Production building harsh linen fabrics
Technically, linen is a vegetable. Linen fabric is made from the cellulose fibers that grow inside of the stalks of the flax plant, or Linum usitatissimum, one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history. Flax is an annual plant, which means it only lives for one growing season. From seed-planting, it is ready to be harvested in about a hundred days. Unless the weather is particularly warm and dry, flax requires little watering or attention during this time. It grows to about three or four feet tall, with glossy bluish-green leaves and pale blue flowers, though on rare occasions, the flowers bloom red.VIDEO ON THE TOPIC: （蚕丝被）Ancient Oriental methods of the Sericulture, the solution to the cold -Liziqi Channel
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- Extraction, processing, properties and use of hemp fiber
- How Linen is Made
- Fiber Selection for the Production of Nonwovens
- What Is Viscose? 6 Facts About This Misunderstood Fabric
- Linen Most Useful: Perspectives on Structure, Chemistry, and Enzymes for Retting Flax
- What is Linen Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where
- Series on Fibres: How Is Linen Fabric Made?
Extraction, processing, properties and use of hemp fiber
Linen is a flax-based textile that is predominantly used for homeware applications. While linen is similar to cotton, it is made from fibers derived from the stems of the flax plant instead of the bolls that grow around cotton seeds. Garments made of linen are desirable in hot and humid climates. Unlike cotton, which tends to retain moisture for a significant period of time, linen dries quickly, which helps reduce heat retention in overly warm conditions.
Manufacturing linen, however, is much more time and resource-intensive than making cotton, which has led to a steady reduction in popularity of this fabric that began with the invention of the cotton gin. Nevertheless, the unique desirable attributes of linen have prevented the total cessation of global production of this textile, and certain countries, such as China, continue to make linen in reasonably large quantities. While evidence is scant from prehistoric times, it appears that Neolithic peoples in Europe were making textiles from linen as long as 36, years ago.
Therefore, linen is one of the longest-produced textiles, and its history may stretch back even farther than the most ancient evidence that modern archaeology has uncovered. While the use of linen for garments in Mesopotamia was mainly reserved for the ruling class, the use of linen in Ancient Egypt was much more widespread. Since linen is naturally white, this fabric was an obvious choice, and its breathability and lack of moisture retention rapidly caused it to become the most popular and valuable textile in Egypt.
In fact, the Ancient Egyptians sometimes used linen as a bonafide type of currency. This fabric was also used to make the burial shrouds and wrappings for mummies. The Ancient Greeks used linen to make garments and homewares, and the Phoenicians later introduced linen production to Western Europe. However, historical records suggest that there was no effort on behalf of European powers to regulate flax production among farming communities until the 12th century AD.
These days, linen is primarily a niche product that remains in production to manufacture a handful of textile products. Despite its rich history, linen is no longer in vogue due to the laborious and time-intensive processes used to make this fabric.
Ironically, production difficulties originally disincentivized linen production thousands of years ago; while the challenges facing line producers today are quite different than they were in antiquity, this fabric remains finicky and expensive to produce.
The constituent material for linen fabric is the cellulose fiber found in the stems of linen plants. Like the stalks of many similar plants, linen stalks consist of a woody, reedy interior section and a fibrous, stringy exterior section. To prepare for linen production, manufacturers of this fiber start by separating flax fibers from the woody interior of flax stems. Traditionally, this step has been accomplished by soaking raw flax stalks, but these days, manufacturers may use chemicals to achieve the same effect.
Before flax fibers are spun into yarn, these chemicals are washed away, but residual toxic substances may remain on chemically-separated flax fiber. Flax plants are ready for harvesting after about days of growth.
Since flax plants do not tolerate heat, they must be planted in the cooler part of the year to avoid crop death. These days, flax seeds are usually sown with machines.
Once flax stems are yellow and their seeds are brown, these plants are ready to be harvested. After flax stalks are harvested, they are processed through a machine that removes leaves and seeds.
This process is called retting, and unless it is expertly accomplished, the delicate flax fibers used for textile production could be damaged. Next, the decomposed stalks are broken up, which separates the unusable outer fibers of flax stalks from their usable inner fibers.
