flax for spinning

5000 years ago flax cloth was reserved for kings … Thanks to Procotex, the whole world can purchase it today.

scutched flax
  • This is the longest fibre obtained from the flax straw after the scutching process.
  • Depending on the location, the soil and weather conditions during retting, every field has a different quality. Every field is scutched separately and sold in one lot.
  • The quality of the scutched flax is assessed in function of the homogeneity in length, the retting quality, the colour, the strength and the fineness of the fibre.
scutched flax scutched flax

This fibre lies at the roots of our company. We inherited the unique experience to sort flax from our ancestors. This specialised task after all requires all senses. Backed by this experience, we now supply flax fibres all over the world.

scutched flax scutched flax
hackled flax
  • Hackling is the preparation of the flax fibres before the spinning process where the scutched flax is hackled or refined using the variable density of hackling pins.
  • Depending on the fineness of the fibre, yarn can be spun from the hackled sliver in a wet spinning process between 8 nm and 100 nm.
  • The hackled sliver of 30-35 gr/m is packed fully automatically in bumps of 30 kg and automatically placed on a palette.
hackled flax hackled flax

The most important phase in the spinning of flax is undoubtedly the hackling process. Irregularities on the sliver during hackling can after all not be fixed anymore during spinning. That is why Procotex, as a pioneer and market leader – our annual capacity is 6 500 ton! – is particularly proud of the fact that our hackled sliver is known worldwide because of its excellent quality.

As a true specialist, Procotex however opted for discontinuous hackling (Mackie type). It is after all proven scientifically that the conventional hackling process (Mackie type) guarantees a better quality than the continuous hackling process (Linimpianti process). Thus Procotex acquired a quasi-monopoly in the finer hackling tow intended for finer hackled sliver for finer spinning numbers (from 32 nm to 100 nm). Even China buys these numbers from Procotex. To secure this unique quality and our competitive advantage in the future, we took over the Lithuanian Linolitas in 2012.

hackled flax hackled flax
carded & combed tops
  • The tops are spun on a wool spinning system.
  • Can be mixed at the client in tops format with other fibres with a length between 100-130 mm, such as wool, polyester and viscose.
  • Scutched tow and/or hackled tow are the raw materials used for carding and combing.
  • Can be mixed at the client at a ratio of 5% to even more than 50% flax.
  • Depending on the fineness of the flax fibres and the blending %, one can spin yarns between 9.6 nm and 80 nm.
  • There is the possibility of cracking (bringing fibres to a maximum length) and double combing.
  • We can also cut these carded and combed tops at precision lengths for other technical applications (thermoplast/thermoset)
  • By-products can be sold to the paper industry to be used for high-quality paper types. The insulation sector also knows and appreciates the incredible acoustic values of this unique quality.
carded & combed tops carded & combed tops
  • Ecru (natural colour of dew retted flax)
  • Yellow (the colour of water retted flax)
  • Light or dark beige: degummed flax fibres. (boiled flax fibres of which the pectin is removed )
  • Light ecru: washed fibres further promoting the fineness of the fibres.
  • Bleached

After 35 years, Procotex experience in these extremely delicate and very specialized activities cannot be expressed any other way than as unique. Procotex also scored exceptionally high on stability in capacity and quality (covering various harvests). This is due to the large stocks in hackled tow in our own hackling department. Procotex is also the only market player combining the hackling and carding/combing under the same roof.

As an expert in top quality hackling tow, we have access to the best and finest raw materials (hackled tow) to produce exceptional quality combed tops . And in order to guarantee this excellence, all produced tops are tested in a hypermodern lab (Sirolan and All meter tests). Procotex would not be Procotex if we didn’t also consider improving flexibility and just-in-time delivery. We therefore also use storage sites in various countries. Just for you!

carded & combed tops carded & combed tops
cottonized flax
  • These are flax fibres that are shortened and refined in order to be spun on a cotton system. (Ring or Open-end )
  • These flax fibres can have a length between 38-51mm, depending on the customer’s requirements.
  • These cottonized flax fibres can be s spun together with the cotton, polyester, viscose… from the cards.
  • The % of the mixture depends on the fineness of the flax fibres and the thickness of the yarn one intends spinning. Usually, 10% to more than 50% flax is mixed with other fibres. Procotex has previously had an open-end spinning plant that could spin 100% cottonized flax fibres. Off course, we like to share this experience with all our customers.
  • The yarn numbers can vary from Ne 8 to Ne 55.
  • The flax fibres are pressed in bales of 250 kg and packed with a plastic wrap or jute cloth around it.
  • Apart from spinning cottonized flax fibres, it is also used in high-quality paper and in the insulation industry.
cottonized flax cottonized flax

Thirty years ago, Procotex was already all ears for the wishes of the customers. Because cotton spinners want to mix flax fibres with short fibres such as cotton, polyester, viscose, … Procotex modified the flax fibres through cottonization (shorter and finer). Another good proof that the customer comes first, is the fact that we are able to deliver flexible and just-in-time worldwide from various warehouse sites in different countries. And thanks to a capacity of 3000 ton per year, we also always have our standard quality (!) in stock. Add the continuous testing in our ultramodern lab and the takeover in 2001 of our Lithuanian plant (Linolitas) and you will understand that Procotex’s quality and competitiveness are guaranteed in the future.

  • combings: are converted into cottonized flax fibers or sold to be used in the making of banknotes. The cellulose in this material can also be used to make sponges.
  • card waste: used in the paper industry.
by-products by-products

Do you need more information on the cultivation and processing of flax? The processing of linseed to linen fabric is explained from needle to thread in this video.