The flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), also known as common flax, is an annual crop with five-petaled blue or white flowers.
Flax is considered the oldest textile fiber, with finds dating back to 36,000 BC.
Europe is the cradle of flax cultivation, and the use of the fiber has its roots here.
Two thirds of the total flax production still takes place in European countries on about 100,000 hectares.Linen is a so-called bast fiber, which are obtained from the stems of the flax plant.
The production of linen yarns is divided into dry and wet spinning processes.
Long fibers are combined into a sliver before spinning, stretched several times and mixed with other slivers (doubled) in order to achieve the most homogeneous quality possible.
In the case of short fibers, a flat fleece is produced by carding, which is reduced to a sliver. This sliver is combed (hackled) to remove shives and excessively short fibers. Then the sliver is stretched and doubled like the long fibers. Short fibers are usually spun dry. The resulting yarns are rough and soft to the touch at the same time.
Properties of linen:
Flax is a very frugal plant, but requires certain climatic conditions. The fiber thrives best in maritime climates with their constant alternation of sun and rain coupled with plenty of wind.
Flax also prefers deep, loamy soils.
Optimal conditions for growing flax are found above all in the coastal areas of northern France and Belgium.
This is where the highest quality fibers are produced.
We at Leitner Leinen only use raw materials from European production. Since we use only the highest quality flax yarns, we source the flax exclusively from the best growing areas in Northern France and Belgium.
European flax cultivation is the most productive in the world: one hectare of land can produce flax for about 20,000 km of yarn or 4,000 m2 of fabric.
The expertise developed over centuries allows the production of impeccable long flax fibers of outstanding quality.
Sowing takes place between mid-March and mid-April.
Seeding density plays an important role, as the denser the plants, the finer the fiber.
The flax plants grow up to one meter high and finally flower in June.
When the plants are fully developed, harvesting begins. A special feature of flax is that it is not cut, but pulled out of the ground by the roots. This is called ridging. After that, the flax is laid flat in the field.
This is followed by what is known as tauröste: through the alternation of sun, dew and rain, and with the help of bacteria and fungi from the soil, parts of the wood are detached from the fibers. The fibers are connected to the solid wood components by pectins, like glue. The roasting process dissolves these pectins and the individual components can then be separated from each other.
This process is a completely natural one, requiring no chemicals or other additives. On the contrary, the nutrients that are released from the plants during the roasting process are reabsorbed by the soil.
Once roasting maturity is reached, the crop is harvested.
Frugal and undemanding:
Flax is a frugal plant and therefore has few requirements in terms of fertilization and care. The low use of fertilizers and pesticides prevents soil and water pollution.
Flax also does not require artificial irrigation.
Another positive aspect is that there is no waste in the use of flax - every part of the plant is utilized. In addition to textiles, paper and mats, for example, are made from it. The seeds of the plant are edible and are used for oil production. Other products include linoleum, insulation and bedding.
Flax fibers are also biodegradable and recyclable, making them far superior to cotton or synthetic fibers.
biodegradable yarn, very tear-resistant
Yarns that are particularly stressed. Applications Industry, shoemakers, traditional crafts Bowstrings, tents, clothing, sails Upholstery