Until linen is made: What is linen material, flax?
There may be surprisingly many scenes where you usually wear linen or use it in your daily life. Bed sheets when staying at a hotel, tablecloths when eating at a restaurant, linen shirts that you usually wear, etc. are countless fiber materials called "linen", but whatever the material is Do you know? The material of linen is the stem of a plant called flax. This time, I would like to focus on this flax (flax).
What is linen material flax?
Linen is a natural material that represents "hemp", which is a general term for fibers obtained from plants. Called the "oldest fiber", it has been used since ancient times. Flax, a plant that makes linen, grows in cold regions and is also cultivated in Japan. First, let me introduce you to flax in Japan and overseas.
Called flax in Japan
We are very familiar with the word linen. Perhaps it's because it's not fashionable and is used by many people all the time. However, when it comes to flax and flux, it may not come to mind.
Flax (flax) is an annual plant belonging to the flax family. Fiber is extracted from the stalk of flax and processed into linen, which is called "linen" when it is spun into yarn.
What are the main production areas for linen?
According to the Paris-based European Linen Federation, linen production is more than 90% in Europe.
In particular, production areas are traditionally concentrated in the Flanders region, which includes northern France, western Belgium and the southern Netherlands. Besides, Russia and China are famous, and most of the linen importers in Japan are now China. Cold regions are suitable for cultivation, and continuous cropping on the same land every year reduces the yield and quality, so it is more efficient to secure a vast land because it requires 3 to 5 years of crop rotation. It is cultivated efficiently by mechanized agriculture using vast land. In Europe, there is a traditional culture of using linen, and in the olden days there was also a culture of using a set of linen products as a wedding tool. In Europe, there is a tendency to regard the quality of linen as a brand depending on the place of cultivation and production, and there are also linens called French linen and Irish linen that are traded at high added value.
Let's turn our attention to Japan. In 1874, flax seeds sent from Russia were cultivated in Sapporo, and the history of linen in Japan began. After that, although it reached its peak throughout Hokkaido, demand and production decreased due to the spread of chemical fibers in the 1940s. Since 2004, there has been a movement to revive production in Tobetsu Town and the Tokachi / Kamikawa region for the purpose of making linen a unique crop of Hokkaido.
Other uses for flax besides linen
When it comes to linen, people tend to focus on items made from fabrics such as clothing and bed linen. But flax doesn't stop there. Let's introduce it at once.
Health benefits of flaxseed oil using flax seeds
"Flax oil" has been featured in various media. This flaxseed oil is an oil extracted from flax seeds. Unrefined flaxseed oil is rich in omega 3, dietary fiber, and lignans, a type of polyphenol, and contains the nutrients that modern fish-deficient people want to eat. In particular, the unsaturated fatty acid omega-3 a-linolenic acid, which cannot be produced in the body, is the greatest merit of linseed oil.
There are many health benefits of flaxseed oil, such as smoothing blood to prevent blood clots, lowering blood pressure, activating intestinal activity, improving basal metabolism and metabolism, and preventing osteoporosis. It is also expected to have beauty effects such as effects and improvement of menopausal disorders. Since it is sensitive to heat, it is best to eat it "raw" without heating, such as by sprinkling it on a salad or grilled fish, or mixing a teaspoon with a smoothie to ensure the nutritional content.
Also for art supplies and pet nutrition
The use of flaxseed oil is not limited to eating.
Linseed oil is used in oil paints, taking advantage of the characteristics of "drying oil" that takes in oxygen and hardens. An oil paint is made by kneading a pigment and linseed oil, which is a drying oil. The linseed oil in the paint takes in oxygen and fixes the pigment. At the same time, it gives luster and transparency.
Flaxseed oil supports healthy human life, but products for family members and pets are also popular. In particular, as nutritional supplements for dogs and cats, there are flaxseed oil mixed with food, powdered flaxseed oil, etc., and a-linolenic acid, which is often deficient in commercially available pet foods, can be ingested to give consideration to pet health. I will. Flaxseed oil is a great product for owners who want to incorporate something that is good for their health for the health of their cute pets. (Please be careful to read the package description for usage and capacity.)
Fleeting flax flowers
Finally, let me introduce you to the beautiful flowers of flax. Japanese flax is cultivated in several places in Hokkaido, but in the place where it is cultivated in Tobetsu-cho, Hokkaido, which is about 25 km from Sapporo, it is pretty about 2.5 cm in diameter from late June to early July. It has a light purple flower.
At the Tobetsu Flax Festival, which is held annually by Tobetsu Town, it is an event where you can enjoy linen flowers, collect linen, and experience spinning related to linen. When the flowers that bloom all over the flax field are in full bloom, the scenery becomes spectacular like a lavender field.
However, there are some things to be careful of when you see flax flowers. The flowers start to bloom early in the morning and bloom in the morning, but all the flowers that bloomed on the day are scattered in the afternoon. Many people visit Tobetsu to see the ephemeral flax flowers. There is also a linen product sale by the Tobetsu Town Tourism Association and a food booth using flax seeds, so you can enjoy a day of interacting with flax flowers and linen.
The linen material, flax, may be something you don't usually notice, and probably most people haven't seen the plant. However, its prettyness is a lot of attractive plants such as oil from flowers and flax seeds. Flax has supported human history since ancient times. Even in Japan, it has a history of being cultivated mainly in Hokkaido, but now it is a fact that it is not cultivated much because of the low import price of linen products. It would be interesting if there is a future in which Hokkaido linen can be a world-class material, such as Irish linen and French linen, which are said to have high added value. When you come across products and information about flax, please think about flax plants in Hokkaido and Europe.