Hemp textiles are made from a sustainable high-yielding crop from the cannabis sativa plant chain. If we probe into its history, it was originally used for industrial purposes, primarily for making ropes and cords. Hemp is one of the oldest and the most versatile of the natural fibres. Hemp possesses eight times the tensile strength of other natural fibres and is ideal for many everyday uses. Over many generations of cultivators, Cannabis Sativa plants have been sustainably bred to produce durable and better fibres whilst reducing the level of psychoactive cannabinoids from the crops.
In countries all around the world, legislation and myth have failed to make a proper distinction between THC-rich marijuana and hemp, which possesses no such chemical. As a result, the many advantages of hemp have been completely overlooked by the global economy. People rather stigmatize hemp as a drug and this mindset needs to be changed through education and familiarity with goodness that hemp can offer. That said, we are glad to report that many countries are now changing and are welcoming cultivation of industrial hemp which suggests that the future of hemp is bright. We are making it our mission to provide information and enhance awareness of the benefits gained from utilizing hemp textiles as a replacement for manmade synthetics.
When hemp is made into fabric, it has a texture which resembles that of cotton or fine linen and has a unique soft, cooling feeling when close to the skin. Hemp fabric does not shrink and is highly resistant to pilling. Fibres from this plant are sturdy and resilient, yet the fabric is very soft and highly durable. Clothes made of hemp will last double or triple the duration of cotton equivalents. Research also suggest that hemp fabric is three time stronger than cotton fabric.
Despite its superior strength and durability, hemp is a light weight fabric and permits constant airflow making it a truly breathable material. It doesn’t allow moisture to settle on your skin and keeps you cool and dry which makes it ideal for hot climates. Hemp is also naturally hypoallergenic which means that it is resistant to mould, mildew, and all sorts of harmful microbes. The best part about hemp fabric is, it softens with washing and the fibres don’t break even after numerous of wash cycles. Comparatively, hemp fabric is easy to produce and this textile is ideal for clothing and the new age of sustainable fashion.
Garments made of hemp include dresses, shirts, T-shirts, pants, hoodies, clothing for babies and more recently, the hemp face mask. T-shirts made of hemp are popular due to the resistance to wear and tear. Hemp clothes retain their original shape and are longer lasting than other natural fabrics. Towels made from hemp are particularly good because of its high absorbency and long lasting nature. Its incredible durability, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic property make it a great material to be used in blankets and duvets.
Whilst hemp is the king of natural fibres, many other natural fibres are available and it is right and sensible to use combinations of these fabrics and even mix yarns and fibres to form blends of hemp such as hemp and silk, hemp and linen to get the benefit of all and meet the demand for different look, feel and handling in garments and textile products.
Quite surprisingly, production of hemp fibres is simpler and is more cost effective than cotton, logic therefore dictates that hemp textiles should cost less than that of cotton. However, fabric prices are driven by a complicated mix of legislation, global economics and consumer choice. It has been an uphill struggle to change the mindset of the masses and have hemp textiles adopted as the fabric of choice but we are beginning to see change happening especially amongst the younger generation. We are sure that this trend will continue and as we see demand increase, we will see prices fall.
As an end note, hemp fabric is one of the few products that has been awarded ECOCERT OCS 100 Logo (www.ecocert.com) as it contains at least 95 percent organic components.