|—vb , rets, retting, retted|
|(tr) to moisten or soak (flax, hemp, jute, etc) to promote bacterial action in order to facilitate separation of the fibres from the woody tissue by beating|
|[C15: of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch reeten, Swedish röta, German rösten; see |
process employing the action of bacteria and moisture on plants to dissolve or rot away much of the cellular tissues and gummy substances surrounding bast-fibre bundles, thus facilitating separation of the fibre from the stem. Basic methods include dew retting and water retting.
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