Is flax a natural material?
When you’re looking for bed linen for your bedroom, you may come across bed linen made of flax. Bed linen really differs from other products on the market due to its unusual properties and because it’s a material of natural origin. It also has many beneficial properties for its owner. Before buying it, it’s worth getting to know with some facts about flax bed linen.
Flax - what kind of material is this?
One of the materials which got credit in the textile industry is flax produced in a natural way. It can be found both as a fabric and in combination with other kind of yarn. Flax, which is used in the clothes and textile industries, comes from a plant called flax. It’s the very material which produces fiber into a material.
After drying and threshing, it’s to soaked or dewatered. As a result, fiber will be separated from the perianth, that is, the wooden part of the stem. Then, after proper preparation, the flax straw is again dried. During this process, it is subjected to other treatments, in order to be combed and twisted in the end.
Where is flax from? - present and past
Nowadays, this plant is grown on almost all continents, except Antarctica. Such crops can usually be found in the temperate zone, especially in Europe. Since it’s an industrial plant, it requires a very large amount of water to grow it. Nowadays, it’s mainly used for various linen textiles and clothes.
However, linseed has been cultivated since ancient period. Explorers already extracted linen clothes from the tombs of Babylon, about 8500 BC. We also can read about it in the Bible and in the historical records of the wrapping of letters and books. Moreover, the ancient Egyptians used flax for mummification as well. Thanks to its unique properties, the body didn’t decompose, that’s why today it’s possible to observe the bandaged remains of ancient pharaohs.
Europe as a global market for flax
The cultivation and processing of flax is now a great privilege of the European Union countries. France, the Netherlands and Belgium are particularly dominants in this sphere. About 80% of flax fiber in the world comes from Europe so it becomes the leader in production on the world market. While in the above countries flax is mainly cultivated, in countries such as Italy and Germany flax is mainly processed, creating various kinds of goods, such as clothes and linen. A large part of the material is also imported by China, which then creates various products from them.
It's also worth saying that while textiles and clothes can be made from the fibers of this plant, high-quality linseed oil can also be obtained from it. It has a beneficial effect on gastrointestinal tract, as well as supports the proper work of the heart and blood vessels. It also improves the condition of hair and nails. Flaxseed is obtained from it which consists of omega-3 acids and is characterized by many health properties.
Natural flax crops in Europe
Oil flax is a plant with rather wide usage, that’s why it’s often grown by farmers from Europe. Firstly, the farmer or landholder must find out the conditions and the entire process of flax cultivation in order to be able to carry it out properly. Then it’s necessary to go through the appropriate steps to sow flax and grow it so that it will give a harvest. It is worth saying that only in Europe flax can be grown in natural conditions without usage of fertilizers or pesticides.
What does flax production look like? - technology and production condition
Usually, the harvest of flax falls on July and August, because freshness of its flowers plays an important role in the production process. For this reason, it’s excavated together with the roots, instead of cutting the stem. The whole process is quite time-consuming, and begins with the moment the flax is exposed to the sun and rain to separate the peptides that connects the fibers in the stem. This step takes several weeks until the fibers reach their unique color.
When the fibers have already dried, they are then combed and transformed in several stages, and then strung onto the yarn. From this point begins a process that must be carried out extremely precisely so that the spools of flax can get handed over to the weavers, who will then produce from them various kinds of products, such as linen duvet cover. Previously, they are still checked carefully in terms of color and quality.
The whole process of forming a fabric from flax can be described as this:
- Separation of seeds from stem,
- Empty stems are soaked in water to separate the glued fibers,
- Flax is dried for several days,
- The stems are broken to separate them from the fibers,
- Fiber bundles are subject to selection for quality and length,
- Bundles are combed to get rid of dirt,
- The fibers are subjected to spinning, and then weaving.
Preparing flax to create the final product is a process that takes quite a long time. However, due to the lack of pesticides and artificial fertilizers on European crops, as a result, you can get a really high-quality product that will serve for several years.
For what reason should you consider choosing linen bedspreads for your own bedroom?
Bed linen has many advantages and is a kind of investment for many years, if you take care of it properly. It’s especially a good idea for people with allergies and those who doesn’t like ironing.
I'm sure you'll love this simple, timeless fabric, and you don’t want to trade it for another. It will smell of warm sun and cool wind, peace and quiet - the expert writes on her blog lifestyle. In addition to the previously mentioned advantages of bed linen, it should also be added that it’s a highly environmentally friendly material. European organic flax, produced from natural products, doesn’t attract dust, it’s bactero-resistant and is widely used in the textile and clothing industries. It should not be forgotten that the disposal of flax is safe for the whole environment.