Hemp fabric is quickly gaining favour as a sustainable and environmentally beneficial alternative to other textile materials. So, what is hemp fabric? In this article, Dugarco will explore the salient features of hemp fabric as well as its various applications in everyday usage.
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1. What is hemp fabric?
Hemp fabric is one of the most familiar and widely used materials in our daily fashion. However, there are still a lot of people who still don’t know what is hemp fabric. Hemp fabric is a textile material made from the fibres of the hemp plant, which is a crop with a very high yield that belongs to the cannabis sativa plant family. For thousands of years, this plant has been known as a source of incredibly strong and long-lasting textile fibres. Hemp is known as one of the best natural fabrics for everyday usage since it has 8 times the tensile strength of other natural fibres.
Asia, Europe, and North America are among the continents where hemp cloth is made. Among all, China is currently the largest producer of hemp fabric, accounting for approximately 70% of the world’s production. Hemp fabric’s accessibility and quality might change based on the location and manufacturing techniques of each country.
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2. Outstanding benefits of hemp fabric
Hemp fabric offers a number of exceptional benefits that increase its appeal as a preferred material for a variety of products, including apparel, accessories, and home goods:
- Hemp cloth is eight times stronger than conventional materials. It is also a durable and sustainable alternative because it is resistant to wear.
- It brings the wearer a comfortable feeling in a range of temperatures because it is naturally breathable and moisture-wicking.
- The wearers would be protected from the sun’s UV radiation by hemp clothing. Additionally, hemp fabric is naturally antibacterial, meaning it inhibits the development of bacteria and odors, making it a fantastic material for sportswear and other clothing that requires regular washing.
- Hemp fabric is environmentally benign since it can be readily recycled and uses less water, pesticides, and fertilizers to grow than many other crops.
- Hemp cloth absorbs more water than other types of fabric, thus it can keep you dry for longer.
3. Advantages and disadvantages of hemp fabric
Hemp fabric, like any material, has benefits and drawbacks that should be taken into account before using it for apparel or other items. We will cover the benefits and drawbacks of hemp cloth to assist you in determining whether it is the best option for you:
Advantages of Hemp Fabric:
- Durable: With careful care, the hemp fabric may endure up to 20 or 30 years. The fibres of hemp won’t disintegrate with time, but they will become softer.
- Lightweight and breathable: The porous structure of hemp fibres gives the hemp fabric the ability to freely circulate air. Due to its lightweight and breathability, hemp fabric is an adaptable and comfortable option for a range of apparel types, including athletic and outdoor wear.
- Antimicrobial: Since hemp is resistant to damaging microorganisms and mildew, hemp clothing won’t smell after use. It is also appropriate for those with sensitive skin.
Disadvantages of Hemp Fabric:
- Little textured: Compared to other materials, hemp fabric has a rougher feel. Therefore, it may not be as attractive to some people who love the softness.
- Expensive: Hemp cloth may be more expensive than other forms of fabric due to its limited availability and complicated processing costs.
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4. The production process of hemp fabric
For a long time, garments, textiles, and other things have been made from hemp fibre, a well-liked textile material. Hemp cloth is made using a multi-step process. Let’s take a look at how hemp fabric is made.
4.1. Planting and harvesting
Planting is the initial step in the manufacture of hemp cloth. The farmer may sow the greatest number of plants feasible since hemp seeds are put closely together so they will grow upward and not outward. Then, they make the harvesting process. The hemp stems are cut and laid out in rows to dry after around 80 days following planting.
After that, a procedure known as retting is used to separate the fibre from the hemp stems. At this stage, the stems are crushed to allow the fibres to fully split while being left to degrade in a field. Chemicals can also be used indoors to do the retting process.
4.3. Hemp fiber treatment
Farmers separate the fibres from the woody core and then shape them into bales. The fibres are then taken from the field and prepared for processing into yarn. Today, producers often use chemical or mechanical techniques to soften the fibres and increase flexibility.
