As a general rule the removal of the " bolls " or capsules by the process of rippling immediately follows the pulling, the operation being performed in the field; but under some systems of cultivation, as, for example, the Courtrai method, alluded to below, the crop is made up into sheaves, dried and stacked, and is only boiled and retted in the early part of the next ensuing season.
One part was retted at Millisle by the patent-system of Loppens and Deswarte; the other was sent to Courtrai and steeped in the Lys.
Both lots when retted and scutched were examined by an inspector of the department and by several flax spinners.
That which was retted at Millisle was pronounced superior to the other " " To summarise results up to date '.
There the flax is dried in the field, and housed or stacked during the winter succeeding its growth, and in the spring of the following year it is retted in crates sunk in the sluggish waters of the river Lys.
Of retted stalks, and from that 6 cwt.
At no very remote date it was the practice in Scotland for every small farmer and cotter not only to grow " lint " or flax in small patches, but to have it retted, scutched, cleaned, spun, woven, bleached and finished entirely within the limits of his own premises, and all by members or dependents of the family.
The last-named (SD and PSD) are dew-retted qualities shipped from Riga either as Lithuanian Slanitz, Wellish Slanitz or Wiasma Slanitz, showing from what district they come, as there are differences in the quality of the produce of each district.
Both dew-retted and water-retted flax are exported from St Petersburg, the dew-retted or Slanitz flax being marked 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Crown, also Zebrack No.
The work of van Tieghem, van Senus, Fribes, Omeliansky and others has now shown that while certain anaerobic bacteria decompose the substance of the middle lamella - chiefly pectin compounds - and thus bring about the isolation of the cellulose fibres when, for instance, flax is steeped or " retted," they are unable to attack the cellulose itself.
They are then pulled, and after the seed has been removed are retted in the ordinary way.