Clothing, linens, upholstery … Linen is on the rise. This natural and ecological fiber is full of advantages. In Hauts-de-France, the still flowering flax fields stretch as far as the eye can see. France is the world’s leading producer of flax fibers. Thus, 120,000 hectares are cultivated each year, and in ten years, areas have increased by 130% between Normandy and Flanders.
Once the stems are pulled out, they will rest on the ground for two months. The harvest will then be processed in a factory. Scutching is the first industrial step. “The plant will go through grinders, it will break the small particle of wood inside (…), afterwards, we will come to clean, remove the last small impurities and recover the fiber at the end of the line“, details Quentin Decock, director of a flax scutching company in Laon (Aisne). Today, 85% of their production goes to Asia to be spun in China. But soon, a small part of their stock will go a hundred kilometers away.
So at Béthune (Pas-de-Calais), the precious spinning looms of Safilin company are back, 25 years after being relocated to Poland. The company is preparing to re-install a spinning production line in its historic basin in northern France. Thirty people will be recruited and trained by Polish workers. For this relocation project, the president of Safilin received state aid of 800,000 euros.