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Noble material, linen is an all natural fibre that requires no chemicals for growth or for its transformation.


Description

Summary

Flax is the oldest fiber plant amongst all the fiber. It is an annual plant and the fiber is collected from the stew of the plant. Flax seeds are cultivated in a fertile, well-defined, and well prepared soil with a cool and humid condition.

The process of collecting fiber from the plant is near similar to jute fiber. In present the demand of linen fiber is increased incredively for this reason the production rate of flax fiber increasing rapidly. Russia is the major flax cultivating country in the world but best quality flax is cultivated in Belgium. Major portion of linen fiber is supplied from the entire Europe.Noble material, linen is an all natural fibre that requires no chemicals for growth or for its transformation. The fabric keeps us cool in summer and warm in the winter because it keeps the air in its fibres in fact a natural insulator. The linen cloth has a beneficial effect on sensitive skin. This is the most resistant fabric. It is not plush and not deformed. It softens with washing.


What actions do you propose?

Grow and Harvest Flax

Growing


Flax, Linum usitatissimum, is an annual herb grown for two distinct purposes: producing linen fibers and harvesting the seeds.

Flax cultivated for its seeds requires a rich soil, similar to soil prepared for growing wheat. The plant is rather particular about its soil. Its preferences are deep, moist loam, rich in vegetable matter, not too loose, not too hard like clay, and neither sandy nor rocky. If manure is added to the soil, it must be well aged.

Enjoying a warm moist climate, flax will grow in all temperate and tropical regions. All of man's efforts to cultivate flax has not prevented it from escaping into a semi-wild state in all the regions where it is grown.

Flaxseeds are planted at the end of March. By the end of May, attractive blossoms appear, making a flax field a breathtaking sight, but only for a few hours. The flowers are mostly blue, with some plants producing white, pink, or violet blossoms. The blooms are extremely delicate and perish quickly. Pollination by bees is a necessity for flax to set seed capsules.

The long, hollow and woody stems vary from 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm). Round seedpods form at the top of the stem and contain about 10 seeds each that measure about 1/8-inch (.5 cm) in length. The tough, shiny seeds are brown, flat, and pointed at one end and contain about 35% to 45% of the valuable flax oil known for its health benefits. Rate of sowing seed varies from 3 kg/ha for seed production to 160 kg/ha for fiber production.

Thresh Flax Seeds

Hang the bundles in a warm place with good air circulation. After a few weeks, when the stalks are stiff and dry, you can thresh out the seeds. This takes some effort: you have to crush open the pods. One method is to slide a pillowcase over the top end of a bundle, tie the case securely around the stems, then put it down on a paved driveway, sidewalk or other hard, flat surface.

Beat the pods through the cloth with a block of wood, roll them with a rolling pin (push hard!), jump on the bag or drive back and forth over it with a car.

After several minutes of such activity, open the bag to confirm that most of the pods have been crushed, shake the bundle vigorously to knock out all the seeds, then pour the seeds and chaff out of the pillowcase into a bowl and start again with the next bundle. After threshing all the bundles, sift the seeds through a colander or coarse strainer to remove bits of stems and broken pods. Step outdoors in the breeze and pour the seeds slowly from one container to another to winnow away any remaining chaff or dust.

Linen fibre production

In the traditional process, the flax stems are tied into bundles and hung out to dry. When the stems are dry, they are combed with a rippling rake to remove the seed pods. The stems are then retted (that is, rotted) either by laying them in a damp field for a couple of weeks, where they ret in the dew, or by leaving them in standing water for a few days.


The retted stems are rinsed and dried before breaking them with a flax-brake and cleaning them by scutching. The fibres are then combed on hackles to produce long line fibres that can be spun, called line flax. The short fibres that are combed out are the hackle tow or flax tow and are carded and spun into coarse yarns and thread. A 1.5m by 5 m patch of flax produces about 350 grams of flax fibre. Fiber yields run 200–1200 kg/ha.


Who will take these actions?

 Government, Industries and individual


Where will these actions be taken?

Top Flax Growing Countries of the World: Linen fiber is used to produce linen fabric which is comfortable to wear. Flax is cultivated in different parts of the world. Followings are the most flax growing countries. They are-

  1. Canada
  2. Russia
  3. Ukraine
  4. France
  5. Argentina
  6. Italy
  7. Germany
  8. UK (Ireland, Scotland, England)
  9. Holland
  10. Belgium

Above are the major flax growing countries but some flax are grown in India, Pakistan, China and Africa.


What are other key benefits?

  • Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fiber crops in the world. fiber is soft, lustrous and flexible.
  • It is stronger than cotton fiber but less elastic.
  •  The best grades are used for linen fabrics such as damasks, lace and sheeting.
  • Coarser grades are used for the manufacturing of twine and rope.
  • Flax fiber is also a raw material for the high- quality paper industry for the use of printed banknotes and rolling paper for cigarettes.
  • a local resource
  • renewable 
  • no irrigation
  • zero waste
  • 100% recyclabe
  • no skin irritation


What are the proposal’s costs?

1 hactare flax cultivation to harvest cost US$700.00/- in contest of Nepal.


Time line

within 6 month


Related proposals


References

http://respecterre.com/top-5-the-best-eco-friendly-fibers/?lang=en

http://textilefashionstudy.com/top-flax-growing-countries-of-the-world-linen-fiber-production/

http://www.angelfire.com/me/absent/plants/linumusitatissimum.html

http://www.bcomp.ch/10-0-natural-fibres.html

http://www.decktowel.com/pages/how-linen-is-made-from-flax-to-fabric

http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/flax-growing-and-processing.aspx?PageId=1

http://www.trustedclothes.com/blog/2016/01/27/farming-flax-for-organic-linen

http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch53.html

http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/html/grow_flax.html

http://www.worldjute.com/flax.html