Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Fiber plants
(1,104 words)

1. General

While flax and hemp were widely used for apparel from antiquity on, cotton came into use in central Europe in the High Middle Ages --initially, in the 16th century, as a component of a mixed fabric; then, from the 17th century, as pure cotton, it took its place alongside linen woven from flax. Sisal fiber derived from the Mexican agave was first imported from Yucatán in the first half of the 19th century and used in the manufacture of sacks and sails.

2. Flax

Flax (Lat. linum usitatissimum) flourishes prim…

Cite this page
Kießling, Rolf, “Fiber plants”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_019144>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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