Is an Asian flowering plant of the nettle plant family. It spreads out wildly in southeast Asia. Most ramie plants grow along the Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world. The entire Yangtze is located in China, therefore ramie is also known as “China grass”.
The ramie leaf is shaped like a heart.
The matured ramie plant has huge roots because once ramie is planted, harvesters don’t pull it out. Instead, only cut the stems above the ground, leaving the root to grow them back and continue the cycle for more than twenty years. The huge roots protect the soil along the banks of the great river and are also used in Chinese medicine. Because of its protective qualities for the soil, the Chinese government has made ramie planting mandatory in these regions.
The ramie plant has a strong stem, which is surrounded by bast (skin). Bast fibres are collected to make cloth.
Ramie grows best during hot and rainy seasons. Within two to three months it can already be taller than an average human. A matured ramie plant can be 2 meters tall. Ramie doesn’t require irrigation and drainage, it gets sufficient water from the rain. Due to its anti-bacterial quality, pesticides aren’t needed when planting. It is also very easy to grow. On hills, near ponds and even in the front yard or back yard are all where it can thrive well. Farmers grow ramie on hilltops, where it is difficult to grow corn or rice.Ramie is not just easy planting,and caring, ramie also can be harvested yearly 3-6 times, considering most plants have 2 harvests per year.
Under organic farming rules, organic ramie is possible in flat regions.
Ramie fiber is the strongest natural fiber. In the past it was used for making ropes for ships and parachutes.
Along with its anti bacterial quality it is also anti odor. Ramie has been found in mummy tombs and ramie used to be wrapped around corpses for preservation. Today, Korea still uses ramie in funerals. Chinese shoe inserts are made from ramie as well.
Today when ramie fibers are made much softer, ramie socks are popular in China.
Ramie fabric is very light and more absorbent than cotton. It’s breathability makes it perfect for summer wear. In Asia bed sheets and mosquito nets are made from ramie.