You may have heard or read about lots of natural fiber fabrics, but how much do you know about this seldomly talked about natural fabric, Ramie fabric?
This fabric is native to China and is considered one of the oldest natural fabrics made from vegetable fibers; since its production, it has been used for several applications.
You will find Ramie fabrics in many fabric stores today, thanks to their striking resemblance to linen, making it quite popular among fashion enthusiasts worldwide.
There are many things to know about this fabric, and indeed, Ramie fabric’s advantages and disadvantages are one of them, which is why it is one of the several motifs of this article.
What is Ramie fabric?
Ramie is a natural fabric that is produced from the stalks of the Ramie plant. Although this fabric is believed to be similar to cotton, it is considered a perfect alternative to cotton in making sweaters, dresses, and pants.
This fabric is known for several properties, but what makes them unique is its ability to resist shrinkage, mildew, and insect.
What is Ramie fabric made of?
Ramie fabric is a linen-like fiber obtained from the stalks of nettle plants found in China.
What is Ramie fabric used for?
Ramie fabric is used mainly to produce industrial sewing thread, filter cloths, packing materials, and fishing nets.
You will also find this fabric mainly in use for making furnishing and clothing fabrics, but in this case, they are often blended with other fibers. The shorter fiber of Ramie and waste are also used for manufacturing paper.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of ramie fabrics?
- It is a 100% natural fabric.
- It is solid and highly durable.
- It does not lose its shape.
- It can blend well and easily with other fabrics.
- It can be easily dyed.
- It can tolerate heat to some degree
- It is highly sustainable and eco-friendly.
- It is extremely absorbent
- When wet, its strength increases.
- It is resistant to shrinkage.
- Resistant to insect, bacteria, or mildew attack.
- It has a smooth, lustrous appearance that gets better after every wash.
- It wrinkles easily.
- It lacks flexibility
- It can be extremely brittle
- The texture of Ramie fabric can become rough after several washes.
- It is not as common as other natural fabrics like cotton or linen, so you may not find them in every country.
- If Ramie fabric is folded for a long time, it can break.
- It is prone to scratching.
- It does not stretch.
Ramie fabrics properties
- It bears a striking resemblance to linen.
- It is best used as a blend with other fibers as it is not as durable as its closest counterparts, like cotton and linen.
- It can hold its shape very well
- It is believed to be among one of the most potent natural fiber
What is Ramie fabric like?
A rough, lustrous plant fiber with similar properties to linen and often used as a blend for silk, cotton, and synthetic fabrics.
What kind of fabric is Ramie?
Ramie is a linen-like fiber fabric categorized as cellulose fiber obtained from the Ramie plant.
How is Ramie fabric made?
Ramie fiber is obtained from the Ramie plant through a process called decortication. This process involves the separation of the adhering fiber and the bark from the stalk of the tree, either by hand or with a machine.
After this, the extracted fiber will be soaked in water, making it easier for the fiber to be scraped easily from the bark.
Once the fiber has been extracted and washed, it will be spun and weaved into the yarn used for making the fabric.
How to wash Ramie fabric
The best and most recommended way of washing Ramie fabric is using the hand. Although you can always wash your Ramie fabric in the washing machine with cold or warm water, hand washing them will help preserve the fabric fiber.
- Pour two capfuls of mild liquid detergent into a sink or washbasin containing cold water.
- Agitate the water to make it soapy, and soak your fabric in the cleaning solution for about 30 minutes.
- Run cool water through the fabric to rinse it until the escaping water is no longer soapy.
- Gently press the water out of the material and ensure you don’t wring. Doing so will cause the fabric to wrinkle.
Drying and finishing Ramie fabric
You can either tumble dry or air dry the Ramie fabric. When using a dryer, you remove the fabric while it is still slightly damp.
Remove wrinkles by steaming the fabric, which is considered the best and safest method.
You can also iron Ramie fabric but remember to put your iron on a steam setting, or you can press the fabric with the lowest temperature setting.
Does Ramie fabric shrink?
No, Ramie fabric does not shrink. Unlike other natural fabrics like cotton that shrinks when exposed to heat or washed, Ramie fabrics will not shrink in any of those two conditions.
In fact, the more you wash this fabric, the better: it becomes more lustrous and smoother.
How to soften Ramie fabric
You can soften Ramie fabric by massaging it with your feet in hot water. You can also add softer fabric in a run cycle to soften the fiber.
Does Ramie fabric crease?
Yes, Ramie fabric creases easily. Even though many positives come with a Ramie fabric, it has its negative sides too.
One of these downsides is that they are susceptible to creases and wrinkling. However, when this is compared to linen, the creasing tendency of Ramie fabric is minimal.
Is Ramie fabric soft?
Yes, Ramie fabric is soft. Ramie fabric is soft to the touch, and no matter how much you want this fabric, it doesn’t wear out. Instead, it only gets softer, smoother, and more lustrous.