Scutching is the mechanical operation which, by
breaking and beating the straw flax,
separates the textile fibres in the
stem of the plant from the woody
matter and the bark. The straw is
first broken by feeding it between a
pair of roundtoothed cylinders.
The broken flax straw is then rubbed and
beaten by turbine blades, which
remove the short fibres (tow) and
the waste woody matter (shives).
The layer of fibres which is
produced is then separated in
handfulls, or is rolled on.
short fibers were transported to a
tow scutching line, containing
6 drums, to seperate the short
fibers from the shives.
No part of the
flax plant is wasted : scutched flax
(long fibres) and scutched tow
(short fibres) are used by the
spinners. The shives are used
by the manufacturers of chip boards.
The seeds can be used as sewing
linseed or can produce linseed oil.