Flax, the source of linen is a versatile crop that can be grown in a variety of climates throughout the world. Its scientific name Linum usitatissimum L.translated as "linen most beautiful" aptly describes this versatility . Flax is one of the oldest textile fibres, and known to be the first woven and spun vegetable fibre. The art of weaving flax was so advanced in ancient Rome that wearing of 'linen cloth' was considered to be a sign of aristocracy and gleaming whiteness of linen as symbol of purity . In fact the word 'candidate' used for office seekers has its origin from Latin word 'candidus' which means white linen. Flax fibres are found in the outer regions of the flax plant stem between the cuticle and the woody core tissues. Flax fibres are sought in textiles due to its favourable qualities like high hygr oscopicity, high absorption, and anti-electrostatic properties, which provide comfortable clothing. They are lustrous, less stretchy , more durable and better resistant to environmental fluctuations than cotton and jute. It's a winter crop and grows well on deep moisture retentive soil. Almost every part of its plant is commercially utilized either directly or after processing.
India occupies 1 1.82 percent of world acreage and ranks third in area of the flax crop after Canada and China but in India flax has been grown exclusively for its seed. The seed and its oil are directly used for human consumption as nutritional flax seeds and for industrial oil in paint and varnish. Deseeded flax plant stalk yields good quality, very useful flax fibre having strength and durability, used by textile industry as speciality fibres to create a distinctive fabric with unique characteristics. Despite such properties, this fibre failed to attract attention on commercial basis and is thrown as waste throughout the greater portion of the principal flaxseed producing regions of India due to lack of extraction technologies and utilization of indigenous flax for industrial purposes. A number of dual purpose (DP) varieties including Gaurav, Shikha, Rashmi, Parwati and Ruchi released from CSAUAT , Kanpur are suitable for both oil and fibre purposes. In view of fibre producing ability of dual purpose flax without affecting seed or oil yield, the efforts are now being made for its cultivation for fibre product. As its cultivation appears to be remunerative, this fibre indicates its versatility for various end uses in textiles as it is or in blends with suitable textile fibres. Read more.......
Submitted by Ritu Pandey on Tue, 29/04/2014 - 11:29