Flax/linen, a long history as humanity

The use of flax/linen has a long history. Flax/linen was certainly one of the first fibers used by men.

Historical background  

  • 36,000 BC: Fragments of fibers with twists and containing pigments were found in Georgia.
  • 3000 BC: Flax grows in the Nile Valley under the empire of the Pharaohs. It is used for funeral rites.
  • 5th ot 8th century: Phoenicians introduced flax/linen to Greece, Rome, Britain, England, Ireland, Spain ...
  • 8th century: Charlemagne develops handicrafts of linen. .
  • 9th to 13th century: Flax is the most widely used fiber in France. The number of hectaresraises to 300 000 hectares.
  • 19th century: Cotton industry mechanized. Flax is still handmade. It is neglected in favor of cotton.
  • 20th century: Flax/linen is restarted after the first then the Second World War by Flemish farmers settled in the north of France. Flax terroirs concentrate on the most suitable areas along the English Channel.
  • 21th century: The flax represents 75 000 ha in Europe, 50% in Normandy. This area supplies 85% of world uses. Textiles remains the largest market with 90% flax/linen uses. However, technical outlets are emerging as composites.