To accomplish this step, the flax stalks are sent through rollers that crush them, and then rotating paddles remove the outer fibers from the stalks. Now that the inner fibers are separated from the other fibers, they can be combed into thin strands.
Once the fibers have been combed, they will be ready for spinning. Spinning of flax yarn used to be accomplished with a foot-powered flax wheel, but these days, flax producers use industrial machines for this process. To spin flax fibers, these short, combed fibers are connected with devices called spreaders, and the resulting strings, called rovings, are then ready to be spun. After being spun on a spinning frame, the resulting yarn is reeled onto a bobbin.
Finally, flax manufacturers dry the finished yarn and reel it onto bobbins. The yarn is then ready to be dyed, treated, and made into apparel, homewares, or other types of textile products. From Ancient Egypt to Renaissance Ireland, many cultures used linen as their predominant source of apparel and homeware fiber. These days, linen is used for many of the same purposes that it was used historically, but this fiber makes up a drastically smaller percentage of the global textile market.
Additionally, many of the original applications of linen, such as shirts and pants, have largely been replaced with cotton. In hot climates, however, linen is still used to produce everyday clothing in large quantities. Manufacturers can use linen to make practically anything commonly made from cotton or wool.
For instance, this fabric can be used to make shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, jackets, blazers, vests, and a wide variety of other casual and formal wear. Outside the realm of apparel, linen remains popular as a homeware material. One of the lone industrial applications of linen is in the production of canvases for painting. As with most textiles, China is currently the largest producer of linen. However, the production of high-quality linen products remains an important part of the cultures of many European countries, and Ireland, Italy, and Belgium remain significant linen producers.
Linen used predominantly for homewares is also produced in the United States in relatively large quantities. At these prices, linen is one of the most expensive natural fibers in the world, but it is incontestable that linen remains highly in demand for specific niche applications.
While all types of linen fabric are derived from processed and spun flax fiber, there are four main variations in weaving techniques that result in different types of linen fabric:.
Plain-woven linen is commonly used to make dish towels, cotton towels, and hand towels. Loosely-woven linen is highly absorbent, but it is the least-durable type of linen fabric.
It is commonly used to make reusable diapers and sanitary napkins. Linen apparel is usually made from sheeting linen due to its untextured, soft surface and close weave. This type of linen usually has a higher thread count than other forms of linen fabric. The main environmental concern regarding linen production is the release of chemicals used in the retting process into surrounding ecosystems.
Most commonly, alkali or oxalic acid are used to separate flax fibers from the woody interior of flax stems, and while chemical retting of flax is undeniably faster and more efficient, both alkali and oxalic acid are toxic in relatively low concentrations. Since flax is already such an expensive fiber, however, water retting simply compounds on this increased cost to make organic flax less accessible to most consumers.
In addition to concerns over the release of toxic chemicals into the environment, there may also be land use concerns over flax production. Specifically, most cultivation processes used to grow flax degrade soil, which can lead to soil erosion and expansion of agricultural lands into neighboring wilderness areas. Furthermore, most textile production around the world is inhumane. The vast majority of textile workers are essentially slave laborers who are forced to endure horrific working conditions for insufficient pay.
As a result, the ability of linen workers to contribute to local economies is diminished, and stewardship of the land takes a backseat to the pressing day-to-day struggle to survive. Overall, however, linen is one of the least environmentally damaging textiles. Unlike synthetic textiles, natural fabrics like linen are biodegradable, which means that their constituent molecules reabsorb into the surrounding environment within a matter of years instead of centuries.
If linen is cultivated in accordance with proper stewardship of the land, it is not environmentally harmful. To meet the global demand for linen products without incurring prohibitive overhead costs, however, the majority of linen producers choose to use inexpensive processes that may be environmentally damaging.
A variety of linen fabric certifications are available to ensure that linen fibers are produced with sustainable and responsible means. This non-governmental organization NGO focuses specifically on textile products, which means it imposes stricter organic standards that focus specifically on the particulars of textile production. About the author:. Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services.
