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Ramie

Natural ramie fibres. Natural ramie fibres.

Ramie is the fibre obtained from the inner bark of various species of the genus Boehmeria, of the family of the Urticaceae (nettle). In the late twentieth century, most commercial ramie came from the Boehmeria nivea. Ramie is also called China grass, or white ramie.

The term ramie can be applied to the plant, the processed fibres, the spun fibres as well as the woven form. Sometimes ramie cloth is also called grass linen or grass cloth. 

Ramie has long been used in China and Japan as a staple fabric and ramie is often misidentified as linen (which is not native to East Asia). Currently, and contrary to some suggestions, there is no evidence to suggest that ramie was used by the ancient Egyptians. By the end of the twentieth century, ramie was being commercially grown and exported by Brazil, China and the Philippines.

Sources:

  • BURNHAM, Dorothy (1980). Warp and Weft: A Textile Terminology, Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, p. 105.
  • TORTORA, Phyllis G. and Ingrid JOHNSON (2014). The Fairchild Books: Dictionary of Textiles, 8th edition, London: Bloomsbury, p. 496.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18th June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 14:08