Van Robaeys Frères

Culture et préparation de fibre de lin

History of flax fiber

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Flax is known since the Antiquity and is often considered as the oldest textile in the world.
The first traces of its use have been found in Turkey around 10,000 BC. Uses of flax were also found in Switzerland around 8000 BC.


However, it is under the Egypt of Pharaohs that the use of flax has really started to grow, notably for mummification. Flax was also used for clothes, ropes and sails for boats. The seeds were consumed for their nutritional qualities.

The fiber then arrived in Greece and Rome thanks to the Phoenicians.


In Gaulle, flax was cultivated long before the Roman invasion. However, it is Charlemagne who really gave impetus to this craft. And it is since the eleventh century that the use of flax is widespread. The Bayeux tapestry is an evidence of the presence fiber at that time.

During the thirteenth century, the culture of flax grew up in Flanders, Brittany and Anjou.


Flax really reached its apogee during the seventeenth century . It was then used in the manufacture of fine cloth, gowns and handkerchiefs.

In the nineteenth century, there was a decline of lax because of the intensive use of cotton.

Farm mechanization, plant breeding, development of scutching have appeared during the following decades.

Nowadays, growing and processing are industrialized, but still, flax does not lose its noble character, combining tradition and modernity.