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Rulinen group » Preimushestva

Flax - one of the few renewable raw materials found in nature - is Russia’s national treasure and, historically, a crucial export commodity.

The properties of flax were discovered by ancient Egyptians many centuries BC. According to Herodotes, flax was farmed in what would later become Russia as early as the 6th century BC. In Russia, flax growing and spinning goes back to the 8th century AD. Almost every peasant family weaved its own cloth fabrics.
According to a legend, the Russian Bogatyr warriors Aliosha Popovich, Dobrynia Nikitich and Ilya Muromets wore flax shirts when they were kids. Our forefathers wrapped their infants in cloth fabrics, and believed those would keep away evil and disease.
Flax fabrics were widespread in Russia by the 9th century. In his 1050-1051 Church Charter, Prince Yaroslav made a special provision on punishment for the theft of flax or flax clothing.

Vologda, which was famous for its linen fabrics, was targeted by the Novgorodians, who exported flax cloth to Europe from the 12th century on. When the White Sea trade route was discovered in the 16th century, English merchants flocked in to buy huge quantities of crude flax and cloth from Vologda.

Russia’s linen industry received a further impetus in the 18th century, when Peter I issued an edict On Propagating Flax and Hemp Weaving in All Regions. This was the time when the first cloth factories appeared. By the end of the 18th century, flax weaving was way ahead of all other industries in Russia. The main flax weaving regions were Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Vladimir and Moscow.
In 1763, Catherine II ruled to allow unrestricted exports of flax, giving a further boost to the industry. In the 18th century, most linen factories in England and France were using Russian flax fiber. Russia was exporting 1 million poods of flax annually at the end of the 18th century.  Vologda produced some of the best flax in Russia. There is a record of flax with 32 thread count being sold, which was nearly double the usual flax density.

Thanks to favorable soil and climate, as well as its location at a trade crossroads, Vologda emerged as one of the leading commercial flax producer among Russia’s 25 regions that produced flax. At the end of the 19th century, the region’s 10 uezds were growing flax on 31,600 hectares of land, yielding as much as 14,000 tons of fiber.

For centuries, the popular belief in the extraordinary properties of flax fabrics was founded on intuition and observation alone. However, scientific research, which did not begin until after WWII, confirmed the therapeutic effect of flax fabrics.

In 1962, a team of researchers led by Doctor Y.V. Vadkovskaya tested several garments, made from different fabrics, in a variety of climate conditions, and found that flax fabrics were unrivaled on many counts.

Flax today is not only the prime raw material for the textile industry; it is a strategic resource used in many industrial applications in the pulp and paper, medical, chemical, defense, automotive and other industries.

The importance of flax and flax fabrics is conditioned by their unique biological and therapeutic characteristics that help human beings quickly and comfortably adapt to adverse, even extreme conditions.

Hygienic properties

Flax fibers are known to suppress bacteria. During WWI, soldiers stuffed their mattresses with flax hay as a safeguard against skin diseases. Recent research has shown that when your body is wrapped in a damp flax cloth, this helps clean the body from impurities. Many SPA centers in Europe offer this procedure as a way to rejuvenate and heal the skin.

Hygroscopic properties

On a hot, humid night, no other garments will remain as fresh and cool as flax linens. Dermatologists recommend flax pajamas and nightgowns for their excellent hygroscopic properties. When you sleep, your body temperature rises and sweating increases. The hygroscopic properties of flax make it the preferred material for summer clothes. While absorbing moisture, flax garments never stick to your body, and you always feel comfortable. Your body breathes freely.

Heat shielding properties

On a hot day, one should wear clothes made from natural fabrics as they let the air in. Among natural fabrics, flax is arguably the best because of its ability to keep the heat out. Research conducted by Y.V. Vadkovskaya in Central Asia testified that the temperature between the body and the clothing fabric was 3 to 4 degrees lower on people wearing flax garments than those wearing cotton.

UV shield

Dense, white flax fabrics reflect nearly the entire spectrum of sunrays. Reducing static fields and absorbing ionizing radiation, flax garments create a microclimate that’s very good for you.

Deodorizing properties

The antiseptic and hygroscopic properties of flax make it the ideal material for certainparts of footwear, such as the inside of the heel, or the innersole. Flax reduces humidity inside the shoe, suppresses bacteria and neutralizes odors.

Durability and longevity

Being a natural fiber of herbal origin, flax is naturally durable and not prone to natural disintegration. When you buy a flax product, you can be assured that it will last long and look good throughout its life. Flax garments never turn yellow from use. They become softer and whiter every time you wash them.

The unique properties of flax are highly acclaimed worldwide. In Europe, sales of flax garments have multiplied in the past ten years. No wonder: flax garments look good and they’re good for you!

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