5 Forgotten Properties of Hemp Fabric that Make It a Top Quality Textile
Nowadays, people are waking up to the injustice that has been done in the past century. Hemp activists scream out the benefits of the “world’s most extraordinary plant”. You would be surprised to know that over 25000 products, including hemp fabric, fuel, dynamite, insecticide, plastic, paper can be made from hemp.
There are numerous studies indicating the huge differences between industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa) and marijuana, starting with the amount of THC contained. It is more than clear that the industrial hemp has a small amount of THC.
Hemp crops could save trees, prevent the exhaustion of fossil fuel and improve our health.
Yet, everyday, people are taught that they are responsible for global warming.
Hemp is a plant of great versatility, which is “used to produce more than 5000 textile products, ranging from rope to the fine laces”, which could make the textile industry more sustainable. (The New Billion Dollar Crop – Popular Mechanics, 1938)
Hemp is beneficial in so many ways, and here are the most important five proven properties of hemp fabric that makes it far superior than any other synthetic and even vegetable fabric.
- Hemp Clothing Keeps You Healthy and the World Toxic-Free
Unlike cotton crops, which are easily damaged by pests and need a lot of pesticides, which are released into the environment and, ultimately, into our bodies, hemp crops require no pesticide to grow.
“Hemp’ s rapid growth and vigorous nature allow it to overcome the attack of most diseases and pests”. (Diseases and Pests – The Hemp University)
Being a natural fabric, made from the bast fibers of Cannabis Sativa, hemp is totally biodegradable.
2. Hemp Clothes Will Last Longer and Save You Money
Fabrics made from hemp are capable of withstanding wear, tear or decay. Tensile and strength tests conducted by the Executive Director of the Hemp Industries, Eric Steenstra, indicate that hemp fabric has 62% greater tear strength and 102% greater tensile strength than cotton. For thousands of years, this plant was traditionally grown for it’s fiber. Hemp fabric has been found in tombs dating back to 5000 BC. Due to it’s strength, for hundreds of years, ship sails and ropes were made of hemp.
Before the collapse of communism in Romania, peasants were growing their own fabric and producing sustainable clothing for their families. Now, after a hundred years, their vintage and antique garments are still in good wearable condition.
3. Hemp Protects Against Insects, Fungi and Bacteria
From their personal experience, peasants know that traditional textiles, like rugs and carpets, made of a combination of hemp warp and wool weft, are mothproof.
Sprays made from hemp leaves kill many insects. This plant “does not require the pesticides that other plants like cotton do, acting as it’s own pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer. Cannabis plants have been grown as companion crops alongside crops which require protection against insects, fungi and weedy plants. Dried leaves and flowers have repelled or killed insects, mites and weeds.” (Cannabis as Repellent and Pesticide – John M. McPartland).
Moreover, studies conducted in 2008 by a team of British and Italian researchers indicate possible antibacterial properties of Cannabis Sativa: “This plant represents an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multi drug resistance in staph and other pathogenic bacteria”.
4. Hemp is Resistant to Ultraviolet Light
I know that peasants would bleach hemp fabric by soaking and exposing it repeatedly to the sun. The more it is washed, the softer it gets. However, hemp has “a medium UV resistance and will decompose with prolonged exposure”. (The Guide to Textiles for Interiors – D. Jackman, M. Dixon, J. Condra).
5. Hemp Clothing is Comfortable
Being a breathable material, it improves the comfort of the wearer. Hemp insulates against cold or hot conditions. Furthermore, it can absorb up to 30% of it’s weight and dries quickly. (The Guide to Textiles for Interiors – D. Jackman, M. Dixon, J. Condra) Hence, it is used in the production of diapers.
Five Places Where You Can Find Good Quality Hemp Fabric and Yarn
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1. Great quality vintage fabric rolls can be found in Medreana’s Etsy shop.
From pillow covers and table runners to folk clothing and bags, Medreana’s vintage Romanian hemp fabric is one of the best you can find on the market today. You will enjoy the beauty and texture of a natural, homemade and handspun hemp fabric with occasional irregularities that verify the authenticity of the products.
2. A natural, high quality, undyed hemp yarn can be found at ThoughtfulGemsCrafts. It can be used for knitting, crocheting and dye experiments. Made in Romania.
4. OrganicCottonPlus offers hemp blended with cotton fibers, softer and more comfortable against the skin. Here you can find cotton/hemp yarn in eight different colors, as well as 100% hemp threads in bright colors. All threads are free from AZO dyes.
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