Harvesting flax


Harvesting flax

The Linen Craft

Fading colors

After sowing, growing, pulling and retting, it is time to harvest the flax. After each turning of the flax, the farmer estimates when the flax will be ready for harvesting. The fading of the colors by the sun is a key indicator for the farmer. Estimating the right time for harvesting is essential for the quality of the yield. Harvesting too early makes it more difficult to harvest the fibers. When the farmer is too late, the fibers will start rotting, strongly degrading the quality of the fibers.

Seed pods

During the bloom, the plant develops multiple small seed pods. Linseed is a healthy food, containing fatty acids that have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. You must have seen it on the crust of your favorite bread already. The oil squeezed from these seeds is not only ideal for cooking, but also for making paint, linoleum and soaps. The freshly harvested seeds have a high germinating power and are thus perfect for the sowing cycle of the upcoming season.

Hay fire

Rainfall can delay the harvesting process as the flax has to be dry. Customized machinery pick up the flax and tie it into large bales. Should the flax still be wet, the retting process could continue in these bales. In extreme conditions, the fermentation could cause heat on the inside, igniting a hay fire.

The bales will remain on the fields just for a little while, awaiting their transport bringing them to their next destination: the scutcher.

"7,5 metric tons/ha is a good yield"

The yield on this particular 8-acre field was rather good: a harvest of 203 bales in total, weighing approximately 300 kg each. Here, the farmers harvested a total amount of 60,9 tons, or 7,6 tons per hectare. A yield of 7,5 tons per hectare (= 2,47 acres) is considered a good yield. 

The Linen Craft illustrates the passion and dedication of linen artisans. Browse through the making of our linen, from fiber to fabric, with detailed images. A luxurious hardcover in three languages: English, French and Dutch.

Linen Craft - Book laying in a field of flax

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