Earlier this month, our founder Beatrice was interviewed by some of the students at Enmore Design School in Sydney. With lots of schools, colleges and universities introducing new courses regarding natural and sustainable interests, we are always inundated with students (and teachers!) wanting more information about hemp.
If you had any further questions, or were interested in inviting Beatrice to your school for a conversation or lecture on sustainable fibres please contact us by emailing email@example.com.
WHAT IS HEMP?
Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plant and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items, including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed.
Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp both derive from the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique phytochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.
WHERE IS IT MADE?
Rather than being 'made' it is grown as an agricultural crop. It grows very quickly (3-4 months from planting to harvest) without the use of herbicides, insecticides nor harsh toxic chemicals during yarn and textile production. Hemp farming compared to cotton farming uses much less water. Sinful to think you need 6000litres of water to grow enough cotton for 1 T-shirt!!!
Australia should never have grown rice nor cotton but the chemical companies make billions of $$$ out of the industry. We also never hear about the birth defects and cancer rates in cotton growing regions due to chemical runoffs.
In Australia first hemp crops were grown in Parramatta State farms and first hemp cloth woven in 1803. Hemp WAS the economy back then, used for clothing, ropes, sails, oils for lamps, food and medicine. Hemp has been grown and utilised all around the world for thousands of years. Captain Cooks botanist, Sir Joseph Banks has written a whole paper on hemp. Historically it is said that VIC and TAS was meant to be a penal colony and NSW hemp colony.
WHAT IS THE PRODUCTION METHOD OF HEMP? (FROM PLANT TO FIBRE/MATERIAL)
Apart from a trend towards sustainability, for some people and families it has become a necessity. I was invited to attend a conference set up by 27 families who all have low immune systems, where wifi and non natural materials actually make them sick. In some cases high school kids are missing 2-3 years of schooling as the school buildings, furniture and uniforms make them ill. This group of people have bought acreage in Tocal/Patterson NSW with the intention of creating a totally chemical, EMF and wifi free village, utilising hemp as the main commodity.
WHERE IS HEMP MOSTLY USED, REGARDING INTERIOR?
Hemp and hemp blends can be used for window coverings, soft furnishing, lamps, rugs, bedding, upholstery, canvases for artwork
Hemp interiors are ideal for boats and yachts and it is naturally mould and mildew resistant.
Looking at hemp fibre through a microscope, it is hollow hence giving superior insulation and breathability.
Hemp is also the longest, most lustrous naturally grown and processed fibre, which makes it naturally more durable. e.g. Hemp Gallery Newport range of 55%hemp/45%cert org cotton canvas has tested heavy duty commercial grade without toxic surface treatments.
CAN HEMP BE USED IN COMMERCIAL SPACES?
Yes, however the standards in Australia for commercial interiors require chemical intervention with anti flammability, antimicrobial etc and there is no wash house in Australia who actually provide this service!
For larger projects with a longer time frame e.g. 500metres plus, we can get these treatments applied in China.
CAN I SOURCE SAMPLES FOR CLIENTS?
Always! We can post them out to you or you can bring your client to our showroom at unit 11a, no 16 Aquatic Drive Frenchs Forest
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR ITEMS FROM HEMP GALLERY AUSTRALIA?
Bed Linen and fabrics by the metre, apart from hemp oil, seeds and protein powder.
DO YOU DO CUSTOM FITTINGS/ITEMS/PATTERNS?
We have a large network of sewers, screen and digital printers apart from textile and product designers, all in Sydney so we can provide bespoke service at reasonable prices.
WHAT IS THE TURNAROUND TIME FOR ORDERING CUSTOM?
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, turn around could be 2 to 4 weeks.
WHAT COLOURS DO THE HEMP PRODUCTS COME IN?
Depends which products you mean...we have a lot!
Bedlinen is only in off white, although we are going to launch a 100% raw hemp in it's natural colour by Christmas.
There are a few different colours in the hemp/org cot canvases. We also can dye the fabrics to any Pantone colour.
As an environmentalist I believe keeping the larger items in a room in the natural palette is a good idea, as our taste change over the years. Hemp fabrics don't pill and keep their shape very well so they end up being heir loom items, where we can mix and match and/or change the accent colours as our taste change with time.
If you'd like accent pop of colour, our wonderful textile designers St James Whitting have a range of amazing designs ready for print, along side rugs and artwork we can compliment with lamps, throws and cushions.
AS A DESIGNER WOULD YOU SUGGEST THIS FOR YOUR CLIENTS?
I am totally bias when it comes to hemp in general, so yes, always.
It's the healthier alternative to petrochemicals in every way, where from the growing, all the way to the consumer it does not harm anyone or anything in this precious world of ours. Hemp farming actually rejuvenates the soil it grows on, drawing out heavy metals but that's another whole story.
Is hemp becoming more popular in interior design?
Not only interior design but also apparel, footware even houses being built out of hempcrete.