Preparation of flax for spinning
After scutching, the linen fibre is combed, spread out and drafted
several times until a rove ( a slightly twisted sliver of flax fibre) has
been formed . This rove is then spun into a yarn but during this process
it is soaked in warm water (60/70 C) , which softens the natural gummy substances
contained in the yarn and permits the individual fibrils within each fibre
to slide in relation to each other, thus producing a very fine and regular
yarn. This is called " wet spinning". However there is also another
method of spinning flax, which is called " dry spinning", and
which produces coarser yarns .The rove in dry spinning is spun without being
soaked in warm water. The flax fibre can also be spun into a yarn by mixing
other fibres (such as cotton, wool, silk, viscose, polyester, acrylic...)
on looms used for spinning cotton or wool.
(1) Flax spinning mill (2) Modern automatic loom
5 Fabric Manufacturing
As with other fibres Linen can be woven or knitted. Traditional
looms have been replaced by automatic ones, which through the lattest technology,
produce very sophisticated fabrics made of pure linen or of mix of fibres
( figured wovens, damasks, serges, honeycomb patterns, jacquards, velvets).
Technological progress in knitting linen yarn has been such that it has
created a new kind of texture.
6 Dyeing & Finishing
Electronically controlled printing bed
Linen fabrics, once woven or knitted need to undergo certain
other processes, such as bleaching, dyeing,ca lendering etc. In days gone
by, bleaching was carried out in the open fields, where the pieces of fabric
were spread out and exposed in the direct action of sunlight, rain and dew.
Today it is done on a large scale. Dyeing, like bleaching, can be done on
the linen yarns either before weaving or on woven fabrics. Linen is easy
to dye and print. Linen also lends itself to other treatments, such as flameproofing,
no iron, stain repellancy, stonewashed, and mercerizing.
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