Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a plant from the flax family (Linaceae). It is a crop that has been cultivated since long. More than 4,000 years before Christ was in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, already grown flax. Also known is canvas that was created by the Romans of Gaul linen.
There are blue flowering and white flowering varieties. That are those with brown and yellow seeds. The seeds are about 5 mm long. There are varieties of flax grown for over six thousand years for linen, and other for linseed oils: linseed.

vlasThe latter are shorter and more branched than that of fiber flax. They are grown for seeds where oil is extracted from.

The fiber consists of a bundle of cells, of which the cell wall is thickened with cellulose. Around the fiber bundle are lignified cells, the wood pipe. The fibers are two to three times as strong as those of cotton but less elastic.

The growth cycle of the flax plant is short. Between sowing in March - April and harvest in July expire less than 100 days. (One month after flowering, two weeks after seed formation.) If the plant is still green, the seed is not useful, and the fiber is underdeveloped. If she already is brown, fiber quality deteriorates. The plant is fully grown by the end of July, and golden yellow. Then it begins to flower, the flax fields color blue, white and lilac. Each flax plant blooms only one day.
It is harvested in the second half of July. The plant is between 80 and 120 cm long.

The flax plant is harvested by pulling the root out of the ground to have the longest possible fiber. Then the flax was put in sheaves or hedges to dry.

In the past you did not buy a package of kitchen towels. The design (often red-white checkered or lined) was made as a roll of linen of 2 towels wide. You bought a piece of 6 parts, which was then used as a tablecloth. Later a cascade followed, after a lot of use. The piece was cut into pieces and turned into kitchen towels. And if one was worn down to the wire, the remains were still good enough to make dish rags, wipers, oven mitts or flaps.