a) Definition of Hemp Clothing
Hemp cloth is made from hemp fabric which is derived from hemp cellulose fibers. Hemp fabric is then spun to make jeans, dresses, hats, bags, canvas among other items. Sometimes hemp is mixed with lyocell to make clothing.
Various methods can be employed to spin fiber from hemp including using chemical methods or more modern and environment-friendly biologically-based enzyme technology methods. At the moment as more research is being undertaken, to get soft hemp clothing fiber or white fabric, the material has to be blended with cotton.
Why Hemp is Preferable to Other Fabrics
Traditional crops like cotton are not environment-friendly. Hemp farming uses considerably less water in comparison to cotton farming. Additionally, cotton plants use more pesticides than hemp plants. Also, the process of spinning cotton into the fiber is toxic.
Hemp, on the other hand, requires a little amount of water to grow, the crop requires little weeding and few pesticides if any. In addition, hemp is a good rotational crop to grow because it enriches the soil. Besides, hemp requires no chemicals to be spun into fabric.
Just as importantly, hemp fibers are strong, UV and mold-resistant. Also, the material is lightweight, highly absorbent and strong. In addition to spinning them into fabrics, they can also be used to make ropes and other materials. Hemp is strong even when exposed to moisture.
What’s more, hemp fiber can be combined with other fibers to achieve other qualities. Furthermore, because it takes only about three months to grow a hemp crop to full maturity, the material is also quite cost-effective.
Why Cotton has been a Popular Fabric for Decades
Cotton has been the world’s primary fabric for many decades. First and foremost, cotton has no link or resemblance with any psychoactive plant. The industrial hemp plant was demonized because of its association with marijuana. The marijuana plant has high contents of the THC component which makes someone get high because it is psychoactive.
Also, although hemp fibers are naturally strong, they are quite stiff unlike their cotton counterpart which is soft. Hemp fibers are also not white in color naturally like cotton material.
Therefore, most manufacturers and consumers still have a preference for materials like cotton, polyester, Gortex, lycra, and spandex among others although they are non-sustainable and therefore not planet friendly, they have some properties which hemp fabrics don’t have for example stiffness and a rough texture.
The good thing is that there are many researchers and manufacturers working round the clock to found innovative ways of making hemp fabric more user-friendly. Manufacturers are innovating eco-friendly processes to transform hemp fibers into white and soft textures.
b) The History of Hemp Clothing
Hemp clothing is quite a historic agricultural crop in the USA. Hemp was grown for its fiber for making ropes and textiles. The clothing was very popular in the 18th Century and most clothing was made from hemp textiles. It was the period before the independence of the USA and many years after independence. It stopped being popular during World War II.
The hemp material was used by Betsy Ross to make the first American flag. Also, two of the founding fathers of the USA who were also presidents namely Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were hemp farmers. George Washington was a hemp advocate, he said: “Make the most of the hemp seed, sow it everywhere.”
c) The Future of Hemp Clothing
The future of global farming and manufacturing is sustainable products. This means planet-friendly products that have as little carbon emissions as possible during the farming process, manufacturing process and transport process. The industrial hemp fiber will be preferred to other clothing fibers in the future because it is a sustainable plant.
First, the fiber is sustainably grown. The fibers take a short period of time and use little water and agro-chemicals. Because of these attributes, the cost of hemp fabrics is expected to go down. In addition, Industrial hemp material is strong and excellent for making clothing and other products like ropes.
After the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, it is supposed that more farmers in all the 50 states of the United States will adapt to growing the hemp plant. This will make the material readily available and cheaper in the long run. In the past, fibers had to be sourced from countries like China which had fewer restrictions on growing hemp.
However, although hemp fabric is strong, it is stiffer than cotton and it is hard to achieve it in color white after processing. Manufacturing and researchers are looking for eco-friendly processes to overcome this problem. Cotton is a popular fiber used across the globe. It is more advantageous over hemp in the fact that it is white and soft. However, this is slowly changing.
In the near future, hemp fiber may overtake cotton in popularity because of its sustainability as a material. It may take several decades but it may come to pass. Some organizations are using various technologies including green chemistry and enzyme science to make hemp fiber softer and whiter by removing all the pectins in it, using the same kind of technology used in paper production.
d) Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy hemp clothing?
Where to buy hemp clothing should not be a problem. You should be able to find a hemp clothing store online stocking different types of hemp apparel including hemp shirts, hemp jeans, men’s hemp clothing, female hemp clothing. And if you are a wholesaler, you can find a store offering hemp clothing wholesale prices.
Where can I buy 100 hemp clothing?
There are various stores online that you can find hemp clothes that are made from 100% hemp fiber.
How breathable is Hemp Clothing?
Hemp performs well when exposed to water and moisture. Hemp fabric is breathable, and therefore, it doesn’t hold moisture, a property that makes it keeping clothes odorless. The fabric is also anti-mold and anti-mildew.
Why is hemp clothing expensive?
In the past, it was illegal to grow hemp in the USA and some other parts of the world. Before the legalization of hemp growing, the fiber was scarce in the USA. Hemp was associated with its cousin, marijuana which they highly resemble. Hemp fiber, the material used for making hemp fabrics had to be imported from China.
The good thing is that this will change in the near future. Following the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, more farmers are expected to grow hemp, to increase the supply of hemp fabrics and make it cheaper to manufacturers and consumers.
Which is warmer, cotton or hemp clothing?
Hemp clothing is warmer than cotton.