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Ayson B. 1977. Miranui - the story of New Zealand's largest flax mill.

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(Mira = mill, nui = big). 1907-1933. A. L. Seifert Flaxdressing Co. 2500 tons fibre from 22,000 tons flax leaf.

Disease outbreak 1918, viral outbreak `yellowleaf". Yield dropped from 30 tons per acre for 3-4 year old crops to 7-8 tons in crops 5-6 year old.

In 1919, experiments carried out by Easterfield on prospects of manufacturing industrial alcohol by fermenting leaf juices. Never went beyond experimental stage. Tests at mill indicated that 50,000 gals per year of 95% alcohol flowed down Miranui drains.

Small amount of paper also manufactured from flax waste.

New method of flaxcutting tried, `sideleafing", i.e. leaving centre leaves instead of chopping whole bush. Increase in production costs, but 90% greater yield because flax could be cut yearly instead of every 4 or 5. But continuous cutting made leaves grow smaller.

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Miranui - the story of New Zealand's largest flax mill

Ayson B.

Southern Press Industrial Archaeology Series

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12 June 2007
18 June 2020
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