Ramie, also known as “China Grass”, is a flowering plant native to eastern Asia. For centuries, ramie fiber has been used for making fabrics and clothing. In fact, ramie has been used for clothes since at least 5000 - 3000 BC in Egypt.
Ramie fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers. Ramie can be up to 8 times stronger than cotton, and is even stronger when wet.
Ramie as a fabric, can be a great eco-friendly alternative to using synthetic fibers or non-organic fibers. It is also very comfortable to wear and is highly absorbent. This makes it a great choice for warmer climates or summer months. Ramie fabric also has good stain resistance. It’s great in the wash too. It doesn’t shrink, can withstand high water temperatures, and it’s lustrous appearance actually improves with washing.
Ramie is low in elasticity and it does wrinkle easily. It is also quite costly to produce compared to other textile fibers, so this tends to raise the price of the end products.
Ramie can be used in a wide range of applications, including:
- Dresses and skirts
- Bed sheets etc
- Table cloths and table towels
- Sewing threads
- Fire hoses
Ramie is often blended with other fibers such as cotton and hemp to produce fabrics with different characteristics.
Companies selling products made with ramie include:
- Australia’s The Earth Collection (who also have a distributor in the UK and Ireland)
- China’s Sichuan JTC Garments Co.Ltd (a subsidiary of Sichuan Cotton and Ramie Group)
- I also found some ramie apparel and ramie bedding at Amazon.com