All things green for a green planet- Hemp Fabrics

All things green for a green planet- Hemp Fabrics

 

There are certain materials which are known to be environmentally unfriendly and unethical, such as fur and leather and these should be avoided at all costs. Then there are the fabrics flooding the market which, although inexpensive and sometimes considered “natural” (i.e. cotton), cause a lot of harm to both the environment and workers.

In the past, consumer goods such as bathroom and bed linen, clothing, and outdoor apparel were designed and manufactured to last, with both consumers and suppliers leaning towards quality rather than quantity. The trend now, for the most part, is to mass produce and consume items that will be disposed of in a matter of months and not years, providing yet another example of unsustainable consumerism.

Hemp promises to be the magical crop that can satiate human’s need for clothing, nutrition, packaging, and even housing; without hurting the sustenance of our planet. Hemp fabric is a sustainable textile made of fibres of a very high-yielding crop in the cannabis sativa plant family. Historically used for industrial purposes, like rope and sails, hemp is known as one of the most versatile and durable natural fibres. Hemp fabric is deliciously soft on the skin, and is known for growing softer with each wear. Hemp is naturally resistant to bacteria and provides natural UV protection.

Hemp is an annual herbaceous plant of the species cannabis sativa, meaning ‘useful hemp’. It is a high yield commercial fibre crop which flourishes in areas with temperate climates, such as Canada. It can be grown on a range of soils, but tends to grow best on land that would produce a high yield of corn. The soil must be well drained, rich in nitrogen, and non-acidic. Hemp requires limited pesticides as it grows quickly, attracting few pests. Hemp grows successfully at a density of up to 150 plants per square meter, and reaches a height of two to five meters in a three month growing season.

Hemp Fabric is the best eco-friendly, sustainable and natural fabric. In the current times Hemp fabric clothing is one of the best options to make home decor products, kitchen and dining ware, clothing, bags, Hemp Masks and many more. Many end users look for comfort and durability in choosing a fabric, so hemp’s softness and high resistance make it a competitive choice.   Hemp fibre’s positive qualities have been recognized over thousands of years.  Hemp textile is versatile and can be blended with other fibres to create different kinds of unique sustainable products.  Hemp’s versatility as a textile is stunning:  hemp fibres can be woven alone or with other fibres to produce weaves from rugged canvas to the lightest, silkiest gauze, in an unlimited array of colours and finishes.

hempplantgreen

If we look at it from a production standpoint, we’ll see that the growth of hemp is an inherently eco-friendly process. According to analysis by the Stockholm Environment Institute, the water required to produce 1kg of hemp is somewhere between 300 and 500 litres. We can compare that to the 10,000 litres required to produce the same 1kg of cotton. Hemp is high-yielding and produces much more product on much less land, without the need for any chemical pesticides. This, and the fact that it refill soil nutrients through growth gives it the ability to regenerate soil, a process known as phytoremediation (i.e. cleaning the soil and removing it of toxins).

 Hemp fabric clothing is essentially a “self-offsetting crop” that actually absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere than forests, which is why industrial hemp farms are an ideal “carbon sinks”. Additionally hemp’s growth is quick and it takes around just 120 days to become the stalk. Hemp can also reuse land every couple of years, something that takes much longer with flax or cotton.

Hemp Fabric Benefits

  • Hemp is durable: the fabric can last a long time and hemp fabric clothing will get softer over time, the fibres won’t degrade.

  • Hemp fabric is not heavy, it is lightweight and breathable: In fact, it’s one of the lightest fibres in the market. Hemp weighs up to one-third less than wool or cotton.

  • Hemp has a naturally high UPF (ultraviolet protection factor): Based on SGS testing by WAMA Underwear, it was found that hemp fabric clothing was 99.9% effective in blocking UV-A and UV-B rays, meaning it qualifies as a top tier UPF 50+ fabric. Hemp products are perfect for summer clothing.

  • It’s naturally antimicrobial: Hemp is resistant to harmful microbes and mildew, which means hemp garments won’t smell bad after use (less washing means less wastage of water in washing resulting in sustainability). This also means it’s great for those of us with sensitive skin.

  • Hemp is partially hydrophobic: While hemp textile is not waterproof by any means, it stands up to a light drizzle.

  • Hemp doesn’t shrink: One of the biggest advantages of hemp fabric is that it retains it’s shape. Compared to a cotton shirt, hemp will retain it’s shape and integrity after hundreds, if not thousands, of washes. e.g. hemp fabric face mask.

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