The Hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa L. is one of the oldest utilized plants pre-history. Its early uses were building materials, paper, textile, fuel, food and medicine. Modern technology has allowed us to improve the quality of these early uses of Hemp into such manner of things as cosmetics, comfortable and durable clothing, 21st century paper, biodegradable plastics, fuels and paints, just to name a few. In fact, anything that is made from hydrocarbons (i.e. mineral oil-based) can be made from carbohydrates (i.e. plant-derived raw materials).
The advantage carbohydrates have over hydrocarbons is that firstly, they are generally non-toxic, biodegradable substances, whereas hydrocarbons do not easily break down and have toxic effects such as soil damage and global warming. Secondly, carbohydrate is a renewable resource, whereas hydrocarbon is not.
Modern technology can make hemp the most practical environmentally sensible textile on the planet. It is natural, rapidly renewable crop, needs little if any pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and modest quantities of water. Hemp fabric is warm in winter, cool and breathable in summer, organic and can be blended easily with other textiles.
With the correct technology in place, it can serve a wide range of cloth textures from strong and durable to soft and comfortable. Hemp's natural creamy colour eliminates the need for chlorine bleach, which prevents the dumping of the toxin, dioxin into our streams and oceans. It is clean, both for the environment and the user.
Strength and durability
The quality of the fibre obtained from the hemp plant is what makes it outstanding against other natural fibres. Due to its length, (each fibre is as long as the plant itself, up to five meters), it can be spun into very durable material.
Hemp is up to 8 times the tensile strength and 4 times as durable as cotton.
Hemp can be extruded to make a soft silk-like fibre or used to make the strongest ropes. It blends easily with other textiles to create both a very soft & durable fabric that feels good when worn.
Hemp fabric breathes wonderfully against the skin. Sleeping in hemp is as comfortable as the finest of linens. Hemp was the major source of early American linen.
Hemp, due to its natural fibre properties and superior absorbency, dyes extremely well and is perfect for use as a screen printing fabric. This absorbent facet, along with its natural antiseptic character, makes it an ideal material for towels, nappies, hospital linen and children's clothing.
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