Hemp is widely used in our home textiles and industrial textiles. So we are here to tell you everything about this fabric.
What is hemp fabric? Hemp, a natural plant fiber, comes from the stem of the hemp plant. Due to its greater eco-friendliness and biodegradability than other fibers, its popularity has recently grown.
Industrial and commercial applications can be found for hemp fabric, which is strong, breathable, and eco-friendly. Hemp can be used for more than just clothing and shoes; it can also be made into fuel, paper, and even building materials.
The uses, attributes, and benefits of hemp fabric are examined in this article.
What is Hemp Fabric?
Like flax, bamboo, jute, and linen, hemp is a bast fiber, meaning it is derived from the plant’s stem. The Cannabis Sativa plant, which also yields marijuana and products derived from it, is used to harvest it. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the active ingredient in marijuana for recreational or medicinal use and produces the “high” effect.
Despite coming from the same plant, hemp is processed differently, ensuring that the THC content is kept below 0.3 percent. Despite the college students’ best efforts, hemp will never make them high.
There have been thousands of years of industrial hemp cultivation. It is well-known all over the world, particularly during the 16th to 18th centuries, when flax and hemp predominated as the primary fiber crops in North America, Europe, and Asia.
However, some historians believe that when Eli Whitney created the cotton gin in 1793, hemp was no longer able to economically compete with cotton.
How is Hemp Produced?
Since growing hemp requires a lot of manual labor and physical labor, it is well-known that the process is labor-intensive. This sustainable fiber goes through the following processes to become the fabric you see in clothes:
- Planting: While some fields strive for higher yields, others plant no more than 182,000 plants per acre in order to produce fabric of higher quality. In the early to middle stages of flowering, farmers harvest the plant. The majority of the plants they grow for this sustainable fabric are harvested using a specialized machine.
- Retting: For several weeks after harvest, stems are left on the ground to allow for retting. The pectin that holds the hemp fiber together decomposes using this method of decay. The procedure divides the bark from the fiber.
- Decortication: This procedure involves removing the stems’ central woody core, either while the stems are still wet from retting or after drying.
- Lignin removal: Plants become woody due to the organic polymer lignin. The traditional hemp fiber’s scratchy, coarse texture is a result of it. The lignin is taken out of this fiber to soften and make it more skin-friendly.
- Spinning: Long threads made of spun and twisted hemp fibers will be woven into textiles. The texture of these threads is similar to that of linen. Additionally, they can be combined with other organic fibers to produce fabrics that combine the strength of hemp with the plushness of cotton or bamboo.
Characteristics of Hemp
Some great characteristics of hemp and hemp fabric include:
- In comparison to other fabrics used for daily wear, hemp is eight times stronger. Because hemp cultivation doesn’t deplete soil nutrients, it is thought to be easy on the environment.
- The natural antimicrobial properties of hemp fabric also shield you from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The results of tests showing that hemp fabrics help keep pathogens at bay are proudly displayed by many traders.
- The quality of hemp fabric improves over time, unlike other materials. Your skin feels softer after using it more frequently.
- Hemp has incredible thermoregulating qualities that keep you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather.
- Unlike linen, hemp is less likely to wrinkle. The hemp fabric can be washed by hand or machine.
- Although hemp fabric has a similar appearance to flax fabric, it lacks flax’s elastic qualities, making it less stretchable than other fabrics.
- The longer you stay dry with hemp fabric, the more water it can absorb than other fabrics. Additionally, this makes hemp the perfect material for natural dyeing, resulting in fabrics that are creamy white, brown, gray, black, or green.
Pros of Hemp Fabric
- Even though hemp is completely biodegradable and takes only three months to break down in nature when left untreated, it is known for its slow fashion.
- For those who love to spend time outdoors, hemp is a fantastic fabric option because it is very strong and has UV protection properties.
- Because hemp is antibacterial, it can be grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.
- Hemp farming doesn’t require a lot of land, and it doesn’t destroy forests the way other crops do.
- Because of its adaptability, hemp can be mixed with other natural fibers.
Cons of Hemp Fabric
- Hemp loses its ability to biodegrade if it is combined with a synthetic fiber.
- Though strong, some claim that hemp fabric is a little rougher on the skin than cotton. Although it’s worth noting that some processing techniques (whether they are chemically or organically based) are improving this aspect of hemp fabric.
- Hemp can require a lot of labor (and water) to grow and harvest.
- Because hemp fabric is still a relatively new product on the market and isn’t yet widely accessible, it can also be more expensive.
How to Care for Hemp Fabric?
It is easy to care for hemp fabric. Hemp clothing can typically be machine washed or dry-cleaned. Keep in mind that when soaked in hot water, hemp will slightly shrink. However, it will keep its shape and size if you wash it in cold water.
Every time it is washed, hemp fabric becomes softer. It needs pressing because it wrinkles easily. However, throughout its lifespan, hemp clothing uses very little electricity.
Conclusion: Hemp Fabric
A crop with a very high yield that belongs to the cannabis sativa plant family, hemp is used to make sustainable textiles like hemp fabric. Hemp is regarded as one of the most adaptable and resilient natural fibers and has historically been used for industrial applications like rope and sails.
The good news is that hemp generally constitutes a more sustainable, lower-impact crop that can be converted into fabric responsibly. To be sure that businesses are not simply greenwashing their hemp, though, is crucial.
Is Hemp Fabric Better Than Cotton?
Hemp fabrics are stronger, more absorbent, more durable, and better insulating than cotton. They also do not stretch out of shape. Because it can be pulled taut and stay taut for the duration of the furniture’s life, this characteristic makes hemp the ideal upholstery fabric.
Is Hemp Fabric Good Quality?
Hemp fabric is extremely resistant to pilling and does not shrink easily. Since fibers from this plant are long and sturdy, hemp fabric is very soft, but it is also highly durable; while typical cotton T-shirts have a maximum lifespan of 10 years, hemp T-shirts could last up to twice as long.
Why is Hemp Fabric So Expensive?
Organic hemp clothing is expensive because of its very limited availability, disadvantages compared to other fibers, bad reputation, low demand, production, and processing methods. Clothing made from hemp is moral, sustainable, and green.