Spinning and Weaving of Flax

     Spinning and Weaving of Flax
Yashashree Ingle
Department of Textile Technology
              Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai , Maharashtra

Flax spinning and weaving process

Yarn preparation and Spinning:
  • Flax can be spun by using several spinning systems of which the two principle ones are wet and dry spinning. 
  • There is also the semi wet system and flax when blended with other fiber can also be spun on the cotton, worsted, woolen spinning system.
  • The principle difference between the spinning of flax fiber and the spinning of other fibers is in wet spinning. 
  • The dry spinning system is similar to that of the semi worsted method of yarn production. 
  • Wet spinning unlike requires yarn preparation and spinning frames.
  • The stalk of plant is composed of “pectin” material which act as a cementing material which binds the fiber to each other in the stalk. 
  • The pectins are necessary to remove, enabling the fiber bundles to be easily separate from the shive during scutching.

Hackling and Sliver Forming:
  • Hackling is a type of combing process. Hackling is carried out to straighten, disentangle and parallelise the fibers and also remove short fiber that have not been removed during scutching process.
  • The process produces a sliver of clean, parallel line fiber and a hackled tow. This is then used for composite materials. 
  • There are two types of hackling one is continuous and discontinuous hackling.
  • Production of discontinuous hackling is  60 kgs/hr. Whereas production for continuous hackling is 120kgs/ hr.

WET Spinning (Drafting and Doubling):
  • A typical set would include (open gill type)
  • A drawframe for doubling and drafting is 1 to 6, four or five open gill drafting frames which double and progressively draft the sliver to the required weight per meter.
  • A wet spinning frame is a ring frame with a trough of water( warm) heated to 60 degree celcius plced before the drafting zone. Once it has been dried & wound. It can be woven immediately without further processing.

Dry spinning and Semi wet Spinning:
  • The machinery used for dry spinning flax is similar of that used on semi worsted system for wool. 
  • It is used majorly for flax blended with other fibers e.g cotton, wool, polyester.
  • Counts produce are normally 450tex to 115 tex and it also depends on the fineness of the flax.
  • This type of spinning is basically as dry spinning with addition of a dip roller which transfer water from a trough to the surface of the yarn.This method is generally used to produce yarns for sewing threads yarns produced by this method have lustrous appearance and are smooth.

Yarn Winding:
  • After spinning wet and semi wet yarns are dried at temperature up to 80 degree celcius to reduce their moisture content around 12%. Then they are wound on to package for further procedures.

Modern Development in Flax Spinning:
  • There are various attempts made to modify flax structure to enable them to be spun on cotton system machinery. The new technology has enabled to the flax fiber to be “affined” which produces fiber being blended with cotton, wool, polyester , silk and spun on various spinning system used for their fibers.

Weaving of Flax:
  • Weaving is the method of producing fabric from flax yarn. 
  • Nearly all linen apparel fabrics were mainly woven on narrow loom with reed width of approx. 100 cm.
  • For weaving, flax yarn should have high tenacity, then the flax yarn is passed on to the warping machine which is difficult but now the problem is solved with new technology.
  • For sizing the most commonly used sizes are PVA, starch with deposite rate4% to 10%. Optimum weaving condition for flax weaving is 20-23 degree Celsius with relative humidity of around 75 to 85%
    Flax Weaving
    Fig- Loom for Weaving

Weaving Conditions:
Weaving of flax generally involves some amount of ‘flax fly’ which consist of dust , very short fibers and rubbed of sizing agents. The amount of fly needs to be minimized for following two reasons:
  • Heath and Safety- Inahalation of small particles can lead to respiratory disorder with time.
  • Quality- If the fly settles of the surface of warps can lead to yarn breaks during weaving and faults in fabric.

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