Seed flax grows best in a warm climate, but hot temperatures and drought can reduce the crop yield and oil content. The soil should be fertile and well weeded. To obtain the seed, the flax plants are allowed to over-ripen, which destroys the plant's value for its fiber as linen. Flax seed contains about 40% oil, and the seeds are crushed and pressed to remove this product. Linseed oil, which hardens by oxidation, is used to manufacture paints, varnishes, patent leather, linoleum, and oilcloth.
The remaining seed and hull wastes after pressing are used for livestock feed. Fiber can also be obtained from seed flax plants. This fiber is made into special papers.
See also Natural fibers.
Lewington, Anna. Plants for People. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Akin, D.E. "Enzyme-Retting of Flax and Characterization of Processed Fibers." Journal Of Biotechnology 89, no. 2-3 (2001): 193-203.
"Nontraditionally Retted Flax for Dry Cotton Blend Spinning." Textiler Research Journal 71, no. 5 (2001): 375-380.
Christine Miner Minderovic