You’ve probably only recently heard of hemp fabric, although it’s been around for a long time.
Consider yourself in Egypt, on a tour of an ancient tomb. That mummy you’re admiring is wrapped in hemp fabric! Hemp cloth has been discovered in graves dating back more than 10,000 years!
There are numerous reasons why hemp cloth was utilized in ancient civilizations in the Middle East, Asia, and China, and why it is making a comeback now.
Also included are other factors that our ancient forefathers were not as concerned about, such as eco-friendly premium hemp fabric.
Fortunately, sustainable fashion’s here and is here to stay.
With all of the environmental damage caused by fast fashion, we’re looking forward to a future with more hemp fields (and more hemp fabric garments, too!).
What is the composition of hemp fabric?
So, where does hemp cloth originate?
This may come as a surprise to some, but hemp is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. That’s correct, the same plant that produces marijuana.
Believe twice before you leap to conclusions and think you can roll up your new hemp T-shirt for a little relaxation after a hard day.
Some Cannabis sativa plant types are developed to be stronger in THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the major psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
However, the specific strain of Cannabis sativa utilized in your eco-friendly clothing contains extremely low quantities of THC. This “industrial hemp” has also been developed to produce stronger fibres.
How is Premium Hemp Fabric Produced?
Farmers peel the outer covering of the stalk to make it into a textile material once they have designated a type of the Cannabis sativa crop for apparel.
The stalk can be turned into yarn or rope after being plucked from the plant. This material is very flexible and is utilized in a wide variety of goods, including paper, canvas, stalks, and even super-strong ropes for ships.
Is Hemp Fabric Sustainable?
So, how environmentally friendly is hemp fabric?
And how does it compare to other eco-friendly materials, such as cotton?
When we look at it from a production viewpoint, we can see that hemp cultivation is an environmentally beneficial activity. Because of its minimal water and resource requirements, it makes obvious sense that premium hemp fabric has been farmed for millennia.
According to the Stockholm Environment Institute, the amount of water necessary to produce one kilogram of hemp is between 300 and 500 liters.
Consider the 10,000 gallons necessary to create the same 1kg of cotton.
Hemp is also high-yielding, allowing for more products to be produced in less area while avoiding the need for toxic pesticides.
Because of this, as well as the fact that it replaces soil nutrients via growth, it can regenerate soil, a process known as phytoremediation (i.e. cleaning the soil and removing it of toxins).
Hemp is a “self-offsetting crop,” absorbing more CO2 from the atmosphere than trees, making industrial hemp fields an excellent “carbon sink.”
That’s just a fancy way of saying it’s a carbon-negative raw material.
Hemp grows quickly as well, taking around 120 days to mature into the stalk that is used to make jeans.
Hemp can also reuse land every couple of years, but flax or cotton need considerably longer.
There are no Industrial Waste Byproducts
Another way hemp is an eco-friendly fabric choice is that the entire plant may be used.
While humans desire the stalks for clothes, the woody layer is excellent for animal bedding, building materials, and fire. It can even be heated, processed, and molded into a plastic replacement, which is catching on in the German auto sector.
After all, life is a highway.
Built like a Tank
Remember how we said hemp ropes were used on ships?
This should give you an indication of how long the material will last.
If it’s a good option for sails on ships, you can be confident that your favorite premium hemp fabric clothing will be able to endure the weather as well.
Longer usage necessitates fewer resources over time.
Even with such a long history and a wide range of sustainable applications, the world is only getting a taste of premium hemp fabric clothing right now.
The Cannabis sativa plant still has a negative reputation since the majority of the world automatically associates marijuana with hemp.
Farmers are finding it difficult to cultivate the plant due to stigma and legal constraints, even though we are fully aware of all of its environmental advantages!
In reality, hemp was prohibited in the United Kingdom until 1993, and by 2003, it accounted for just 0.15 percent of worldwide textile output.
So, while you may be excited about hemp clothes right now, expect to see it used much more in the future.
And that’s a sustainable future, we are very excited about.