How is Rush Fabric made?

Rush fabric is the fabric made using the Rush plant (Juncaceae). This plant grows in wet areas such as moors and pastures. It is more commonly known as Common Rush and is found frequently in the United Kingdom.

Rush Manufacture

To create rush fabric the stems are collected, cleaned and dried out. These fibres are then tightly woven to produce fabrics. To make the Rush fibre pliable and easier to weave it should be dampened with warm water first. Rush fibres will begin to disintegrate if they are left to soak for too long.

The flowers of the Rush plant have also been used typically in fabric dying before synthetic dyes were used. Green is the most common colour to be produced. This is known as ‘Rush Green.’ It is mainly used for dying wool in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Properties of Rush fabric

  • Soft and Tactile
  • Tough
  • Long Lasting
  • Anti-Microbial
  • Can be inflexible
  • Hard wearing
  • Hydroscopic
  • Absorbs Moisture well
  • Cool in Summer and warm in winter
  • Can be damaged by chemicals or abrasive cleaners

End uses of Rush

  • Tatami mats
  • Storage Baskets
  • Chair seats
  • Thatching
  • Rope
  • Rushlights which are a cheaper alternatives to candles.

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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