Flax is perhaps the oldest textile fiber known to mankind. The fiber is obtained from the stem of the plant Linum use tissue which is 80–120 cm high. The flax woven fabric is additionally called linen. the primary well-documented application of linen fabric was by the Egyptians to wrap their mummies. it had been also found in graves in Egypt dating from before 5000 B. C. But even long before that point flax was used for various applications. At excavation sites of Stone Age dwellings in Switzerland, dated at approximately 7000 B. C., flax seeds, twines, and fishing nets were found. The flax plant is assumed to possess arrived in Europe with the primary farmers, and within the Stone Age, people were usually wearing linen clothes. within the Netherlands, the cultivation of flax has presumably existed continuously ever since 2500 B. C.
The crossbreeding these two extreme types had resulted within the cultivation of oil–fiber linen named as combination linen. The fiber flax grows in humid, moderate areas, while oil flax grows in dry, warm areas. The characteristics of flax differ counting on the sowing and growing conditions; affecting stem length, thickness, and therefore the number of branching.
The harvesting of the flax plant is completed by pulling the stalk either by hand or employing a mechanical puller. Sometimes the plants are cut on the brink of the bottom, but pulling is preferred so as to retain the longest fiber length. The flax stalk bundles are then allowed to dry. Rippling is that the next process, leading to the removal of flower heads and leaves from the stem.
Properties of Flax
The types of retting commonly employed for flax are water retting, enzyme retting, and dew retting. In water retting, the bundles of flax stems are immersed within the running water (rivers) or standing water (ponds or specially prepared pits). The anaerobic bacteria cause fermentation, thus degrading pectin and other binder sub-stances. The enzyme retting employs the utilization of warm water and enzymes to degrade pectin. This method was developed for the assembly of very fine fibers. it’s a con-trolled but rather laborious process. In dew retting, the flax stems are cover the sector. The humidity in the environment causes the expansion of indigenous aerobic fungi which partly degrade the stem. it’s a cheap process, taking about three to seven weeks counting on the weather.
The broken stem parts are then faraway from the fiber bundles within the scutching process. The scutching machine consists of two interpenetrating rollers equipped with three or more knives. The knives scrape by the fiber to get rid of the wooden stem. The scutched fiber bundles are still relatively coarse, thick, and ribbon-shaped. The elementary fiber contains about 65–75 cellulose , V-J Day hemicellulose, and 10–15 % pectin, alongside 2–5 you look after waxes.
The flax fiber doesn’t provoke allergies, absorbs humidity, and allows the skin to breathe; therefore, it’s preferred within the manufacture of summer articles. It are often washed repeatedly without alteration; rather it becomes softer, something vital for articles of clothing and for daily use which needs frequent washing like shirts. Linen has very low elasticity and therefore the cloths don’t deform. it’s vast uses like tableware, suiting, clothing apparel, surgical thread, sewing thread, decorative fabrics, bed linen, kitchen towels, top quality papers, handkerchief linen, shirting, upholstery, draperies, wall coverings, artist’s canvases, luggage fabrics, paneling, insulation, filtration, fabrics for light aviation use, automotive end uses, and reinforced plastics and composite materials, etc. the power of flax fiber to soak up water rapidly is especially useful within the towel trade.