Linen Fabric

ABOUT LINEN

A natural fiber produced by spinning the fibers found in the stem of the Flax plant.

A natural fiber produced by spinning the fibers found in the stem of the Flax plantBuff and Gray are the natural colors for linen fibers. Linen fabric is costly compared to other fabrics since the weaving of Flax thread into cotton is difficuilt due to its elasticity. Knitted as well as woven linen fabrics are used for making garments. Best linens are completely free from slubs - tiny knots in the threads.

HISTORY

In a cave in Georgia, dyed flax fibers were found.

Wild flax was used for making woven linen fabrics. In Swiss lake dwellings fragments of seeds, fibers, straw, yarns and various types of fabrics were found. In ancient Mesopotamia linen was reserved for higher classes. In Greek linen is also written as "li-no". The most famous linen producing center was Belfast. In Victorian era majority of world's linen was produced there. As per belief in Bible, linen was worn by the angels.


LINEN MAKING PROCESS

CULTIVATION

To harvest flax plant, it takes about 100 days from the seed plantation. Flax can not tolerate very hot weather thus in many countries, the seed sowing comes from the date of the year or the date of time, due to heat, the flax should be cut and the farmers have calculated 100 days to determine the date for planting. In some areas of the world, flax is planted during the winter due to heat in early spring. In commercial production, the soil is sown in spring and then worked in good planting through discing, crackling and rolling. In three months, the plants are straight, thin stalks that can be 2-4 feet (61-122 centimeters) in height with small blue or white fibers. (Flax plant with blue flowers produces the best linen fibers.)

HARVESTING

Flax is uprooted to preserve the potential of each plant. Earlier it was hand harvested and the best and longest fibers were selected after removing the seeds. But now mechanical grubbers are used for harvesting.

DRYING

After harvesting, flax is allowed to dry and seeds are removed from the dried flax.

RETTING AND TURNING

The fibers are binded together after the pectins break down from the flax. The stalk of the plant cannot be separated from the fiber if the flax is not fully retted. For many weeks flax remains spread out for getting exposed to rain and sunshine.

STRIPPING AND COMBING

Short and long fibers are produced after the fibers are separated from the straw. Coarser yarns is created from short fibers and finest linen yarn is created from long fibers.

SPINNING

Long and short fibers are piled together on spinning looms. Wet spinning technique is used for twisting long fibers and converting them into softer and smoother yarn.

WEAVING AND DYEING

The yarns are examined before weaving them. To ensure quality, a central computer monitors the running looms. The fabric is again examined after weaving. Bleaching and dyeing of the raw fabric is done in the finishing department. Different treatments are applied to the fabric for making it soil and crease resistant after bleaching and dyeing.

CARE OF LINEN FABRIC

  • For best care always read the wash care label before washing linen fabric.
  • Lukewarm or cold water (normal tap water) and mild detergents should be used for washing linen fabrics.
  • Gentle machine cycle can be used to wash linen fabrics.
  • Plain white linen should be washed at 60 degrees and coloured linen should be washed at 40 degrees in washing machine.
  • Linen fabrics should not be tumble dried in washing machine as this will lead to shrinkage of the fabric.
  • Bleaching linen fabric will deteriorate the quality of the fabric.
  • Natural creases and crumples are inherent in linen fabric and hence ironing is not required for linen fabrics
  • In case you want to iron your linen fabric, iron while the fabric is damp (not dry completely).

BENEFITS OF LINEN FABRIC

  • Linen is the ideal fabric for summer since it allows airflow in the body and it provides cooling effect to the wearer.
  • It is a good conductor of heat. It gives a cooling effect to the wearer.
  • Linen becomes more soft with each wash.
  • It protects the human organism against solar radiation.
  • Linen has 5 times higher heat conductivity than wool and 18 times as compared to silk. Fabrics made from linen remain in shape as they do not stretch on washing, hanging and ironing.

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