Textile Encyclopedia

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Ramie

Ramie is a bast fiber from the stalk of the ramie plant, Boehmeria nivea, also known as “China grass.” The plant is a perennial shrub that can be cut several times a year once mature. The cut plant’s stalks are peeled or retted to remove the outer woody covering, revealing the fine fibers underneath. Degumming removes pectins and waxes, followed by bleaching, neutralizing, washing, and drying. The fiber is similar to flax but more brittle. Ramie can be spun alone or with other fibers, especially cotton.