1. Introduction

Lines is cellulosic fibers derived from the stem of the flax plant or a fabric made from these fibers. Linen fibers are much stronger and more lustrous that cotton; they yield cool, absorbent fabrics that wrinkle easily. Fabrics with linen-like texture and coolness but with good wrinkle resistance can be produced from manufactured fibers and blends. Flaxseeds are commonly known as ‘Alsi‘ in India and linseed.

2. Cultivation of Flax

Cultivation of flax is preferred on well drained loamy deep soil. Begin harvesting flax only when the bolls and upper plant parts have turned brown and the straw is yellow. 700-750 mm rainfall is good for flax cultivation. Flax is cultivated for oil as well as for fibres. In India, there are states which produce large amount of flax seeds mainly Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
The soil preparation is important for cultivation of flax. Flax in cultivated in cold climate, this crop does not grow well in hot weather. Flax plant takes about 3-4 months to reach maturity. Weed management is required to ensure proper growth of plant.
Read more about Flax Cultivation

3. Processing of Flax | How is linen made

After maturity of flax plant, the stem is used for fibre extraction. The flax crop is pulled from the ground and then spread over ground for proper drying. Once the linen fibres are properly combed and sorted, these are forwarded to carding process for sliver formation.

The spinning of flax fibres can be divided into
A. Long Fibre Spinning : Long fibres are separated after removal of short fibres. Long fibres are considered high quality for spinning process. Long fibres spun yarn gives less hairiness texture. Flax slliver is doulbed then drafted to improve the uniformity (linear density).
B. Short FIbre Spinning : Short fibres spun yarn gives hairy textured yarn. Uniform linear density of sliver obtained through multiple drafting and doubling operations.

Ther can be many methods for flax spinning, mainly
A. Wet Spinning : It improves quality and smoothness of linen yarn. Wetting the flax makes it smoother and stronger. Wet spinning is preferred for long flax fibres. A customized ringframe is used for wet spinning which heats up the fibre before passing it through drafting zone.
B. Semi Wet Spinning : Wet roller is used in Semi wet spinning. It gives lustrous and smooth yarn.
C. Dry Spinning : Short fibres are spun using dry spinning methods. It gives coarse and well structured flax yarn.

Winding Process : Linen yarn is dried after spinning process then winded up in cones using autoconer machines. It is last step before the linen yarn is packed and sent to weaving mills.

4. Uses of Linen

Flax seed normally yields 36 to 41 percent oil based on dry weight. Linseed oil (flaxseed oil) can be used in many products, including paint, varnish, linoleum, oilcloth, printer’s ink, patent and imitation leather products, and many others. Fiber flax is grown in Europe and Asia to make fine linen cloth. Fiber flax varieties are very tall, have few branches, and produce little seed. The fiber in flax stems is used to make fine papers, including cigarette paper, and padding for upholstered furniture.

5. Benefits of Linen

Linen is all natural fabric which is Eco-friendly and bio degradable.
Linen has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, which makes it suitable for long duration uses in various climatic conditions.
Linen is string and durable fabric, which is value for money.
Linen has soft texture and gets dried easy, this makes it easy to launder.
Linen is great fabric to wear in summers. It absorbs the sweat and locks human odor. Linen is soft and gentle over human skin.

6. Linen vs Cotton

Linen and cotton, both are Eco-friendly natural fibres. However there are certain difference between cotton and linen.
Cotton fibres are fluffier than linen fibres.
Linen is stronger than cotton.
Linen fabric is more durable then cotton fabric.
Linen fibre length is longer than cotton fibre.

Is linen a natural fibre ?

Yes, linen is natural fibre extracted from flax plant.

What is linen ? | What is linen fabric ?

Linen is cloth made from flax fibres. Linen is comfortable fabric because it absorbs moisture and given pleasant experience to human beings.

What is meaning of linen ? | Linen meaning

Linen is strong fabric made up of fibres obtained from flax fibres. flax fibres are processed to make linen.