Monday, February 2, 2009

The Ancients Were Right!

There are some textiles that have been around for thousands of years that are still useful today!  One of these is ramie.  It has been in use for at least 6,000 years and is native to parts of Asia.  It is linen like in texture and considered antibacterial/antifungal.  Some mummies in Ancient Egypt have even been found to be wrapped in ramie!

Ramie is made from a bush-like plant and is harvested several times a year, up to six.  It is made of the layers of the plant that are just inside the bark that are then processed and spun into fabric.  

Even though ramie has been used for 6,000 years, it is still used today.  Most of the time it is used in China, Japan and Brazil, although some designers have started incorporating the fiber into their fabrics and designs.  One
 of these designers is Marni--in 2008 a number of garments were produced with ramie in the fabric.  Pictured is one such dress--the ramie is blended with synthetics to stabilize it and increase its durability.  Not only is the dress extremely stylish, but the textiles used have truly stood the test of time!

Pictures courtesy of ebay seller "rra2531" and listing number 230322949516

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