DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Scanning electron micrograph of the weave of a piece of linen. Linen is made from the fibres of the stem of the flax plant Linum usitatissimum, the seeds of which yield linseed oil. For fibre production the plants are sown close together to produce a tall, erect stand. Harvesting of the stems is followed by a process called retting, in which the stems are steeped in water for a period of time. During the steeping bacterial action (Clostridium spp), dissolves the soft, fleshy parts, leaving the tough, thickened cell walls of the fibrous tissue. This is mechanically beaten & combed to produce a pure cellulose fibre material. Magnification:X45 at 10x8 inch, x13 at 6x7cm size.
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