ABOUT HEMP

ABOUT HEMP

 

Hemp is part of American history. Since the arrival on Plymouth Rock, hemp was grown and used throughout the colonies. It was so multifunctional that hemp was used throughout industries and everyday life. Hemp is famous for being the fiber for the paper for the Declaration of Independence and the original pairs of Levi jeans—from the country’s founding to the migration to the west in the quest for opportunity, and today as a green solution to everyday items.

Hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It contains negligible amounts of THC, the chemical in “marijuana” which is psychoactive and gets you “high.” It was first spun into usable fiber 50,000 years ago and today is one of the fastest growing plants. Today, we can use it into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. 

     When you slice a hemp stalk in half, you’ll see, nestled in a snug hollow tube, a long, string-like band running the length inside. This is hemp’s famous bast fiber. When harvested correctly, the fiber is actually stronger than steel. The stalk and its fiber are used mainly in clothing, construction materials, paper, and more.

     

    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. Style isn’t the biggest upside of hemp, though. The biggest advantage of hemp fabric is its production methods and hemp’s environmental impact (or lack thereof).

     

    How does Hemp production compare to other fabrics? 

    Hemp Hemp is grown in fields, and is harvested after flowering and before the seeds set. Producers then use less than 5% of water used in cotton production to breakdown the pectins that bind the hemp fibers together. The broken stems are then separated from the core, and then brushed, or hackled, to remove any of the remaining woody particles. Fibers are then wetted and spun into fine textile. Fibers can also be dry spun for a heavier and coarser textile style.

    Cotton Cotton is grown in fields, like hemp, and is harvested by cotton harvesters, those big machines that can harvest cotton at a super-human rate. Then, like hemp, cotton is put through a “ginning” process, in which the fibers are separated from the seeds. The fibers are put through multiple processes that further refine them, like scutching, hackling and roving. Once the cotton is ready, it is spun into fabric.

    Wool This material is easier to process, as it takes less steps to reach its final product. One needs to harvest the wool, then process it via techniques called ‘carding’ and ‘combing’ that smooths and refines the wool, and then weave or knit it into the fabric. Although easier to process,  cattle farming creates its own carbon foot print and a great deal of waste. Not only do you have to use energy and water to process wool, but you have to feed, clean, and maintain the sheep. Sheep who produce methane-dense waste and require more resources to survive than a plant.

     

      Suggested uses

      100% Hemp and Hemp Blend fabrics may be used in place of any other fabric for outerwear, heavy duty work wear, adults' and children's clothing, bedding, table linens, home decor and window treatments.

       

      Please visit the Ministry of Hemp to learn more.

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