Ramie is also known as China grass, grass linen, rhea and grasscloth. Ramie fibers are one of the oldest natural vegetable fibers, used for thousands of years for fabric and clothing, including ancient Egyptian mummy wraps and shrouds.
Natural ability to resist stain
Strong and durable
Naturally resistant to bacteria, molds and mildew
Low elasticity so it doesn't shrink easily
Withstands higher water temperatures
Keeps it's shape well
Resistant to light, rot and insect attack
Dyes fairly easily
Fiber can be bleached
Absorbs heat and releases moisture making it comfortable to wear in warm weather
Ramie Fiber Disadvantages
Low abrasion resistance
Stiff and brittle unless blended with other fibers (ie: cotton, hemp)
Low elasticity and resiliency
Dark colors may lose vibrancy
Higher prices due to increased production costs
Ramie Fabric Care
Ramie Clothing Care labels may vary according to fiber blends, so read and follow these. As with all fabrics, handling gently prolongs the life of the fabric.
Products that are 100% ramie shouldn't require any special care. Washing or ironing at high settings is possible without harming the fiber, but shrinkage and color retention may be affected when blended with other fibers.
For best results, machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle or hand wash, followed by flat drying. Because constant creasing can cause fiber breakage, avoid ironing sharp creases in the fabric.
Blending Grasscloth Fibers
The fiber is white, lustrous, and fine like silk. However it is somewhat stiff and brittle, which is great for coarser products like twine, rope, wallpaper and nets.
Ramie is often used as a substitute for cotton. When spun wet it produces a high luster softer yarn. Dry spinning results in a harsher, hairier yarn.
The versatility of ramie fiber allows for it to be made into fine yarn for all garments ranging from dresses and suits to sportswear and jeans.
Fabrics of 100% long, fine ramie fibers are lightweight and silky. The fibers are uneven which gives ramie fabric a similar appearance to linen. Naturally, using 100% coarser fibers results in courser fabrics.
In order to produce fabrics with various improved characteristics, ramie is often blended with other fibers, such as
By doing so, creation of fabrics from fine linens to coarse canvas gives ramie fibers almost unlimited potential.
By blending with wool,
the fabric is lighter and shrinking is minimized. Cotton blends result in increased strength, color and luster while rayon blends result in a higher wet strength. It is also commonly used as a substitute for
and can also be blended with silk fibers.
China grass fibers are commonly used in blends for sewing threads, sweaters, clothing and linens. Due to the fashion industry becoming more and more eco-conscious, the popularity of ramie will continue to rise.
Interest in ramie is being rekindled and is appearing more often in the fiber content of clothing and textiles. Because of the trend toward natural fibers, expect to see ramie become even more popular.
Ramie fabric is used for apparel including suits, skirts, jackets, dresses, shirts, blouses, pants and handkerchiefs.
It is also commonly used in home fashion articles such as draperies, upholstery, linens and thread.
Industrial uses of ramie include parachute fabrics, fire hoses, and canvas. High quality paper goods like bank notes and cigarette papers are produced from the short fibers.
Environmental Benefits And Sustainability
Ramie is a member of the nettle family with growing more suited to tropical climates.
This hardy perennial can be harvested up to six times a year with a useful crop life of 6 to 20 years and produces premium long vegetable fibers.
It is a highly sustainable fiber source which makes it a wonderful eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibers.
High yields of biomass are often produced but ramie is susceptible to pests and disease. Fiber extraction is an expensive process which leads to a higher price for rhea fibers.
The clothing and textile industry recognizes ramie as a premium product because it is one of the strongest natural fibers. It's strength can be up to 8 times stronger than cotton and has the quality of being even stronger when it is wet.
Care What You Wear...
Where To Find Ramie Clothing
Check out the great ramie blends and affordable prices for men, women and children
at our A-Store.