Harvest time: pulling and dew retting
Once the plants have fully developed, it’s time to harvest.
One special thing about flax is that it is not cut when harvested; instead, the plants are pulled from the ground, roots and all. The flax is then laid out flat on the fields.
Now it is time for dew retting: the transition between sun, dew and rain along with the help of bacteria and fungi from the soil dissolve stem material surrounding the fibres. The fibres are connected to the solid wood and stem components by pectins, similar to glue. This process dissolves these pectins, and the individual components can then be separated from each other.
This process is completely natural and requires no chemicals or other additives. In fact, the nutrients that are released from the plants during dew retting are actually reabsorbed by the soil.
Once retting is complete, the harvest can be brought in.