Products made of linen are among the best on the market. Linen products are durable, highly absorbent, breathable, luxurious, and very attractive.
Additionally, linen fabric is made from natural fiber and has a lower negative impact on the environment compared to other types of fabric such as cotton. But have you ever wondered how linen fabric is made? If yes, then today you are in the right place.
In this article, we will give you a step by step process of how linen fabric is made. For more information about linen fabric or if you are interested in buying quality products made of linen fabric, you can get one here.
What is linen fabric?
Linen is a flax-based textile that is commonly used to make home applications. Although most people confuse linen with cotton, these two fibers are not the same. Linen is made from the stem of the flax plant, an annual plant that flourishes mostly in cool damp environments.
Products made of linen are preferred because of their durability, excellent quality, and breathability. They are mostly used by people living in hot and humid conditions because of their ability to dry moisture quickly, thus reducing heat retention.
However, manufacturing linen is much more complicated and requires more time and resources than making cotton fabric. In this section, we will give you a step by step process of how linen fabric is made.
Step 1: Plant and growth
As said before, linen fabric is made from the flax plant which is one of the oldest cultivated plants in history. This plant thrives mostly in cool and damps places and takes about 100 days to mature.
Step 2: Harvesting
Once the flax plant is matured (takes about 100 days) it’s harvested and taken to the factory for processing. The flax plant is usually ready to be harvested when its stem turns yellow. Although it is possible to harvest the flax plant by hand, it is time-consuming and very expensive. As a result, most companies use a special machine to have this plant.
Step 3: Fiber separation
Once the flax plant has been harvested, the next crucial process is separation. A special machine is used to separate the seeds from the leaves. The flax fibrous outer stalk is then separated from the soft woody interior.
This complicated process is referred to as letting and it is done by use of special equipment. If the process is not done correctly, then the dedicated flax fiber could be damaged thus affecting the quality of the end product.
Step 4: Breaking
After fiber separation, the decomposed stems are broken up to separate outer fibers from inner fibers. This process is also very complicated and should be done carefully to avoid damaging the delicate inner fibers. To complete this step, the flax stem is passed through rollers, which crushes them. They are later passed through rotating paddles that remove the outer fibers, leaving behind the usable inner fibers.
Step 5: Combing
Once outer fibers are separated from the usable inner fibers, the next process is combing the inner fibers into thin strands. This process is important because it prepares the flax for spinning.
Step 6: Spinning
Flax linen can be spun from a distaff or by simply laying the flax fiber on your lap. But in most cases, special flax yarn equipment is used to spin the inner fibers. In order to spin, the then combed fibers are usually connected with devices known as spreaders.
Step 7. Reeling
After the spinning process, the end product is whirled onto a bobbin. The reeling process is usually performed when the flax yarn is still wet to prevent it from falling apart. The spun yarn is further run through hot war to further strengthen the yarn cohesion.
Step 8: Drying
The last process is drying. Once the finished yarns are whirled into bobbins, they are later dried, dyed, and treated. Once this process is complete the linen can be used to make several products, including:
Homeware such as table cloths, napkins, bath towels, kitchen towels
Apparel such as pants shirts, blazers, jackets, lingerie, nightgowns, underwear, and much more,
Bedding products such as sheet and pillowcase
For industrial applications where they are used in canvas for painting.
From the above discussion, it is clear that the process of making linen fabric is quite lengthy compared to other fabrics such as cotton. However, linen fabric is of higher quality, more attractive, breathable, and durable.