises and goes rancid quickly, which shortens the storage time. [citation needed] The Living Linen Project was set up in 1995 as an oral archive of the knowledge of the Irish linen industry, which was at that time still available within a nucleus of people who formerly worked in the industry in Ulster. Flax has been cultivated since before 5000 BCE for its fibers. Recently linen was dated to 36,000 B.C.! [8] Evidence exists of a domesticated oilseed flax with increased seed-size from Tell Ramad in Syria[8] and flax fabric fragments from Çatalhöyük in Turkey[9] by circa 9,000 years ago. [33], The best grades are used for fabrics such as damasks, lace, and sheeting. The rubber belts then pull the whole plant out of the ground with the roots so the whole length of the plant fiber can be used. [40], A meta-analysis has shown that consumption of more than 30 g of flaxseed daily for more than 12 weeks reduced body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference for persons with a BMI greater than 27. Also, when the roots are left intact the plant withstands being stooked better for a period of time. [32] Industrial-scale flax fiber processing existed in antiquity. Coarser grades are used for the manufacturing of twine and rope, and historically, for canvas and webbing equipment. Linen is a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant. There is a long history of the production of linen in Ireland. Online Etymology Dictionary. It is a food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler regions of the world. GRN 000280", "Grow and Harvest Flax - Materials Matter 2016", "Flax (linseed) production in 2018; Crops/Regions/World List/Production Quantity (from pick lists)", "The last straw: nine ways to handle flax straw", "Flax growers try to flush Triffid from system", "Sampling and Testing Protocol for Canadian Flaxseed Exported to the European Union", "Canada moves to revive flax exports after GMO flap", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Flax&oldid=992138940, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles needing additional references from May 2020, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 3 December 2020, at 18:28. Check out our flax linen plant selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. A Bronze Age factory dedicated to flax processing was discovered in Euonymeia, Greece. The quality of the finished linen product is often dependent upon growing conditions and harvesting techniques. However, constant creasing in the same place in sharp folds will tend to break the linen threads. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5–9 mm in diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4–7 mm long. Cultivated flax plants grow to 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) tall, with slender stems. These textiles can then be bleached, dyed, printed on, or finished with a number of treatments or coatings.[45]. Heuzé V., Tran G., Nozière P., Lessire M., Lebas F., 2017. But linen is in danger. Orientation. [7][8], Fragments of straw, seeds, fibers, yarns, and various types of fabrics, including linen samples, dating to about 8,000 BC have been found in Swiss lake dwellings. [36][37] Flaxseed oil contains 53% 18:3 omega-3 fatty acids (mostly ALA) and 13% 18:2 omega-6 fatty acids. Linen fabric feels cool to touch, a phenomenon which indicates its higher conductivity (the same principle that makes metals feel "cold"). [5][6][7] Humans first domesticated flax in the Fertile Crescent region. [42] Flaxseed supplementation showed a small reduction in c-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) only in persons with a BMI greater than 30. Textiles made from flax are known in Western countries as linen, and are traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. When wrapped around a finger, the inner woody part springs away from the fibers. Stream retting is similar to pool retting, but the flax is submerged in bundles in a stream or river. [52][53], Flax fiber in different forms, before and after processing. To grow well, flax as a crop needs water and a rich soil and frequent weeding. [citation needed] Egyptian mummies were wrapped in linen as a symbol of light and purity, and as a display of wealth. An exception is a type of yellow flax called solin (trade name "Linola"),[21] which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3s (alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), specifically). There are two varieties: shorter tow fibers used for coarser fabrics and longer line fibers used for finer fabrics. The inner layer of fine composite cloth garments (as for example dress jackets) was traditionally made of linen, hence the word lining.[40]. It is an edible oil obtained by expeller pressing and sometimes followed by solvent extraction. Its oil is known as linseed oil. Relevance. The earliest written documentation of a linen industry comes from the Linear B tablets of Pylos, Greece, where linen is depicted as an ideogram and also written as "li-no" (Greek: λίνον, linon), and the female linen workers are cataloged as "li-ne-ya" (λίνεια, lineia). In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. [citation needed], In 2018, according to the United Nations' repository of official international trade statistics, China was the top exporter of woven linen fabrics by trade value, with a reported $732.3 million in exports; Italy ($173.0 million), Belgium ($68.9 million) and the United Kingdom ($51.7 million) were also major exporters. Approximately 70% of linen production in the 1990s was for apparel textiles, whereas in the 1970s only about 5% was used for fashion fabrics. Boiling removes the danger. USDA Zones— 4 – 10. Its oil is known as linseed oil. When dried sufficiently, a combine then harvests the seeds similar to wheat or oat harvesting. The plants are left in the field for field retting. Noun (es) A plant of the genus Linum , especially , which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers.Also known as linseed, especially when referring to the seeds. 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. [22] Evidence suggests that flax may have been grown and sold in Southern England in the 12th and 13th centuries. [26] Among them was Louis Crommelin, a leader who was appointed overseer of the royal linen manufacture of Ireland. Linen textiles appear to be some of the oldest in the world; their history goes back many thousands of years. [1] Many other products, including home furnishing items, are also often made from linen. If the water temperature is kept at 80 °F (27 °C), the retting process under these conditions takes 4 or 5 days. Flax, plant of the family Linaceae, cultivated both for its fiber, from which linen is made, and for its nutritious seeds, from which linseed oil is obtained. Flax (Linum) is a very important and attractive group of flowering plants to grow in the garden. Linen should not be dried too much by tumble drying, and it is much easier to iron when damp. Princeton University Press, p.12, Cullis C. (2007) "Oilseeds" Springer, p. 275, Sekhri S. (2011) "Textbook of Fabric Science: Fundamentals to Finishing". Dictionary.com. [The magic of linen : flax seed to woven cloth by, Heinrich Some thoughts for the future of fibre flax: Long ago, before cotton was king, different regions had their own varieties of flax … [36][37] Ten grams of flaxseed contains one gram of water-soluble fiber (which lowers blood cholesterol) and three grams of insoluble fiber (which helps prevent constipation). If the plants are still green, the seed will not be useful, and the fiber will be underdeveloped. Europe and North America both depended on flax for plant-based cloth until the 19th century, when cotton overtook flax as the most common plant for making rag-based paper. Introduction. A similar mill was constructed in Scio in 1890. It is strong, naturally moth resistant, and made from flax plant fibres, so when untreated (i.e. [17] When the tomb of the Pharaoh Ramses II, who died in 1213 BC, was discovered in 1881, the linen wrappings were in a state of perfect preservation after more than 3000 years. In addition, flax thread is not elastic, and therefore it is difficult to weave without breaking threads. [31] Through the 1830s, most farmers in the northern United States continued to grow flax for linen to be used for the family's clothing. Similar Images . [1], There are many references to linen throughout the Bible, reflecting the textile's entrenched presence in human cultures. It can be retted in a pond, stream, field, or tank. This can be performed by three machines: one for threshing out the seed, one for breaking and separating the straw (stem) from the fiber, and one for further separating the broken straw and matter from the fiber. It also has other distinctive characteristics, notably its tendency to wrinkle. [12] Egyptian priests wore only linen, as flax was considered a symbol of purity. [citation needed] For example, the Tarkhan dress, considered to be among the oldest woven garments in the world and dated to between 3482 and 3102 BC, is made of linen.

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