WHAT IS HEMP FABRIC?
Hemp texture is a material that is made using filaments from the stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant. A thickly developing plant, which means chemicals aren't needed. Hemp needs no pesticides. Incredibly it additionally returns 60-70% of the supplements it takes from the ground. In addition to the fact that hemp is delicate on the earth, it likewise requires next to no water, particularly when contrasted with cotton, “about 50 percent more water per season than hemp”. But that is not all, Hemp additionally requires a moderately limited quantity of land to develop. As per the Guide to Sustainable Textiles, this implies it can deliver up to twofold the fibre yield per hectare than cotton.
HOW IS HEMP FABRIC MADE?
As a crop, hemp grows well in mild climates and Cannabis Sativa plants are ready usually ready for harvest around August. The plants used for hemp fabric are harvested with a special machine, and these plants are then allowed to rett in the field for 4-6 weeks, which naturally facilitates pectin removal via exposure to the elements. Next, these hemp stalks are made into bales land then breakers are used to separate the fibrous outer section of the plant from its woody core. The separated bast fibres are then carded into strands, and they are cleaned to remove impurities. Past this point, manufacturers may use pulping to produce paper products, matting to make mats and fleeces, or steam explosion to render raw hemp into a weavable fibre. Finally, it can be woven into fabrics.
1) Harvesting Hemp Plants: Most plants used for hemp fabric are harvested with a special machine
2) Retting: The fibres are separated from the bark and then careded into strands, and they are cleaned to remove impurities.
3) Pulping, Matting or Steam: Manufacturers may use pulping to produce paper products, matting to make fleeces or mats. The steam allows the raw hemp make it weavable.
4) Weaving into textiles: Hemp is ready to be spun into yarn and woven into textiles.
HOW DOES HEMP FABRIC AFFECT THE ENVIRONMENT?
Hemp is a highly sustainable, low-impact crop that can be converted into fabric sustainably. Additionally, such rapid growth naturally smothers weeds and controls pests, making pesticides and chemical fertilizers unnecessary. Unlike many other crops, hemp can be grown on marginal or degraded land. Its strong roots prevent soil erosion, and are good at clearing the land for other crops. It can also successfully grow in cool climates. Hemp is the least water-intensive textile fibre of all natural fibres. When compared with cotton in its production process it incredibly uses only 3% of water the cotton would use.Hemp, along with new hemp blends are beginning to be embraced by eco-conscious designers and makers. Hemp is possibly the most sustainable natural textile that we have available and you can’t go wrong with hemp-based clothing. Hemp, especially organic hemp, is the most sustainable fabric; however, it's not cheap. It can be blended with many other fibres, so there's a lot of variety out there.Compared to cotton or flax, hemp is considered a high-yield crop producing significantly more fibre per square foot and with less water requirements. When grown on the same land, hemp will produce twice the amount of fibre as cotton and six times that of flax. It would take four acres of trees to yield the same amount of fibre as a mere one acre of hemp. Trees, require 50 to 500 years to grow, using hemp could significantly decrease if not completely stop the destruction of our forests.
WHY CHOOSE HEMP FABRIC FOR YOUR COLLECTION?
Hemp fabric, is moisture absorbent, has high UPF, provides thermal protection and is anti-bacterial. Hemp fibre has always been valued for its strength, versatility, and durability. It is one of the strongest natural fibres, and its textile products are long lasting. In particular, this type of fabric is highly popular for T-shirts since it is resistant to wear and tear. Most cotton T-shirts start to shrink, or tear after a few washes, but hemp T-shirts retain their shape and integrity for years and years.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING HEMP FABRICS?
Mechanically processed by scutching: Mechanically processing a plant is much better for theenvironment and doesn’t require unnecessary chemicals.
Very strong fibre: Clothes last longer than Cotton and doesn’t rip or tear easily.
Diverse: The hemp plant provides raw material that can be used by several industries.
Its a biodegradable fibre: It is completely biodegradable, UV- and mold-resistant, and cost-effective to produce.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF USING HEMP FABRICS?
Versatility: Hemp fibres also tend to wrinkles more easily if not treated with anti-wrinkle agents.
Regulation: Harvesting, processing, and transporting of industrial hemp is illegal in many countries because of its similarity to marijuana plants.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE HEMP FABRIC?
Most people might not think to use hemp, since it is derived from cannabis plants, but it is eco-friendly, and becoming more popular across different industries. So far there has been very little attention about using hemp, but why could it be beneficial for fashion.
Hemp and marijuana are both come from the cannabis sativa plant, but they are not exactly the same thing. Hemp has less THC in it, which is what makes weed have that psychoactive effect. This means it can’t be used as a recreational drug, where industrial hemp is grown, there are laws that have THC limits for any hemp product.
Some people refer to hemp as a ‘miracle fibre’ that has a lot of advantages. Hemp is three times stronger than cotton, whilst also being lightweight and absorbent; it has being used throughout history and hemp plants being spun into clothing fibres, can be traced back 10,000 years ago. This strength makes it weather resistant, especially against UV rays, making it ideal for wearing outdoors. Even though it is a strong material, it is very cost effective, the it requires less maintenance and costs compared to other crops; the plants grow quick and can produce 5-10 tonnes of cellulose fibre in a matter of months. The low maintenance, and not needing pesticides to help it grow, is also a benefit for the environment, hemp farmers use half of the water that cotton farmers use and there is little waste from it; the leftover seeds are used to make oil or food supplements, as well as industrial hemp plants absorbing more carbon dioxide than trees. The hemp from the farms can also be used alongside other materials, making it a more versatile material: hemp silk is popular for consumers who want that extra comfort.
The cellulose fibre you get from hemp can be used to make all sorts, a pair of jeans, tops, dresses, bags, skin care, all sorts. Up until the 1920’s, 80% of all clothes were made from fabric that had hemp in them. China is currently the leading producer of hemp fabrics, and they like to chemically treat the hemp, whereas Europe use biologically based enzyme technology to treat the hemp. However, neither method has found a way to make hemp as white as cotton. Canadian federal science organisation, NRC, have collaborated with Hemptown Clothing to create Crailar, a white ‘Canadian cotton’ where innovative enzyme processes transform hemp into a fabric that looks and feels like cotton.
There are multiple misconceptions about hemp being used in fashion. People still associate hemp with marijuana as a recreational drug. However, the world is starting to legalise industrial hemp, due to its different uses that can help lots of people and industries, from fashion to food, to health. In 2015, hemp retail products were worth $573 million, and there are speculations that by 2022, this industry could be worth $2.6 billion.
So now you know hemp and weed are not the same thing, maybe think about working with it in the future.