Ramie is a plant, Boehmeria nivea (also known as Chinese Nettle, Chinese Silk Plant, China Grass, White Ramie, Green Ramie and Rhea) native to China, India and Indonesia, that has been cultivated for more than five thousand years. Today it is one of the most common fibers used in Japanese textiles.
For handspinning, ramie is similar to flax in that it can be either wet or dry spun. Wet spun fiber yields a softer yarn with a higher sheen. Dry spun fiber will produce a "hairier," low luster yarn.
Ramie and ramie blend textiles should be stored flat, as the fibers are somewhat brittle and will break. Avoid excessive folding or pressing hard creases in woven ramie fabrics.
- More absorbent than cotton
- Breathes well
- Like linen, will break if creased or folded in the same place
- One of the strongest natural fibers
- Lacks elasticity
- Blends well with silk
- Will not shrink
- Rot resistant