What is the real power of hemp natural fiber?
Photo by Michael Fischer
What is Hemp?
Hemp, also called industrial hemp, is a bast fiber, meaning that it comes from the stem of a plant called Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis sativa has been cultivated throughout Eastern Asia, used as a source of industrial fiber, seed oil, religious and spiritual medicine. Although hemp is sometimes confused with cannabis plants that are used for marijuana, hemp is not marijuana as it doesn’t produce intoxication in humans and it is legal, with reasonable production such as producing sustainable fiber.
Facts of Hemp
Little known facts about hemp is that when producing hemp, it takes in high amounts of carbon dioxide which means that the fiber is helping remove carbon from the atmosphere. So the more hemp is being produced, the more carbon footprint is being removed from the air. Now that is an environmentally friendly fiber!
Did you also know that hemp has a short harvest cycle? Harvesting hemp can be difficult but only for a short amount of time, as little as 100 days. When growing a hemp plant, its basic need is great amounts of carbon dioxide and small amounts of water. When raw hemp is harvested, the plant can reach a height of about 6 to 10 feet when fully blossomed.
Sustainable Hemp in Fashion
In terms of sustainability, hemp is one of the most preferred natural fibers as it is less harmful for the environmental impact. The natural fiber is also one of the strongest and most durable fibers, which is why organic brands use hemp to produce their products. In fact, hemp is four times as strong and absorbent than cotton, which says a lot about hemp.
Hemp is known to be similar to cotton linen in that it softens with each wash and wear, so you can say it gets better with age-we mean-wash. With every wear and wash, you will not only feel the softness of the swimwear but will feel comfortable as it adjusts to your body, kind of like a hug. The natural fiber is also breathable against the skin, perfect for those upcoming hot summer days.
Hemp also has a very high tensile strength, which means it can withstand more stretching and pulling than other materials, such as cotton, before it breaks. And clothing that can last longer is better for the environment since less of it will be thrown out and less will need to be produced, cutting down on factory pollution.
Hemp is also known to be biodegradable and compostable, meaning that it can be broken down to be given life again, into a recycled product, which is a very sustainable matter, if you ask us. Another perk of hemp is that it protects against UV light as well as sunlight.
Although dyed hemp tends not to be as boldly colored as other fabrics, it does retain its color when exposed to sunlight. So it won’t fade as fast as with other made non-natural fibers that are harmful and the fabric itself will last a long time, making it a more sustainable choice in the long run. Also, hemp is known to dry quickly, marvelous for those summer days when you just want to live in swimwear, until summer ends.
Disadvantages in Hemp
Although there are many advantages of hemp, there are also a few disadvantages of the natural fiber. For example, hemp is prone to wrinkling, but can be easily taken care of when ironing, because we DO take care of our clothes, right, babes?
Hemp is also known to be pricy, but what high natural quality products aren’t? But as previously stated, they last longer, which will save you money over time since you're not needing to replace things as often.
Yes, hemp is quite absorbent, but it dries instantly and kills off bacteria that may come in contact on the surface. Hemp can be stiff, but as we mentioned before, it softens with every wash and every wear, as it not only becomes softer but comfortable as well.
A little need-to-know tip when caring for hemp is that it can be washed in hot or cold water, as it doesn’t cause any damage to the fiber. When washing hemp, it is best if you wash it separately, especially if you are also washing dark colors too. If washing hemp with dark colors, it can cause the dye of the darker colors to transfer to hemp, which can ruin it.
Also, when drying hemp, it can be dried in low temperatures in a dryer but can cause minor wrinkles. It is best if you air dry it or dry clean it for hemp to be wrinkle-free. When hemp is wrinkled, you can simply iron it and it will return to its usual shape.
Other Uses of Hemp
Although we only mentioned hemp fiber being used as a natural fiber for clothing, it has many other uses that are used in every-day life. For example, biodiesel fuel can be made from the oils in hemp seeds for vehicle use or electricity generators. Hemp fiber is also used in construction material as a replacement for wood and concrete-like blocks, which helps reduce the cracking of concrete.
Hemp is also used for medical uses such as hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) oil that contains as little as 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the ingredient found in marijuana. But let’s be clear, although CBD oil contains as little as 0.3%, it is not sufficient to get a person high. CBD oil is used to alleviate symptoms such as inflammation or pain--a great natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs.
Hemp is also used to make paper obtained from the pulp of hemp fibers as a replacement for wood. Hemp paper is stronger than the normal paper we use. It is perfect for 3D printing as it is stable and does not tear easily. Plus hemp paper is long lasting and can be recycled more times than normal paper.
The natural fiber can also be used to make hemp rope, but it can break easily if it’s rotten from holding liquid from the interior when the outside is wet. So one has to be cautious when using a rope made from hemp.
Hemp fiber can also be used as a twine for hemp jewelry. The thickness and firm knots make hemp jewelry attractive, strong and durable from your basic jewelry that can rip easily.
Hemp also helps with water and soil purification as it cleans the impurities and unwanted substances or harmful chemicals in wastewater. Hemp also helps soil, water and air from dangerous toxins, especially around nuclear sites that can be disastrous.
Conclusion: How powerful is Hemp?
So, how powerful is hemp fiber? It is the preferred fiber among sustainable brands as it is one of the strongest natural fibers that is less harmful to the environment than non-natural fibers like synthetic fibers. When the fiber grows, it takes in toxic dioxide in order to grow, which helps not only the planet but it also helps us humans.
Hemp does this by destroying carbon dioxide, which is less pollution to the environment. As well as helping us, breathe in less toxicity that can cause future health problems. Hemp kills off bacteria that comes in contact with it as well as being absorbent but dries quickly. With every wash and wear hemp becomes softer and comfortable to wear as it adjusts to your body.
Hemp is not only used as natural fiber for fashion but it also has numerous uses for everyday uses such as replacing wood for construction materials and concrete-like blocks. Hemp for industrial applications includes hemp seed oil used for creating biodiesel fuel for vehicles and electric generators. Hemp oil is also used for medical uses such as an anti-inflammatory substance and a pain-reliever treatment.
Hemp is also used for paper production, that is hemp paper. Hemp paper is stronger than the average tree-paper and can be recycled more times than normal paper. The natural fiber is also used for rope that is strong but delicate at the sametime, as it can rip easily if not taken proper care.
Hemp jewelry is also another use as the hemp twine is stronger and durable with firm knots. The fiber is also a water and soil purification that cleans unwanted impurities, substances, and harmful chemicals in wastewaters.
So you can say that the real power of hemp is the numerous uses hemp possesses.
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Stay tuned to see how we utilize this incredible fiber this season! Watch our Organic Collection for all the new and exciting products we will be adding and learn about our Eco Promise!
Also read: Top 10 of the Best Tropical Outfits.Written by Magali Pascual.