A study, the results of which were published in the journal Nature Plants, on Monday, concluded that a linen fabric from the time of ancient Egypt retained remarkable mechanical advantages over 4,000 years, calling for an increased use of these fibers in composite materials.
This beige funerary cloth dates back to the period between 2140 and 1976 BC and has been in the collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris since 1929.
A team of scientists from the Institut Dubuis de L'Homme, affiliated with the University of Southern Brittany, France, conducted a full set of tests to compare the resistance of this fabric and the preservation of its structure with these same properties, in modern linen fabric.
Observing the fibers with the latest methods, from electron microscopy to tomography (a technique for examining tissues) with X-rays through nuclear magnetic resonance, confirmed the knowledge that the ancient Egyptians had, as they were good at extracting flax fibers in such a way that it was possible to obtain “ultra-pure” threads. Which is very difficult to reproduce even by the means available today,” according to the researcher.