of these articles is occupied with the plant flax; for the rivers of the same name see flax (digester), to flax (Neckar).
illustration common flax (Linum usitatissimum)
Department: Bedecktsamer (Magnoliophyta)
class: Dreifurchenpollen-Zweikeimblättrige
Unterklasse: Rose-similar (Rosidae)
order: Malpighiales
family: Flax plants (Linaceae)
kind: Flax
scientific name

Flax (Linum) or also flax is a kind of plants from the family of the flax plants (Linaceae). Depending upon scientific editor between 80 and 130 kinds are differentiated.

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this concerns one year's or persistent krautige plants or half bushes with upright Stängeln, usually alternating, narrow, ganzrandigen sheets, at the summits blade angle-constant blooms, spherical, blunt five-sharp-edged, zehnfächerigen cap fruits and ever a seed in each subject.


flax is one of the oldest cultivated plants. Many kinds can be used for fiber production. Of the Stängeln of the plants yarns are made and woven then to flax materials. See also: Linen industry


some myths climb around the valuable Textilpflanzen and the devices of their treatment: One thinks only of the meaning of the Spinnrades in the Grimm fairy tales (Dornrö) or around the demand on the king daughter, straw to gold to spiders (Rumpelstilzchen). --Just as important the alive customs were round around the flax preparing. To in 20. Century inside gave it the so-called. Spin evenings or spin rooms, a suitable meeting place for the girls and Bur in the rural area. At some places also the swinging evenings (z had a similar function. B. occupied from the area shortening with Cologne). -- Swinging was an important component of the treatment of flaxes. Simple rockers consisted of an upright standing board with a foot. The oscillator took a handful flax with the left hand and put it on the upper edge of the board, so that the half length of the flax down-hung on the front side of the board freely. With the right hand it led the swinging wood, a flat, somewhat board sharpened at the edge, and drove then the remainders out of the getting goats of parts. After swinging the flax met the girls, who had helped thereby, with the Bur village to play and dance on the so-called swinging evenings. These evenings arteten often into rough brawls out.

history of the treatment of flaxes

before 6000 years the Egyptian Pharaonen before mummifying was already wrapped into flax cloths.

In Europe was flax until far in 18. Century the most important vegetable fiber and beside wool the most important textile raw material.

During 19. Century lost the linen by penetrating the American cotton increasingly in meaning.


fiber flax or flax is cultivated in central and northeast Europe. Those about 5 cm long fibers are in the stack of the plant. Flax was gerauft in former times by hand and after roasts further processed.

Today flax is harvested by machine in three steps: Raufen, turns, presses. Between the Raufen and presses the flax must roast (to rot). In addition one lets the flax straw be over weeks on the field, and exposes it to rains and drynesses. Soil bacteria take over the rotting process. When processing the flax straw is grooved (to remove the seed caps), broken, swung and gehechelt (long Faser=Schwungflachs) or kardiert (short Faser=Schwungwerg). From the volumes developed in such a way become yarns gesponnen.


flowering flax field, Belgium
Leinfeld im August
flax field in August

the seeds of many kinds of flax (flax seeds) and the linseed oil contained in it find use for heilkundlichen purposes, as food, and in the painting for the production of varnish and Ölfarben.

The fibers are (only) the raw material for the production of linen yarns. From the long fibers the fine yarns become and from the short fibers (tow) the rougher yarns gesponnen. In addition, the flax fibers can serve for the production of technical fibers (insulating materials, automobile inside panelings, brake linings).

The textilen use applicable the fibers not in can be used as raw material in the paper trade. The flax scraping (wood-like byproduct of the fiber production) as if intersperse in animal husbandry (for example alternative box-intersperse with horses) assigned.


flax increases over insect or self fertilization, the seeds is Lichtkeimer.


among it ranks as cultivated plant:

The moreover one the following kinds are domestic in Central Europe:

Further kinds are:

  • Linum arboreum
  • Linum aroanium
  • Linum basarabicum
  • Linum bienne
  • Linum caespitosum
  • Linum campanulatum
  • Linum capitatum
  • Linum corymbulosum
  • Linum decumbens
  • Linum doerfleri
  • Linum dolomiticum
  • Linum elegans
  • Linum euboeum
  • Linum goulimyi
  • red flax, also splendour flax (Linum grandiflorum).
  • Linum hologynum
  • Linum leucanthum
  • Linum linearifolium
  • Linum narbonense
  • Linum nervosum
  • Linum nodiflorum
  • Linum pallasianum
  • Linum pubescens
  • Linum punctatum
  • Linum rhodopeum
  • Linum setaceum
  • Linum spathulatum
  • Linum strictum
  • Linum suffruticosum
  • Linum tauricum
  • Linum tenue
  • Linum thracicum
  • Linum trigynum
  • Linum turcicum
  • Linum ucranicum
  • Linum university University of
  • Linum virgultorum

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