Flaxseed For Industrial Use

Products of the flax plant have used by man for over 5000 years. The ancient population used flax for a wide variety of uses including food, illumination, medicine and fiber.


Flaxseed was first introduced to the United States by the early colonists, primarily for the production of fiber for clothing. As the United States grew and more buildings were constructed, the need for linseed oil for use in paints increased. There was also an increased demand for linseed meal for livestock and poultry feed. As a result, the linseed oil processing industry was developed in the late 18th century.


Today, products of the flax plant have found wide usage and have grown in number and importance. Their expanded use over the years has been an important factor in the United States agriculture and industrial economy. Most of the flaxseed is produced in North Dakota and processed to linseed oil and linseed oil meal. The industrial processors pursue and fund their programs of research and development and marketing strategies on paints and coatings, etc.


Flaxseed - sometimes referred to as linseed - is the seed of the flax plant. The primary industrial use for flaxseed other than seed for planting is for processing to obtain linseed oil and linseed meal.

  • Linseed Oil
           - Linseed oil, which has been produced in this country since 1793, has enjoyed wide
             usage in many industries. Up until World War 1, linseed oil was the main vehicle
             available for protective coatings and other manufactured products.

                 - Linseed oil can be used as a drying oil vehicle in paints, varnishes, lacquers,
                   enamels, oilcloth, linoleum, oil clothing, tarpaulins and tenting, patent leather, textiles,
                   printing inks, soap, shoe polish and other specialty items.

                 -  Archer Daniel Midland Linseed Oil Brochure

  • Linseed Meal 
           - Linseed meal is a byproduct of flaxseed after it is crushed for linseed oil. The product
             is used as a high-protein animal and poultry feed. Linseed meal has a unique
             combination of amino acids in the protein, which produces a glossy, healthy coat for
             animals. Because of this, horse breeders throughout the United States use linseed
  • Flax Fiber 
           - Flax is also grown for the fiber produced from the stem of the plant. The fiber is
             processed to make the finest paper and linen products. The fiber because it is a
             durable product, is also used to make mulches for horticultural use.