Phormium is a cream-coloured fibre with a fine silky gloss, capable of being spun and woven into many of the heavier textures for which flax is used, either alone or in combination with flax.
It is usually inexpedient to apply manure directly to the flax crop, as the tendency of this is to produce over-luxuriance, and thereby to mar the quality of the fibre, on which its value chiefly depends.
In 1765 he published a small pamphlet On the Flax Husbandry of Scotland; and, besides availing himself of his extensive acquaintance with the proprietors of Scotland to recommend the introduction of manufactures, he took a prominent part in furthering the project of the Forth and Clyde Canal.
The employment of children under fourteen years of age in coal-mines is forbidden, as is also the employment of children under fourteen years of age in any cotton, woollen, silk, paper, bagging or flax factory, or in any laundry, or the employment of children under twelve years of age in any mill or factory whatever within the commonwealth.
Archangel flax is, however, peculiarly soft and silky in structure, although in all probability water-retting would result in a fibre as good or even better in quality.
This annual flax appears to have been introduced into the north of Europe by the Finns, afterwards into the west of Europe by the western Aryans, and perhaps here and there by the Phoenicians; lastly, into Hindustan by the eastern Aryans after their separation from the European Aryans.
The leading industries are ship-building, bleaching and the making of flax and glue.
The flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) belongs to the natural order Linaceae, and, like most plants which have been long under cultivation, it possesses numerous varieties, while its origin is doubtful.
But for an English trade, which sprang up out of the halfsmuggling, half-buccaneering enterprise of the Bristol merchants, the island would have fared badly, for during the whole of the 15th century their trade with England, exporting sulphur, eiderdown (of which the English taught them the value), wool, and salt stock-fish, and importing as before wood, iron, honey, wine, grain and flax goods, was their only link with the outer world.
LINSEED, the seed of the common flax or lint, Linum usitatissimum.