Hemp is a versatile option for textiles that has gained a lot of notoriety in recent years. It is made out of the fibres present in the cannabis sativa plant, which is a strong fibre to develop comfortable clothing. Hemp clothing could be an option for you but before you try them out, let’s learn a little bit more about this product and the benefits and disadvantages of clothes made from hemp.
Hemp has been used for thousands of years to manufacture a variety of products such as paper, rope and, of course, textiles for clothing. It was also used for other purposes such as food sources and medicine. There are records of the use of hemp in ancient Chinese cultures as well as ancient Egypt, where traces of hemp fibre were discovered by archaeologists.
Although this plant is believed to have originated in central Asia, its use was widespread throughout Europe and America, becoming an important crop due to its strengths, durability and different uses. During the 20th century, hemp started to get a negative perception due to its association with marijuana plants and its farming was forbidden in many countries. Fortunately today, there is a renewed interest in hemp as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to other fabrics.
Hemp clothing makes for a long-lasting garment. The fibres are among the most durable due to their tensile strength surpassing those in cotton or silk clothes. Due to their resistance, hemp pieces are less likely to tear, lose their shape or wear out over time.
Hemp garments are also more sustainable than other materials. Hemp is a fast-growing crop that requires less water and fewer fertilisers and pesticides if we compare it to cotton, for example. Using clothing made from hemp is considered a more environmentally conscious and friendly choice. If you are looking for ethical and eco-friendly clothing options, hemp fabric is the way to go!
Clothes made from hemp are extremely breathable due to the porous structure of the fabric. This allows you to better regulate body temperature, leaving you feeling comfortable in hot and humid weather yet cosy in colder climates. Although breathable, this fabric is also UV-resistant, helping you protect against harmful sunlight rays.
Today hemp clothing is still more expensive than other fabrics due to production costs. Growing, harvesting and processing hemp requires specialised equipment and expertise. To produce hemp fabric you have to separate fibres from the rest of the plant to clean them and turn them into usable yarn. As is it not widely available
Hemp fabric tends to be prone to wrinkling easier than other fabrics such as cotton, giving it an untidy appearance. This is due to the natural hemp fibres being stiff. Although this contributes to the overall durability of the garment this can be a disadvantage as clothes made from hemp can require more extensive care than others. You should always wash the piece according to care instructions, avoiding extremely hot water and high heat in the dryer. The best way to avoid wrinkles is to air dry your hemp clothes and iron them at a medium to low setting.
There is somewhat of a negative perception of hemp clothing due to its association with cannabis plants. However, hemp and industrial hemp fabric come from the strain of a plant that actually has no psychoactive substances. Hemp is legal in many parts of the world and clothes made from hemp are now becoming more and more accepted and manufactured as a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional textiles such as cotton.