Hemp Clothing: A New Sustainable Alternative

Hemp has a very long history. It is actually a fibre and it has been used for various cultivation for more than a thousand of years across the world. In fact, rumor has it,  the word canvas has been derived from the word cannabis. Hemp is often used for industrial purposes and it is one of the fastest-growing plants. Researchers say that this plant is also one of the first to be spun into fibre 50,000 years ago. Guess what,  it’s interesting to know that Hemp can be used for commercial purposes for example it can be used in textiles, paper, clothing, biodegradable material, biofuel, animal feed, and much more. 

Hemp is a bast fibre which means that the fibres of this plant are derived from the stems and made into products like flax, jute, and stinging nettle. Now you might ask, what is  Bast fibre? No! You do not have to Google it, the answer is very simple, it is a fibrous material from a plant especially the inner bark of a tree.

A much more interesting fact is that the fabric which is made from the plant helps you to stay warm in winter, cool in summer, and even protects you from the sun’s UV rays. Therefore we can claim easily that it has various natural advantages. Fibre produced from pure Hemp is often very similar to that of linen. It can also be blended with other natural materials to create a fabric with durability. 

But why do researchers always have a question regarding this little ferny type green leaf? Is it very different from other natural fibre? 

It is actually very different from other natural fibres that are available in the market. Not only the plant is producing natural fibres and can be easily blended but it has some healing properties too. Actually the seed of this tiny plant has all the properties. Like for example, it helps in neurological problems, protects the brain, reduces inflammation on the skin, boosts heart health, and even cures rheumatoid arthritis. 

Amazingly no pesticides are actually needed, as it is a very densely growing plant altogether. And this tiny plant is also helpful to mother nature; it returns back  60 to 70% of the nutrients that it takes from the soil. Hemp requires very less water and it is gentle on the Earth’s surface. Now if you compare Hemp with Cotton, results show that hemp requires very less amount of land to cultivate, and even it produces double the fibre yield per hectare than cotton.

The fabric is made from the long strands of the plant fibre, which is basically the stalk of the plant. Now, these fibres need to be separated from the plant, and for that procedure named retting is being used. After retting, these fibres are spun together to form a continuous thread and then woven into high-quality fabrics. These whole processes can be done organically which actually does not require any chemicals.

But nowadays there are companies who are using chemicals for producing these fabrics and making it harsh for the environment and its surroundings. Secondly, the process is much cheaper and faster as well. Even after weaving the impact of the fabric doesn’t just stop once. Often the companies are dying the fabric by using their own techniques which is again creating a nuisance for the environment. So before buying any Hemp products it is highly recommended for all the buyers to check on the fabric multiple times. 

Hence it is proved that Hemp is a sustainable crop to grow,  but we still need to be sure of the fact that the process of turning a green plant into a piece of fabric should have a low impact on our planet earth. Responsibility is much more for the producers because they need to take care of the environment, along with their workers, consumers, and their profitability. 

However, with so many benefits, the plant is still now banned in various countries across the planet. Till now people get confused between the hemp and the cannabis tree. The cannabis tree is also from the same family of hemp but it has few more properties, which often makes people high. So, that stigma of getting high is also still associated with hemp.

On the other hand, hemp-based oils are getting recognized in various parts of the world, even a hemp-based spray has also been approved to treat multiple sclerosis. So, the world is slowly opening up its arms for hemp-based products, the progress is slow, but it is happening. So, just like any other hemp-based products, hemp clothing might also be the next big thing in a few years’ time.

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