What is Ramie Fabric?
So you want the low down on these stunning new ECO FRIENDLY fabrics everyone is raving about...? Well here goes:
Ramie is a renewable plant fibre that's derived from a plant in the nettle family. It is biodegradable, making it sustainable compared to synthetic, oil-based fabrics!
The fibres are slubby which gives Ramie an appearance similar to linen. Ramie is reportedly "twice as strong" as Linen, one of the strongest natural fibres and even stronger when wet!
Advantages of Ramie:
🌱 Natural resistance to stains
🌱 Resistant to shrinkage
🌱 Withstands high water temperatures during laundering
🌱 Comfortable and breathable to wear, making it suitable for warm and humid conditions
🌱 Fully natural, sustainable & regenerative material
🌱 An ancient fibre that has been used in clothing for thousands of years
🌱 Holds its shape well
This sustainable, natural cellulose fabric is our latest addition at Fabworks!
With a range of beautiful colours to choose from, including "Golden Sunflower" that is sure to bring sunshine into your wardrobe, or the fabulous red jewel-toned "Poppy Day".
Whatever colour you choose, these gorgeous Ramie’s will bring you a wardrobe of jewel-hued creations!
We're taking a further look into the manufacture of this natural beauty:
Ramie fabric is brand new to Fabworks. We discovered this beautiful textile after researching eco-friendly fibres & textiles!
As a Fabric Shop, we have always aimed to promote sustainability as we sell deadstock & ex-designer fabrics. These fabrics would otherwise be used for landfill or incinerated. We then offer these fabrics in our Mill Shop based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire!
Ramie is a cellulosic fibre, similar to that of Linen. It's made from the stalks of the Chinese Nettle plant. This looks very similar to the European Nettle, however doesn't have the little hairs that sting!
Ramie is an eco-friendly fabric, it is a highly sustainable alternative to synthetic fabrics with fantastic properties! It's naturally resistant to mould, mildew & bacteria, as well as light damage, rot and insects. It can be easily and healthily grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.
Ramie is otherwise known as China Grass, Grass Linen, Rhea & Grass Cloth.
A warm humid climate is essential for cultivating Ramie, (optimum growing temperature of 25-35°C.)
True Ramie or China grass has heart shaped leaves, the underside is white with small dense hairs which do not sting unlike the European stinging nettle. These hairs give the leaves a silvery appearance.
The process of transforming Ramie fibres into textiles is a similar process of that from flax to linen. The Ramie fibre is very fine, like silk, and naturally white in colour. Ramie is often blended with other natural fibres, like cotton or viscose, this can resemble anything from fine linen to a more coarse scrim.
Properties of Ramie:
- Ramie is a cellulose fibre.
- One of the strongest natural fibres and it's even stronger when wet - eight times stronger than cotton!
- Fibres are uneven, giving it a similar appearance to linen.
- Known for it's ability to hold its shape and reduce wrinkling!
- Low in elasticity and elongation potential meaning it does not easily shrink!
- Naturally resistant to bacteria, pests, mildew and attacking insects.
- Extremely absorbent making it comfortable to wear.
- Easy to dye.
- Naturally resistant to stains
- Increased strength when wet
- It can withstand high washing temperatures
- Keeps its shape and doesn't shrink
- It can be bleached
- Sustainable fibre - shorter fibres and wasted fibres are used to manufacture paper!
- Eight times stronger tensile strength than cotton and even silk!
Uses for Ramie:
- Dressmaking - perfect for a number of garments due to its high strength and low degradability, more resistant to creases than linen, perfect for utility styles!
- This Fabric is ideal for structured and semi structured styles like trousers!
- Make our Cordelia Trousers - The Pattern Stash, wide legs are perfect for this cool feeling fabric and the pleated waistline and centre front will hold beautifully.
- Pinefore dresses, tunics, linen tops, drapey dress styles all work lovely for this fabric!
- More casual styles like dungarees will feel relaxed yet stylish, perfect for holiday season, check out our Lynsey Dungarees - The Pattern Stash!
- Structured styles like blazers and waistcoats will keep you smart but cool, try our Jemima Waistcoat - The Pattern Stash.
- Team with our indulgent luxurious Jewel Jacquard linings for s a special finish.
- Perfect for garments & projects that are often washed such as: laundry bags, toiletry bags, aprons, household furnishings like cushions & curtains!