The Einstein team visited TESTEX’s textile testing laboratory to carry out the endurance test.
The Einstein team visited TESTEX’s textile testing laboratory to carry out the endurance test.
Photo: 12

To celebrate the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival 2019 which took place late August in Zug, Swiss television’s programmeEinstein dedicated an episode of their infotainment show to the event.

The Einstein host Tobias Müller and his team visited TESTEX’s textile testing laboratory to carry out the endurance test. Their aim was to test the tear strength of two pairs of Swiss wrestling trousers. The only difference between the two is the origin of the flax – one is from the EU, the other from Switzerland.

To begin, the entire trousers were put to the test exclusively for the television programme, and then the fabric was tested according to the norm ISO 13934-1. The Swiss flax yarn from SwissFlax proved to be stronger, tearing at about 320kg in comparison to the EU flax yarn which tore at about 270kg.

Founded in 2014, the goal of SwissFlax GmbH is to rebuild the value added chain for Swiss flax and to operate industrially. It also serves as a link between Swiss flax farmers and the textile industry.

Mr Füglistaller from SwissFlax gave us some more detailed information about flax after the successful test.

The Swiss wrestling trousers performed much better during the tear strength test. How do you explain the difference in results between the two trousers?

When developing the garn and the linen fabric we worked closely with specialists from the linen weaving mill Schwob and Jenny Fabrics. We only used pure Swiss flax which is well known for its high tear strength.

From the start the focus was put on manufacturing entirely “Swiss Made” wrestling trousers. The versatility of the sustainable and centuries-old fibre is becoming appealing again in the garment industry as it combines tradition and progress in one product.

What role did flax play in the Swiss textile industry?

In the past, there was a tradition of linen weaving in Switzerland - 400 years ago linen was the most important export product of Switzerland. In 1943, 280 hectares of flax were still cultivated, however, cotton and synthetic fibres entirely replaced flax cultivation, leading to the closure of the last linen spinning mill in 1990.

How sustainable is flax?

As a result of local cultivation, short transport distances, low water requirements and little herbicide, flax is a considerably sustainable fibre. The efficiency of the flax plant is unique.

In comparison to cotton, four times more garn can be produced per unit area. In addition, 800kg of linseed is produced for the food industry per hectare of flax.

“TESTEX, with its origins in silk conditioning, shares the same values of tradition, Swissness and innovation as SwissFlax, through which we would like to pursue joint projects in the future”, said Group CMO Marc Sidler.