Linen is extracted from the stalk of a plant with the same name. Plants growing in the moderate countries measure 0,50 m, 1,20 m and jusquà 2 m on the edges of the Nile.
Linens with blue flowers are the most wide-spread, their stalks are the longest.
Linens with white flowers have shorter stalks, but give one finer fiber.
Linen is native from Asia but its culture is now widened to all the moderate or warm countries the main of which are France (the North, Brittany, Picardy, Anjou) the USSR, the Eastern Europe, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, India, Egypt, Brazil and Canada.
Extraction of linen strands
Retting: it is a chemical process intended to separate the textile fibers of the ligneous parts called chénevotte. The retting in place in the presence of water
Grinding: allows to separate the chenevotte of the tow.
Teillage: it allows to break completely the ligneous parts of the stalk
Peignage: allows to déliminer completely the ligneous parts, of paralléliser fibers, to separate the long fibers furthermore Short. The linen is subjected to the action of a fixed comb, the chénevotte is eliminated. The short and muddled fibers constitute one called filling étoupe.
Spinning: allows to obtain a continuous thread. The linen is spun on a profession to fins, either to the dry, or to the wet.
The length of the linen fiber is from 15 to 20 cms
The sharpness of the linen fiber is very big.
The flexibility of the linen is average, its elasticity is weak
Linen is brilliant and silky
The color varies according to the sorts and the mode of retting. In France: linen whites (region of the North), grey (Brittany), red-haired (Picardy, Normandy). Linens of Belgium are grey
Linen is constituted by 72 in 82 % of cellulose, 15 in 20 % of pectone, 2 in 3 % of wax.
Linen absorbs and lets evaporate the water quickly The linen is good driver of it
Linen quickly burns with a lively flame, by kicking away acid vapors, it reddens the sunflower paper exposed above the flame.
Linen resists to widened bases
Linen is destroyed by acids