FLAX – University of Copenhagen


FLAX – Interdisciplinary research on the evolution and cultural history of the useful plant flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) – a resource for food and textiles since 8000 years

Flax is an important plant for its oil and fibres and has therefore a lot of meanings for human culture and development since more than 8000 years. The products of flax still play a role in our modern everyday life. The seeds are well-known to be healthy, they contain nutritional values and high amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids; clothes made of linen are the oldest textile manufactured by our ancestors, and have become more popular again during the last decades; and linseed oil is one of the oldest commercial oils that is used since centuries in painting and varnishing. No artificial chemical product has replaced the products of flax.

Financial support, given by the Danish Research Council for the foundation of an international and interdisciplinary FLAX-network, enables to organise two workshops that will give possibility to communicate and exchange new knowledge on the flax plant. Many new research results have been performed by both, researchers from the humanities and the natural sciences during the last decades. We intend to prepare a peer- reviewed publication of the lectures of both workshops.

The FLAX-network will promote international and cross-disciplinary collaboration, and offers thereby a platform to create new research projects.