Linen, also called flax, is a sort of herbaceous plant, widely cultivated and raised all over the world. They are generally divided into three principal categories, fiber flax, oil seed flax, and oil&fiber flax. As the name indicated, fiber flax is where the fiber comes from, and usually used to manufacture linen fabrics. While the oil seed flax is mainly for oil-extracting use. The oil&fiber flax is a combination of oil-extracting and fiber fabrics manufacturing, but the capability is not that strong. As natural fiber, linen fabrics are endowed with incomparable advantages, including high sweat absorption, good permeability, antistatic and so on, which allow them to prevail in fashion field and textile industry worldwide.
How to make linen fabrics?
In regard to the manufacturing process of linen fabric, five steps are included, seed detaching, flax retting, flax dressing, spinning, and weaving. In general, flax seeds in March and harvests in July.
Flax retting also refers to degumming, which aims to separate fiber from other subsistence based on the theory that destroy the fiber bundle and surrounding tissues, as well as separate the phloem and xylem, but less likely to destroy the connection between single fiber pectin.
There are two common methods of flax retting, dew retting and water retting. Dew retting is the process that taking advantages of mutual effect of dew, rains, and bacteria, called fermentationthen, to erode and dissolve the scattered flax plant from external surface. While water retting is to soak plants into water. After 6-20 days of the bacteria effect, the external surface of plant will be eroded to dissolution.
Most valuable use of Linen
Flax fibers are considered bast fibers that collected from phloem or the inner-bark of the plant. Flax fibers vary in length from about 25 to 150 mm (1 to 6 in) and average 12-16 micrometers in diameter. The shorter tow fibers will be used for finer fabrics, and the longer line fibers will be used for fiber fabrics. The cross-section of the linen fiber is made up of irregular polygonal shapes which contribute to the coarse texture of the fabric Aside from linen, a few other fabrics could be made from bast fibers, such as hemp, ramie, and rattan. Linen or ramie dresses made from these fibers are typically quite strong and durable fabrics.