Hemp’s history of being utilized as a fiber actually spans back thousands of years, touching almost every continent on the globe. It has often been used in ropes, sails, and garments, with rumors suggesting that the word ‘canvas’ actually came from the word ‘cannabis’.
This type of material is a bast fiber, meaning that it is one of several natural fibers deriving from plant stems like jute, flax, and stinging nettle. Hemp fabric has multiple natural benefits. For example, it can keep wearers cool in the summer, snug in the winter, and can protect you from the sun’s UV rays. The fibers made from pure hemp imitate linen in texture. Moreover, it can be mixed with other natural fibers to generate fabrics with hemp’s durability and the advantages of different materials, such as bamboo or cotton’s softness.
So, what else do you need to know about hemp and how does it differ from other natural fibers on the market? Also, you might be wondering why it is actually sustainable. Read on to find out more.
How Does Hemp Fabric Get Generated?
This fabric is constructed from lengthy strands of fiber that come together to make the stalk of a plant. These strands are separated from the bark through a procedure named retting. Then, the fibres are spun together to generate a continuous thread that is then woven into fabric.
The stages of this procedure are executed organically via a mechanical method that doesn’t require chemicals. Despite this, a lot of businesses now generate hemp fabric chemically with a system that, whilst being quick and cheap to make, is intensive on our surrounding environment.
Frequently, you know that hemp fabric has gone through the mentioned intensive procedure if you spot the label ‘hemp viscose’. This usually embeds the same toxic processing with harmful chemicals as standard viscose. Some organizations may utilize the less impactful lyocell procedure, so it’s undoubtedly worth checking this before buying a garment made of hemp.
Even after the weaving process, this fabric can impact our environment. After all, after being generated, there’s a possibility the material will be dyed, again resulting in adverse environmental impacts. Thus, though hemp is sustainable to cultivate, we still must ensure that the production process utilized to transfer the plant into a fabric also has a low impact on our planet. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure that their operations consider their laborers, consumers, and our ecosystem, as well as profitability.
Why is Hemp Sustainable?
After looking at what hemp is and how it is made into fabric, it’s now worth shedding light on how hemp fabric is sustainable. With the nickname ‘weed’, this densely growing plant chokes out competing plants, meaning the use of harmful, chemical herbicides is unnecessary.
Furthermore, hemp is also naturally repellent to insects, meaning no pesticides are necessary. Also, this plant returns over half of the nutrients it absorbs from the soil, thus keeping the soil healthy in the long run.
Hemp needs little water, especially when compared to materials such as cotton. Cotton utilizes around quadruple the amount of water as hemp, which dramatically burdens our environment. On the subject of needing little, hemp also requires a pretty small amount of land to grow. Hemp can generate around double the fiber yield per hectare as cotton, making it a great use of space.
Despite this, it’s critical to note here that hemp is not always organic since some farmers still utilize harmful fertilizer on their lands. So, when purchasing hemp fabric, ensure it is organic and research the clothing brand before making any shopping decisions.
From an eco-friendly perspective, the advantages of hemp are pretty fantastic. If you want to start making better choices for our environment, picking hemp over synthetic clothing materials is the way to go!
Furthermore, it’s apparent that businesses and marketers worldwide can profit from selling and promoting hemp. Many consumers are looking for eco materials, making hemp fabric incredibly appealing in today’s market.
Finally, there are still things to consider when buying hemp. You still might be negatively impacting our planet depending on how the fabric was processed, which is why it is so vital to do your research before making a purchase!