Hemp in the textile industry

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Hemp fabric- breathable and sustainable, hemp fiber is a kind of textile which is made out of the stalk of cannabis sativa plant. This plant is known for being a source of extraordinarily durable fabric with a high tensile strength. However the psychoactive properties of cannabis sativa have made it quite hard for farmers to produce this crop in bulk.

In earlier times cannabis sativa has mainly been bred for two major purposes. One reason for its cultivation was to obtain high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the other psychoactive chemical called cannabinoids. The second reason behind cultivation was to obtain strong fibers while purposely reducing levels of psychoactive cannabinoids

The stalks of hemp plants consists of two layers, the inner layer has a woody pith whereas the outer one is used for textile purposes. Inner one can be utilized for fuel, animal bedding etc. When the external layer is stripped from the hemp plant it can be processed to make hemp yarn which is then used for clothing, the fabric made out of that yarn surpasses cotton and synthetic textiles in so many metrics, it has amazing properties!

However, there is still lack of awareness amongst people and lots of legislations across the globe do not regard the difference between marijuana and hemp which makes them take little or no economic advantage out of it. They mostly stigmatize it as a drug. Still, there are a lot of countries embracing industrial hemp and its cultivation which gives a notion that modern renaissance of hemp fabric is close. Fibers from the hemp plant are long and robust hemp fabric is soft and durable at the same time, it does have a canvas like texture but once processed it feels similar to cotton. Hemp fabric is very resistant to pilling and does not shrink. To get a better picture of its durability and life, a cotton shirt lasts typically for 10 years whereas a shirt made out of hemp would last two to three times more, it is said that hemp fiber is three times stronger than cotton. It is pretty breathable and light weight which makes it ideal for hot weather as it allows moisture to pass through it.

Hemp fabric is also resistant to molds and mildews, another amazing feature of hemp fabric is that it doesn’t degrade after many washes in fact gets softer and more comfortable to wear. The sustainability of fabric made out of industrial hemp makes it a great fabric for the textile industry.

The process of making hemp fiber includes the purification and steam explosion to render raw hemp into a weavable form. Hemp fiber is also very absorbent and for that reasons towels are made out of it.

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