Flax

Flax

(flks), n. [AS. fleax; akin to D. vlas, OHG. flahs, G. flachs, and prob. to flechten to braid, plait,m twist, L. plectere to weave, plicare to fold, Gr. to weave, plait. See Ply.] 1. (Bot.) A plant of the genus Linum, esp. the L. usitatissimum, which has a single, slender stalk, about a foot and a half high, with blue flowers. The fiber of the bark is used for making thread and cloth, called linen, cambric, lawn, lace, etc. Linseed oil is expressed from the seed.
[1913 Webster]

2. The skin or fibrous part of the flax plant, when broken and cleaned by hatcheling or combing.
[1913 Webster]

Earth flax (Min.), amianthus. -- Flax brake, a machine for removing the woody portion of flax from the fibrous. -- Flax comb, a hatchel, hackle, or heckle. -- Flax cotton, the fiber of flax, reduced by steeping in bicarbonate of soda and acidulated liquids, and prepared for bleaching and spinning like cotton. Knight. -- Flax dresser, one who breaks and swingles flax, or prepares it for the spinner. -- Flax mill, a mill or factory where flax is spun or linen manufactured. -- Flax puller, a machine for pulling flax plants in the field. -- Flax wench. (a) A woman who spins flax. [Obs.] (b) A prostitute. [Obs.] Shak. -- Mountain flax (Min.), amianthus. -- New Zealand flax (Bot.) See Flax-plant.
[1913 Webster]

 

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