Notion 21
Term Retting
Field Hemp treatment
Pronunciation 'retiŋ
Etymology From Middle English and from Middle Dutch
Definition Retting is the process of soaking hemp stalks to decompose the woody core and release the fibres.
In "water retting", hemp stalks are submerged in water, and soaked for a period of approximately 10 days, depending on the plants sex and age, to loosen the fibers from the other components of the stem.
Retting time must be carefully judged; under-retting makes separation difficult, and over-retting weakens the fibre. However, most of the time, the stalks are taken out before the end to avoid over-retting, and are then dried in open air.
  • The work of taking up the stalks after retting is usually done by piecework at the rate of $1 per acre.
  • Retting is the major limitation to an efficient production of textile hemp fibres.
  • The fibre from dew retted hemp is light brown in colour and rather coarse.
Phraseology "Retting" is often preceded by the name of the fiber (hemp retting, flaw retting). It can also be preceded by a substantive describing the type of retting (dew retting, water retting).
Spanish equivalent

< Hemp seed oil        Back to the list        Breaking >