A natural, more sustainable substitute for many popular fabrics, Hemp can also be pulped using fewer chemicals than wood. Hemp wins in comfort and durability due to its softness and high abrasion resistance, making it a highly competitive choice. The texture of pure hemp textiles resembles that of flax linen, it is also extremely versatile and can be blended with other fibers to create many different looks. Hemp’s versatility as a textile is truly remarkable, since Hemp fibers can be woven alone or with other fibers to produce weaves from rugged canvas to the lightest, silkiest gauze in an infinite array of colors and finishes. Hemp has an appealing natural luster and a lush hand and drape not found in any other natural or synthetic fiber.
How Hemp fabric is produced:
- - Cultivation
- - Harvesting
- - Retting (The process where naturally occurring bacteria and fungi, or chemicals, break down the pectins that bind the hemp fibers to be released. Common techniques include soaking in water, or laying on the ground and letting dew do the ‘retting’).
- - Breaking
- - Scutching (Beating the stems, thus separating the desired fibers from the woody core).
- - Hackling (combing the stems to remove unwanted particles).
- - Roving (improves strength).
- - Spinning (can be wet or dry spun).
Here are some of Hemp’s characteristics that make it a desirable choice as a textile:
- - Hemp is stronger and more durable than other natural fabrics. The result is a much longer lifespan.
- - Hemp fabric also holds its shape over time, stretching less than any other natural fiber.
- - Hemp fabric’s inherent luster and light reflective qualities are enhanced by washing. This means that
- - Hemp fabric will retain its sleek sheen every time it is washed, never dull, and will also release stains more easily than other fabrics.(changing the voice should make it easy to read)
- - The fabric not only withstands, but actually benefits from, commercial laundering. Hemp actually becomes softer, more resilient and more lustrous as a result of washing.
- - Hemp’s porous nature and its resulting superior absorbency means that it is very breathable and dries quickly. Hemp can absorb up to 20% its own weight while still dry to the touch. Its absorbency also allows it to accept dyes more readily and retain color better than other natural fibers.
- - Hemp fiber also has a high resistance to UV light, meaning it will not fade or disintegrate due to exposure to sunlight as quickly as the other natural fibers.
- - The fiber is highly resistant to rotting, mildew, mold and saltwater, making it a premier choice for use in marine fittings.