Flax fibres are used to make linen and are derived from the plant, Linum usitatissimum, which is native to the region that spreads from the eastern Mediterranean through to Western Asia and the Middle East to India.
Flax fibre is extracted from the skin of the stem of the flax plant. Its long fibres, ranging from 45 to 140 centimetres long, make it easy to spin and weave. When it is spun into yarn, it is sometimes blended with other staple fibres. Fabrics that are comprised of 100 per cent flax fibres or yarns are known as linen. Where flax is used with other fibres, the percentage of each is usually stated.
Properties and qualities
Flax is two to three times stronger than cotton fibre, therefore it is more resistant to wear and abrasion. It absorbs humidity well and is a very breathable fibre. As flax fibres don’t have much elasticity, materials made with flax do not tend to lose their shape easily. It is also hypo-allergenic and so an excellent choice of fibre for those with allergies.
How does it feel?
As flax is breathable, it is a cool and airy material. It is also fairly soft and gets softer with every wash.
Materials with flax can be dry cleaned or machine washed. For best results, refer to the care instructions on your flax product.