Demystifying Hemp Fabrics

Demystifying Hemp Fabrics

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 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 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 uses about 5% the amount of water it takes to grow cotton and can often be rain-fed. Hemp can grow in almost all soil conditions, and unlike cotton (which depletes the soil of nutrients) hemp’s deep-reaching roots preserve the topsoil and subsoil. Hemp grows densely as well, leaving no room for weeds and competing plants and is less vulnerable to insects, which means little to no use of pesticides. Lastly, hemp grows extremely fast, only needing 120-days to be ready for harvest.

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 IS THE FUTURE

Hemp fibre or industrial hemp is obtained from the outer layer or the bast of the Cannabis sativa plant, which is more popular for producing marijuana or hashish. However, while marijuana contains 20 per cent tetrahydrocannabinol content (THC) which causes the high when smoked, industrial hemp only contains 1 per cent THC. This fibre has some incredible properties: it conducts heat, dyes well, resists mildew, blocks ultraviolet light and has natural anti-bacterial properties. It is used in many industries including paper, biodegradable plastic, construction, health food, chemical clean-ups and fuel. Automobile companies like BMW use hemp fibre to reinforce there door panels for better safety standards. There’s even an urban legend that claims the first pair of Levis jeans were made from hemp!

hempplanetgreen
Planet Green Online

How is hemp fabric made?

While hemp is harvested and processed similarly to other fabrics, its main advantage is through the hemp plant itself. Hemp uses about 5% the amount of water it takes to grow cotton and can often be rain-fed. Hemp can grow in almost all soil conditions, and unlike cotton (which depletes the soil of nutrients) hemp’s deep-reaching roots preserve the topsoil and subsoil. Hemp grows densely as well, leaving no room for weeds and competing plants and is less vulnerable to insects, which means little to no use of pesticides. Lastly, hemp grows extremely fast, only needing 120-days to be ready for harvest. We’ve compared hemp and cotton before, and while not everyone agrees, we think hemp is the winner. The steps of making fabrics are as follows:

  • Cultivation

  • Harvesting

  • Retting (The process whereby naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, or chemicals, break down the pectin that bind the hemp fibres to be released. Common techniques consist of soaking in water, or laying on the ground and letting dew do the ‘retting’)

  • Breaking

  • Scutching (Beating stems, which separates the desired fibres from the hemp’s woody core)

  • Hackling (combing of the stems to remove unwanted particles)

  • Roving (improves strength)

  • Spinning (can be wet and dry spun)

What makes hemp fabric better?                                                                                     

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. That means it protects your skin, and retains color better than other fabrics. As you can see, hemp fabric is quite practical. It literally prevents you from getting stinky, gets softer with more use, and is stronger and longer-lasting than cotton. Hemp fabric can have some disadvantages, including a more limited color palette than synthetics, but we feel the benefits more than make up for this. The hemp fabric lasts longer and doesn’t wear out as quickly as cotton does. Hemp has three times more tensile and flexible strength than cotton, holding its shape time and again and becomes softer after each wear and wash. Hemp is a more premium fabric.

planetgreen

FACTS ABOUT HEMP CLOTHING

  • Hemp protects your skin by naturally filtering UV light.

  • Hemp resists bacterial growth and breathes excellently, preventing odours.

  • Hemp has four times the strength of cotton; it won’t weaken when washed.

  • Hemp retains color better than any other fabric.

  • It saves Water! Hemp uses only 1/20th the amount of water as regular cotton to grow and process.

  • Also, Hemp uses almost no water to grow and can usually be rain-fed.

  • Unlike cotton which depletes the soil of nutrients, hemp can be grown consecutively for over twenty years without the soil being affected.

  • Hemp is illegal to grow in the U.S., though not illegal to import.

  • Hemp is deliciously soft on the skin, more and more with each wear.

Shop Now

https://www.planetgreenonline.com/

https://www.planetgreenonline.com/hemp-mask/

https://www.planetgreenonline.com/hemp-fabrics/

https://www.planetgreenonline.com/hemp-paper/

Comments are closed