Flax Grows Again in Crete After 100 Years


After almost one hundred years flax will be grown again in Crete for textile use. The Penelope Gandhi mission women’s team, in cooperation with the Technical Educational Institute of Crete students and the University of Mountains decided to grow the crops which had helped the region’s microeconomic development in the past.

The team has decided to use fields in three different areas in Chania, Rethymnon and Heraklion. This move will help women in the region, but also the members of Penelope Gandhi mission, to strengthen flax farming which offers major opportunities in the international market.

Different varieties of flax not only can provide food, textile and clothing products, but they are also applied in heavy industries such as the production of ecological paint. Linoleum is also significant in pharmacology as it is extremely beneficial to the human body. The cultivation of flax is considered by agronomists very profitable and efficient.

Originating from Asia and India, flax is one of the oldest plants cultivated by man and it has helped in the production of clothing and yarns.

This campaign aims to remind people in Crete, and Greece in general that tradition is important, but also that we must learn about our national wealth, preserve it and pass it on to the next generations.

Penelope Gandhi mission which operates within the University of Mountains framework, is a non-profitable operation with participants from cultural organizations and academic staff from the University of Crete. Its aim is to highlight, save, preserve and spread the cultural heritage concerning the loom and textile art in Crete. Furthermore, the University of Mountains was founded in Crete as a movement, an organization and an act of integral vertical intervention towards the grassroots of society. It is a project for the rallying of a dynamic community of researchers, academia, social partners and citizens of the mountainous rural areas which function in conditions of original interaction and mutual learning.