This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Grass-Cloth. A heavy, buff-colored cotton muslin, used at present for children's underwear. China grass-cloth, a beautiful, fine fabric made from the fiber of an India nettle, is imported to this country in the form of handkerchiefs. The Chinese name for grass-cloth is hia pu, summer cloth. It was originally called grass cloth by foreigners at Canton, China, because it was assumed to be made of some sort of grass.