Hemp is a versatile crop grown widely across the world since ancient times, making it one of the oldest industries in the world. Hemp fabric can be produced much more rapidly than other fabrics. This fast growth makes hemp a cheap and plentiful material for clothing. But in the past, steep legal requirements have kept it out of reach. However, of late, the fabric is becoming a go-to choice for conscious beings around the world.
Organic hemp fabric is one of the most sustainable alternatives available according to the Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibers. You can wear or use it to make bags, clothing, or even booties & burp cloths for babies. This article tells you everything you wanted to know about hemp fabric but didn’t know who to ask. So, let’s dive in!
What is hemp?
Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family, which contains hundreds of varieties of plants. Hemp and marijuana are both types of the cannabis plant, but they are genetically distinct and have different characteristics. Unlike marijuana, hemp has no THC (the substance that’s responsible for giving you the buzz) at all; so it cannot get you high!
Hemp fabric is made from bast fibers of the plant, which are obtained from the stalks of the cannabis plants. It is extremely durable and strong, making it perfect for clothing, furniture, and other products that need to hold up to a lot of wear and tear.
There are many different types of hemp fabrics available today — some with a soft hand feel and others that are more stiff and sturdy. The fiber content determines how durable it will be, as well as its thickness.
Why is hemp a good fabric for clothing?
Hemp has been used for thousands of years for its fibers, oils, and seeds. But now it is being used for clothing as well. The fabric has many added benefits.
- It is resistant to UV light – which means it will last longer than other fibers in direct sunlight.
- It is durable – hemp fabric has stronger fibers than other fabrics such as cotton; hence it doesn’t tear easily.
- It’s breathable – keeping you cooler in summer and warmer in winters.
- It is antibacterial – which means it is great for those who suffer from allergies or skin conditions such as eczema.
- It doesn’t wrinkle easily and is quick-drying – perfect for traveling!
Is hemp sustainable?
Yes, the good news is organic hemp is a sustainable fabric. The plant requires no pesticides or herbicides and it can naturally resist insects, weeds, and other pests. Its roots help prevent erosion in fields, while its leaves provide nutrients for soil health.
In addition, hemp grows similar to weeds (unwanted plants); so it requires very little water and no fertilizers, making it ideal for growing in areas where water is scarce or soil quality is poor. The plant can also grow with minimal interference from humans, making it an excellent option for sustainable agriculture.
Hemp fabric, for sure, is good for the planet and for you! But there’s a catch. Whenever looking for hemp clothing, beware of greenwashing! Usually, hemp fabric is made organically using mechanical processes. However, nowadays hemp is also being manufactured chemically. The process is faster and cheaper; but at the same time, it is not very eco-friendly.
For example, if a clothing item comes with the label ‘hemp viscose,’ it means that it has gone through intensive processing and chemical treatments. Similarly, the dyes used with the fabric may or may not have toxins in them. So, it is always better to look for transparent hemp brands. Such brands clearly state various parameters like how the raw material is obtained, their labor practices, the manufacturing process, certifications they have, etc.
If you are looking for some brands to shop for hemp clothes, here are our favorite hemp clothing brands that you can check out!
The final verdict
Yes, hemp fabric cultivated and manufactured organically is a great option for your home, wardrobe, and the planet. Just make sure to look at the label to know what you are buying.
Hopefully, we have convinced you to give hemp fabric a chance and made you more aware of the sustainability of this much-neglected fabric. So get ready to fall in love with hemp! ☘️