The Fibre Garden : Ramie
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Very clean combed top, in pencil-roving width. Staple length is 7 to 8 inches. Ramie comes from the stem (bast) fibre of a tropical plant. Typically it is bleached to an almost pure white. Our supply is very fine and soft. Ramie can be spun by itself or used in blends. It’s well-suited for lighter summer wear, from against-the-skin to outerwear. An intriguing fibre for those that can’t wear wool. <
Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how Ramie responds in an indigo vat.
That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the ramie alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.