To create the long threads that are woven into textiles, machines spin and twist the fibres together. By mixing the hemp at this point, additional fibres may be added and combined with it to create hemp clothing. This was formerly accomplished by manufacturers using a hand-spinning technique.
The final stage is weaving, which involves combining all of the fibres to create sustainable yarn. In this process, hemp fibres may also be combined with materials like cotton, silk, or wool.
5. Applications of hemp in life
Hemp is a flexible plant that has been utilized historically for a variety of purposes. So, what is hemp fabric used for? Clothing is the main industry for hemp cloth. Hemp is frequently used to create apparel such as dresses, skirts, jeans, jackets, T-shirts, hoodies, and kid’s clothes. This kind of fabric is very well-liked for T-shirts since it is abrasion-resistant, lightweight and breathable.
In addition, towels made of hemp cloth are particularly well-liked because of the material’s great absorbency and durability. Additionally, some customers can decide to utilize hemp bed linens. Despite one of the minor drawbacks it isn’t nearly as soft as cotton, hemp fabric’s exceptional durability makes it a fantastic material to use with blankets and bed linen.
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6. Sustainability of hemp fabric in the textile industry
The considerable negative environmental effects of the textile sector are now a concern. Hemp fabric has emerged as a viable alternative as consumers and producers become more conscious of the need for sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives.
- Less pesticide: Hemp has the ability to grow without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides. These substances are hazardous to the environment, especially the nearby humans and animals. This is a benefit of hemp cloth over cotton, which requires a significant amount of these chemicals throughout the production process.
- Better for the soil: Because hemp has a deep root system, the soil is constantly being improved. Additionally, the leaves and hurds may be ploughed into the ground to act as fertilizer, while the stalk is utilized for fibre. This helps replenish soil fertility and aid the growth of upcoming hemp fabric crops.
7. Compare hemp fabric with other eco-friendly fabrics
Numerous natural and organic fabrics have become popular as the need for eco-friendly and sustainable textiles rises. Let’s compare hemp fabric with other environmentally friendly materials to have a better understanding of the sustainable textile options available.
7.1. Hemp fabric and cotton
Cotton and hemp cloth are two common natural fibres used in the textile business. However, they differ significantly from one another. When compared to cotton, hemp is a more ecologically friendly crop since it grows with less water, pesticides, and fertilizer. Compared to cotton, hemp cloth is also stronger and more resistant to tearing. However, cotton is more pleasant to wear on the skin since it is softer and has a smoother texture.
7.2. Hemp fabric and linen
Hemp fabric and linen are two natural fibres and both materials are highly sustainable. Like hemp, linen is an environmentally beneficial fabric choice since it uses fewer herbicides and fertilizers than cotton. However, compared to linen, hemp cloth is more robust and stain-resistant. On the other hand, linen is a popular choice for apparel and bedding because of its softness and smooth texture.
7.3. Hemp fabric and bamboo
Hemp fabric and bamboo fabric are all sustainable and eco-friendly. Compared to normal cotton, these materials require less water and chemicals to grow. However, compared to hemp cloth, bamboo fabric manufacturing might include higher chemical input.
8. How to use quality hemp clothes
For people that emphasize sustainability in their wardrobe, hemp clothing is a popular option due to its long lifespan and eco-friendliness. It’s crucial to take care of your hemp clothing properly to get the most use out of them. Hemp clothes should be washed in cold water with moderate detergent. It is advisable to line dry hemp clothing or use a low heat setting on the dryer to prevent shrinking. To prevent the fabric from fading or deteriorating, keep hemp apparel out of the sun and extreme heat.
The above article by Dugarco has clearly answered the question of what is hemp fabric as well as mentioned some applications and benefits of hemp fabric. All of us can help create a more sustainable and ecologically conscious future by adopting hemp cloth and promoting its many uses.
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