He is passionate about e-commerce, marketing and production digitisation. Connect with Boris on LinkedIn. Did you know we helped over brands find garment manufacturers and specialists and we can help you too Table of contents What Is Linen Fabric? Planting 2. Growth 3. Harvesting 4. Fiber Separation 5. Breaking 6. Combing 7. Spinning 8. Reeling 9. Where Is Linen Fabric Produced? Damask linen 2. Plain-woven linen 3. Loosely-woven linen 4. Linen Fabric Certifications Available.
About the author: Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services. Start your project. You may also like. Just before you go. We can help you take the next step Learn more. Learn more. Bed sheets, pillowcases, blankets, dish towels, bath towels, wallpaper, upholstery, skirts, shirts, suits, dresses, luggage, thread, aprons, bags, napkins, tablecloths, diapers.
How Linen is Made
Natural and organic fibers become more and more popular these years. Most of the people come to realize that nature, soft and healthy are the most important things of the textile. Hemp fiber is naturally one of the most environmentally friendly fibers and also the oldest. The Columbia history of the world states that the oldest relics of human industry are bits of Hemp fabric discovered in tombs dating back to approximately B.
Designed and organized to give students the specific information they require, this is an essential reference for anyone studying architectural interiors. New topics include accessible design basics, computing technologies, fire-resistive construction, fire protection systems, security and communications systems, interior equipment, evidence-based design, and climate considerations. In addition, this second Student Edition offers more material on residential design, is packed with more than 1, informative illustrations, and includes the latest coverage for students to find real help understanding the critical material they need for the core classes required by all curriculums. Expert advice and details for designing interior project types including commercial, residential, healthcare, retail, hospitality, educational, performance, and museum spaces, as well as existing building interiors.
Fiber Selection for the Production of Nonwovens
There are probably many items of clothing within your wardrobe that are made of linen — but how much do you actually know about it? This article will give you all of the essential information that you need to know and answer some of your burning questions like "How is linen fabric made? The history of linen can be traced right back to the Ancient Egyptians, who valued linen so much that they even used it as currency. Linen was only usually worn and used by those in the upper classes, and this continued to be true when the Greeks started using linen. The Hugenots eventually brought linen manufacturing over to England and Northern Ireland — and since then, linen has been made all over the world. Just like cotton fabric, linen is made from a natural source — a plant. Linen is created from the fibres that naturally grow as part of the flax plant, a plat that grows all over the world. The production process is quite simple, which is why linen has been used for so long, but more modern techniques have been adopted in many places.
What Is Viscose? 6 Facts About This Misunderstood Fabric
Register Now. Generally, a set number of yarns are used for the formation of fabrics. Also, a number of techniques are used for producing fabrics such as weaving, knitting, and felting. The type of fabrics varies by the fibres, the fabric formation techniques, machinery used for producing them, and finishing techniques. Fabrics can also be made differently based on the end-usage.
The components of flax Linum usitatissimum stems are described and illustrated, with reference to the anatomy and chemical makeup and to applications in processing and products. Bast fiber, which is a major economic product of flax along with linseed and linseed oil, is described with particular reference to its application in textiles, composites, and specialty papers. A short history of retting methods, which is the separation of bast fiber from nonfiber components, is presented with emphasis on water retting, field retting dew retting , and experimental methods. Past research on enzyme retting, particularly by the use of pectinases as a potential replacement for the current commercial practice of field retting, is reviewed.
Linen Most Useful: Perspectives on Structure, Chemistry, and Enzymes for Retting Flax
Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fiber is very strong, absorbent, and dries faster than cotton. Garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather. This word history has given rise to a number of other terms in English, most notably line , from the use of a linen flax thread to determine a straight line.
Linen is a flax-based textile that is predominantly used for homeware applications. While linen is similar to cotton, it is made from fibers derived from the stems of the flax plant instead of the bolls that grow around cotton seeds. Garments made of linen are desirable in hot and humid climates. Unlike cotton, which tends to retain moisture for a significant period of time, linen dries quickly, which helps reduce heat retention in overly warm conditions. Manufacturing linen, however, is much more time and resource-intensive than making cotton, which has led to a steady reduction in popularity of this fabric that began with the invention of the cotton gin.
What is Linen Fabric: Properties, How its Made and Where
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Series on Fibres: How Is Linen Fabric Made?
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