Linseed Oil

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What is Linseed Oil for?

Linseed oil is derived from the flax seeds. The sources of both the flaxseed oil and the linseed oil are the same, however, their processing is different. Linseed oil is used in industrial purposes whereas flaxseed oil is used for consumption since it is proven to be healthy. Flax is amongst the most commercially important and the oldest crops that are grown in the colder climates. Flax seeds are consumed as a healthy diet since they are rich in dietary fibre and omega 3 fatty acids. The linseed oil is derived from both the different types of flax seeds and they have a yellow colour.


Properties of Linseed Oil

The properties of the linseed oil that make them suitable to be used in the industrial purposes are given below.

  1. Drying Properties: 

The linseed oil tends to dry uniformly, however, at a slower rate. Because of this characteristic, it is used in the form of a drying agent in the paint formula, wood finish products, etc.

  1. Imparts Glow: 

The linseed oil makes the wooden surface glow.

  1. Water Resistance: 

It tends to keep the surfaces safe from the water and hence, prevents the materials and metal products from undergoing corrosion, and the furniture from the damages by water.

  1. Building Properties: 

The linseed oil helps to bind the ingredients in several products. It helps in creating a rich and smooth emulsion when all the ingredients get mixed with one another.


Linseed Oil Structure

The linseed oil structure is given below.

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What is Linseed Oil Used for?

Talking about what is linseed used for, here are some of its uses given below.

  1. Linseed oil has its use in the paints for making them more glossy, transparent and fluid.

  2. It is also used in the form of a sealant for the glass windows that tends to harden in a few weeks after the application is done and can then be painted.

  3. The linseed oil is also used by the billiards and the pool cue makers to make cue shafts.

  4. It is used to manufacture linoleum which covers the floors.

  5. It has its use by the luthier for reconditioning the fretboards of the string instruments like mandolin, guitar, violin, etc.

  6. It is also used in the method of traditional oil gilding for sticking the gold leaf sheets to the sub.


What is Boiled Linseed Oil?

The boiled linseed oil consists of a combination of the raw linseed oil, metallic oil drying agents and the stand oil. During the medieval era, the linseed oil was allowed to boil along with lead oxide for giving the boiled linseed oil. The lead oxide used forms lead soaps since it is alkaline in nature, and it promotes polymerisation or hardening of the linseed oil when it reacts with the atmospheric oxygen. The heating process tends to shorten the drying time.


What is Boiled Linseed Oil Used for?

The boiled linseed oil is used for giving a mellow and patented finish to the stripped or newer bare interior wood. This oil is a high and superior quality oil, which is much similar to the raw linseed oil. However, it contains hot air which has been passed through it for improving the drying times. The boiled linseed oil can be used on all different kinds of woods except for the exterior oak. It is also used in the form of a traditional sealer in the stone floors, terracotta tiles, and many other porous surfaces before they undergo waxing.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Linseed Oil Made From?

Ans: The linseed oil is a type of triglycerides, just like any other fats. It is, however, different from the fats since it contains larger amounts of the α-linolenic acid that possesses a distinctive reaction when it is exposed to the oxygen in the air. Linseed oil consists of different kinds of fatty acids in it. The different fatty acids in the linseed oil are listed as follows.

  1. Monounsaturated oleic acid, 18.5–22.6% 

  2. Saturated acids palmitic acid around 7%, and stearic acid about 3.4–4.6%

  3. Doubly unsaturated linoleic acid around 14.2–17%

  4. Triply unsaturated α-linolenic acid about 51.9–55.2%

2. Linseed Oil Comes from What Plant?

Ans: The linseed oil is extracted from the flax seeds called as Linum usitatissimum L., which is a plant largely cultivated in some parts of Europe to get oil or fibre for the commercial and industrial usages. However, the most important countries that produce linseeds are the United States, Canada, China, India, and Argentina, apart from Europe. The linseeds generally consist of 407 of oil, 30% of the dietary fibre, 20% of proteins, 6% of the moisture and 4% of ash.


In the past years, linseed was regarded as the primary source for getting the industrial oil such as paints, polishes, cosmetics and linoleum. Also, linseed has an essential role when it comes to functional foods since it possesses pharmaceutical and nutritional values. The nutritious components of the oil of linseed include protein, oil, lignin, vitamins, minerals, and resolvable fibres.