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. The major source of supply of flax is from old U.S.S.R. The other countries which have flax growing areas are North Ireland, Egypt, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, France, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand

flax fibre


Like jute, flax is an annual plant .The plant from which the fibre extracts grows in moist and cold condition. The plant grows up to 170 cm in height and 1.5 of cm dia. The tree is matured by changing its color from green to yellow. After maturity, it is harvested for the extraction of the fibre Haryesting may be done when
 (i) Flowering is almost over and the stalk is green, 
 (ii) the fruit has set, or
 (iii) The seed pods have ripened and the stalk is yellowish brown. Initial harvesting gives poor yield with soft fibre.
Late harvesting gives a coarse fibre with higher yield. So harvesting will be better when the seed pods have ripened.

 After harvesting, the plants are allowed to lie in open field for a week or so when all the leaves and branches come out of the tree. Then the plants are bundle up and carried over to a place where they are hackled this is an operation, in which the plants are continuously beaten' against a rows of vertical iron spikes to remove the impurities like leaves and Ĺ›mall branches. 


Linen fibre is the strongest fibre available from natural origin. This is due to presence of higher crystalline regions like 80; 90 %. The average length of the fibre varies from 90 cm to 125 cm having an average diameter of 14 to 25 microns. The fibres are round to polygonal with a small lumen. Tensile strength of the fibre varies from 6.5 gm/den to 8.0 gm/den. The density is 1.50 gm / cc . The moisture regain is 12 % . Due to high crystalline areas, the fibre strength is not sensitive to moisture i.e., the wet strength and dry strength is same.

These fibres are resistant to micro-organisms like fungus, alkalis like sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate at boil. The fibre is resistant to dilute acids at cold and organic acids. However, hydrocellulose is formed due to the hydrolysis action of dilute acids at boiling conditions or strong concentrated mineral acids. Oxycellulose is generally formed by the action of oxidizing agents.


These fibres are used for household clothing, fabrics, lace, shirt, canvas, threads, twines, papermaking and certain industrial-applications like fire hoses.

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