A few decades ago, hemp was essential, and its cultivation was encouraged by governments around the world. Not only was it used for sailing, but also ropes, parachute straps, tarpaulins of all kinds, and various garments were manufactured from it, among others.
In the 1600’s in Japan, peasants wore clothes made from hemp cloth, grown and processed locally. Hemp cloth was the only material available for weaving until the introduction of cotton, which is why many of the kimonos were made of hemp. On the other hand, in California the first Blue Jeans were made with hemp canvas for the miners of the late 1900’s.
As we can see, hemp and clothing have been linked for a long time; the fibers of the plant have been used for the production of garments.
The cellulosic fibers that are present in the stems of hemp can be used to make different products such as shirts, dresses, pants, sweaters, hats and bags. Fiber by itself works very well to make clothes, in turn it is used to make silk and cotton, or to add it to other types of garments. Next, let's see some of its benefits:
It is resistant and absorbent: experts believe that hemp fibers are very similar to cotton, but are three times stronger and much more absorbent, which makes them perfect for different types of uses. Its ability to absorb moisture means that dyeing is more effective and more lasting. Hemp fibers have a natural resistance to mold; the tests show that the material made with hemp and closed fabric, repel about 95% of UVA rays. Because of the above, it means that it does not wear out so easily, therefore it survives many washes.
It has been found that hemp can fight against the growth and spread of bacteria, which makes the fibers of the plant ideal for use in hospitals. Hemp clothing does not hold odors very much.
It has freshness: when compared to cotton, the porous nature of hemp makes it cooler in summer, but its insulation qualities also make it very warm in winter.
It is more versatile: hemp clothing does not wrinkle and has the ability to maintain its shape over years of use. Also, it does not need dry cleaning.
It's Fast Drying: the hemp clothes are breathable. Hemp fabrics can absorb up to 20% of their own weight and still feel dry to the touch. Also, they air dry quickly, an important aspect for those seeking to avoid the use of a dryer that can damage clothing.
Hemp clothing is light: you would think that because hemp clothing is strong and absorbent, it would be heavy. Actually, hemp clothing is extremely light and flexible. Unlike most clothing fibers, which become harder and break over time, the hemp clothing softens the more it is washed and used. Washes and repeated use will not break the fiber of hemp clothing as fast as clothing made from other natural fibers, such as cotton.
It is friendly to the environment: considered an organic crop, hemp is much more earth friendly than cotton and other natural fibers that are normally used to make clothes. Hemp plants can be grown with little or no chemical fertilizer, herbicide or pesticide, and they need little water. Compared to cotton, which requires around 1400 gallons of water per pound produced, hemp requires about half that amount.