Properties of Flax Fiber

Physical and Chemial Property of Flax Fiber

Properties of Flax Fiber
Yashashree Ingle
Department of Textile Technology
Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai ,Maharashtra, India.

Chemical Composition:
  • Cellulose-65-70%
  • Pectin Substance-20-25%
  • Woody and Cuticular tissues- 4.5%
  • Ash-1%

Chemical Characteristics:
  • Cellulose- 85%
  • Hemi Cellulose- 9%
  • Lignen- 4%
  • Ash- 1%

Physical Characteristics of Flax Fiber:
  • Density- 1.4 gm/cc
  • Standard Moisture regain- 10 to 12%
  • Diameter of stem – 2 to 3 mm
  • Tenacity- 6 to 8.5 gm/ den
  • Elongation
  • Wet-1.8%
  • Dry-2.2%
    Fig- Flax before fiber extraction

Chemical properties of Flax Fiber:

Action of acids and alkalis:
  • Acid have same effect on linen as cotton, concentrated strong acids like sulphuric acids, hydrochloric and nitric acid destroy fibers.
  • Dilute acids tends to weaken fibers
  • The flax fiber is attacked more readily by alkalies than cotton weak alkalies like borax, aluminium do not injure linen.

Affinity for Dyestuffs:
  • It requires special dyes because of the hardness and less penetrability of fiber.
  • Linen yarn often being of uneven thickness will dye somewhat unevenly and this fact gives the natural look quality.

Reaction to Bleaches:
  • Linen does not stain as readily as cotton but it is difficult to bleach. It gets weakened by sodium hypochlorite bleaches.

Effect of Organic Solvent:
  • Flax is adversely affected by dry cleaning solvents in common use.

Physical properties of Flax Fiber:

Length of fiber:
  • It ranges in length up to 90 cm

  • It has characteristic silky luster.

  • Linen is stronger than cotton and its tensile strength increases when the fiber is in wet condition. 
  • Over retting weakens the fiber appreciably.

  • It absorbs moisture and dries more quickly than cotton.

Heat conductivity:
  • Linen is better than cotton as conductor of heat. It carries away heat away from the body faster.
  • Hence garment made from linen feel cooler than those of comparable weight in cotton.

  • Linen does not shrink a great deal, infact it shrinks less than cotton.

  • Linen has more body than cotton and hence drape somewhat more than cotton.

  • Linen has no significant elasticity, in fact it is least elastic of natural fibers.

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