|• benefits • hemp textile development • where to buy hemp clothing|
Hemp is the most durable of natural fibers.
Hemp is also a very eco-friendly crop. It requires no pesticides and needs little water, yet it renews the soil with each growth cycle. It's long roots prevent erosion and help retain topsoil. Hemp grows readily in most temperate regions.
|In many ways, hemp could be considered a miracle fiber. Consider the advantages:|
cellulose fiber from hemp is used to make many products, including
jeans, shirts, dresses, hats, bags, ropes and canvas, skin care products, building
materials, paper and many food products. Until the 1920's, 80% of clothing was
made from hemp textiles.
Hemp can be grown with little or no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Nothing is wasted in the production process: seeds are used to make oil and food supplements, while the stalks are used for fiber. Hemp also produces more fiber per acre than trees, and can be renewed two to three times per year!
China, the world's leading producer of hemp fabric, uses chemical methods for processing hemp, while producers in Europe have begun using cleaner biologically-based enzyme technology. Neither method produces fabric with the same whiteness and softness as cotton. As a consequence, hemp clothing is often blended with cotton, which from an environmental perspective, consumes far more resources than hemp. To address this concern, Hemptown Clothing and the Canadian federal science organization NRC have collaborated to patent an innovative enzyme process that transforms industrial hemp into a soft, white “Canadian cotton” product, called Crailar.
1. European enzyme-treated fibre
2. Chinese fibre
3. NRC enzyme-treated fibre
Images: National Research Council Canada
Unfortunately, the politics of hemp has for over 60 years interfered with the development of hemp-based textiles and many other useful hemp products. A campaign of misinformation, initiated early in the 20th century, stands in stark contrast to scientific evidence. The hemp plant commercially grown for fiber has no significant value as a recreational drug.
Today, hemp is grown around the world. The plant is harvested all throughout Europe, Russia, China and Canada. The best way to encourage the legalization of commercial hemp farming in the United States, which is getting closer every year, is by purchasing hemp-based products. Supply will follow demand.
The value of this versatile, easy to grow, eco-friendly crop is becoming more and more apparent. For example, Canadian hemp farmers make $80 per hectare while American grain farmers make $8. This represents a promising option for farmers whose current crops experience reduced demand. Tobacco farmers take note!
|Sources - where to find hemp clothing online|
Hemp Authority - hemp clothing and accessories from head to toe
Vital Hemp - tops, pants, shorts, for men and women, logowear, accessories, etc.
Onno Textiles - hemp, bamboo and organic cotton t-shirts
Faerie's Dance - stunning women's fashions in hemp, soy, organic cotton and bamboo
Dash Hemp - Dash Hemp designs upscale hemp clothing for men and women