Often when people think about hemp clothing, they envisage a loosely woven scratchy material. That couldn't be further from the beautifully soft hemp fabric we use and love. There's certainly a lot more to the hemp than first meets the eye. Read on to discover a few of the things that you might not necessarily know about what we've come to name a 'force-of-nature' fabric.
The Hemp Clothing Lowdown
1. It's better for the environment than cotton.
Conventional cotton alone uses 25% of the world’s pesticides. Hemp is grown without a single one.
2. The plant thrives with minimal water.
So even when there's a drought, hemp will flourish – in only 4 months!
3. As fabric, it's stronger than cotton.
Perhaps that's why the explorer Christopher Columbus used hemp for the ropes and sails of his boat. Ships aside, we've been using hemp for over 20 years for exactly the same reason - its strength. When used for hemp clothing, the true beauty of the fabric is that even after many washes, it keeps its strength yet softens wash, after wash.
4. It's been used in textiles for two centuries.
Hemp was widely used for textiles as far back as the 1820s. In fact, it counted for 80% of all textiles including fabric, clothes, linen, curtains, sheets and believe it or not, even shoes!
5. It's hypoallergenic.
Thanks to hemp's natural protein structure and an integral ability to fend off nasty bacteria, it’s comfortable for even the most sensitive of skins.
6. It's UV resistant.
Hemp can filter the suns harmful rays up to SPF 15, but it can be manipulated during manufacture to screen up to SPF 50; the maximum protection available.
7. And it's thermo regulating too.
Hemp clothing, like bamboo clothing, has this really smart ability to know when you're a bit cold or a little too warm. It'll respond and react to what your body needs most.
8. It helps enrich farmer' soil.
We affectionately call hemp 'Helpful Hemp' and this is a great example why. Many farmers rotate their crops so to get the best out of their fields. Hemp is excellent for this as it improves soil quality, loosening it and helping rid grounds of weeds.
9. Oil is a healthy, natural by product.
Hemp plant seeds can be pressed to make two kinds of oil. The first is an edible, nutty in flavour oil and the second is primarily used in richly moisturising body care products.
10. Hemp is compost heap friendly.
So when you something's beyond repair you can quite literally throw it to your compost heap (if you have one). It'll naturally break down, though I recommend tearing or cutting it into pieces to help it along. Is there something you know about hemp that I haven't shared? Or maybe you'd like to share why you love it? Let us know your thoughts here or on Twitter and Facebook. If you'd like to read more about our hemp clothing and our other force-of-nature fabrics, you do so here.