In fact ancient Egyptians grew a lot of flax. In South Dakota as recently as 50 years ago, the horizon was flecked with blue-tinted flax fields looked like lakes.
A wad of pale yellow flax fiber was called a tow. It was fed into a spinning machine and turned into thread. To this day, a blond-haired lad is called a towhead. And of course, flaxseed is considered a health food. People sprinkle it on cereal or bake it into bread, cookies and muffins.