What are Hemp Towels? Here’s Everything to Know

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Are you in need of a quick-drying towel that dries you off fast every time you step out of the water? Looking for towels with ultra-absorbent fabric?

If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s time you tried out hemp towels.

Hemp towels offer superior quality with every wash. The fabric softens with continued use, making it more soothing to use. What’s more, hemp is one of the most durable fibers. Towels made from it can withstand wear for years. 

This detailed guide will go through everything you need to know about hemp towels, including its advantages, how they perform in comparison to cotton towels, maintenance requirements, and where you can buy them.

hemp towels
What are Hemp Towels? Here’s Everything to Know

What are the Advantages of Hemp Towels?

Hemp towels are made from hemp fiber instead of the usual cotton fiber. It does come with several advantages over towels made from other materials. These include:

Quick Drying

Whether you’re taking a shower or hitting the beach, a quick-drying towel is a must-have accessory that quickly eliminates wet messes. Thanks to its high absorbency, hemp towels quickly and easily dry the skin and other surfaces.

Natural UV Light Protection

Hemp fabric acts as a natural filter against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This makes hemp towels great for skin protection, especially when spending time outdoors like at the pool or beach.

Don’t Catch Odors Easily

Hemp fabric boasts of excellent breathability, which means your towels won’t collect odors with continued use. This makes them particularly useful as gym towels. The breathable nature of these towels also allows them to stay cool in warm weather.

Anti-Microbial and Hypoallergenic

Hemp towels provide lasting, continual protection against harmful bacteria with every wash. They’re also effective against stains and odor-causing microbes, ensuring you have a fresh and cleaner towel for longer. Additionally, these towels aren’t irritating to the skin and can’t grow mold even when stored in damp and poorly ventilated conditions.

Hemp Towels vs. Cotton Towels: Which One is Better?

If you’re wondering how hemp towels are different from cotton towels (besides the raw materials used), here are some benefits to consider:

Better Color Retention

Because it’s highly water absorbent, hemp towels will dye and retain their color better than other fabrics like cotton.


Hemp fabric is thrice the tensile strength of cotton. This combined with its ability to resist UV radiations and mold damage, means that your hemp towel will maintain a fresh and vibrant look for longer.

Softer on the Skin

While new cotton towels feel softer to the skin than hemp towels, this softness reduces with every wash. On the other hand, hemp towels get softer with continued use. Repeated washing doesn’t affect hemp towels as they do to cotton towels. This means you get to use your hemp towel longer without compromising on comfort.

Cheaper to Produce

Thanks to its minimal cultivation requirements, hemp is more affordable to grow. It also comes with a short growth cycle of about 3-4 months, meaning farmers can replenish the supply of this raw material up to three times per year.

Additionally, cultivating hemp requires half the amount of water needed to grow cotton. And because it is a hardy plant, it can be grown without irrigation, fertilizers, chemical pesticides which may pollute the environment.

On the other hand, cotton usually takes about 6 months to fully mature for harvesting. As a farmer, it makes economic sense to invest more in hemp than cotton for fabric production.

What are the Different Types of Hemp Towels?

When shopping for a hemp towel, you’ll come across two main types:

Hemp Blend Towels

These towels are made from a blend of cotton and hemp fabric (typically 45% cotton fabric and 55% hemp fabric) and feature a flat-weave construction. Hemp blend towels are great for backpackers who need multipurpose towels that combine the lightweight, comfortable feel of cotton with the breathability and anti-microbial properties of hemp fabric.

100% Organic Hemp Towels

These are hemp towels made purely from hemp fiber. They come with all the benefits that pure hemp fabric provides including unmatched absorbency, durability, quick drying, and UV protection.

Why are Hemp Towels Not as Popular as Cotton Towels?

Up until 2018, hemp cultivation was illegal in U.S. Fortunately, with the 2018 Farm Bill, the cultivation of hemp and the use of its productions was allowed. This means hemp towels are fairly new products in the market, and not as popular as other alternatives such as cotton towels.

As more farmers realize the benefits of hemp cultivation, you can expect more production of this product. Over time, the prices of industrial hemp will go down and hemp towels will be easily accessible to the public.

How to Maintain Hemp Towels

Maintenance for hemp towels is similar to any other fabric. Consider the following hemp towel care practices:

Washing Hemp Towels

Hemp fabric is best cleaned with a gentle wash. You should set your washing machine to a gentle wash cycle and use a mild detergent and lukewarm water.

Bleach is generally not recommended as a cleaning agent for hemp fabric. However, if you want to remove stains from hemp towels, use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach. The latter causes yellowing and may weaken the hemp fabric.

Also, it’s important to double rinse or triple rinse when handwashing hemp towels, as any residual soap left on it may cause cellulose oxidation, which consequently leads to large, brown stain spots.

Drying Hemp Towels

There are several methods to effectively dry your hemp towels in between uses or after washing. To avoid wrinkles, ensure to stretch out your hemp towels when line drying in the sun.

While hemp experts recommend line drying in the sun as the most effective method, it’s usually impractical in some instances. Machine drying hemp towels calls for accuracy with the timing. When subjected to the dryer’s heat for too long, the hemp fibers in the towel may begin to break.

Ironing Hemp Towels

Hemp towels are best ironed when slightly wet. If your towel is completely dry, you can easily burn it when ironing. So, ensure you dampen it first.

Where to Buy Hemp Towels

Hemp towels are usually available for sale on various online stores and e-commerce marketplaces. You can either order 100% organic hemp towels or hemp blend towels and they’ll be delivered straight to your doorstep. You can also check out a local hemp store near you.

Interested to learn more about the capabilities of the hemp plant? Subscribe to our hemp blog.

hemp towels
Interested to learn more about the capabilities of the hemp plant? Subscribe to our hemp blog.