Definition of Ramie

Ramie is a natural woody fibre resembling flax. Also know as rhea and China grass, it is obtained from a tall shrub grown in South-east Asia. China, Japan, and southern Europe. The fibre is stiff, more brittle than linen, and highly lustrous. It can be bleached to extreme whiteness. Ramie fibres are long and very fine. They are white and lustrous and almost silk-like in appearance. The strength of ramie is excellent and varies from 5.3 to 7.4 grams per denier. Elastic recovery is low and elongation is poor. Ramie lends itself to general processing for textile yarns, but its retting operation is difficult and costly, making the fibre unprofitable for general use. When combed, ramie is half the density of linen, but much stronger, coarser, and more absorbent. It has permanent lustre and good affinity for dyes; it is affected little by moisture. Ramie is used as filling yarn in mixed woollen fabrics, as adulteration with silk fibres, and as a substitute for flax. The China-grass cloth use by the Chinese is made of Ramie. This fibre is also useful for rope, twine, and nets.

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