Hemp clothing is not a novelty, there are records from thousands of years ago, where hemp fiber was used as raw material. But it has never enjoyed great popularity until today. To cope with fast fashion, which has a great environmental impact, the need for ecological and sustainable alternatives was born.
What is hemp fiber?
Hemp fiber is obtained from processed cannabis stalks. The outer layer of the hemp stalk has fibers that can be processed to obtain ropes or threads similar to cotton.
To obtain the hemp fiber, several processes must be carried out; they spend about 6 weeks resting, so that it ferments and the bacteria proliferate in order to eliminate the pectin. This procedure is known as retting, which allows the fibers to separate and then proceed to spin them into a single continuous thread, which facilitates textile work.
Benefits of using hemp clothing
The benefits of hemp clothing are extensive, but let’s select the five highlights.
It is a sustainable and renewable fiber
Hemp fiber is the most environmentally friendly, since hemp cultivation uses little water, no pesticides, helps renew the soil and stop erosion. Its falling leaves nourish the soil and extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Its cultivation takes 120 days and requires less land than cotton cultivation. In addition, it can produce up to 2.5 times more fiber than cotton.
Hemp clothing can be composted once it has completed its useful cycle, because it is biodegradable, decomposing within 4 years, unlike polyester and other synthetic fabrics that can take hundreds of years.
One advantage of hemp clothing is its timeless character. Being very comfortable both in summer and winter. The fabric breathes well thanks to its porosity, which allows air to circulate, keeping you cool in summer or while training.
Its absorbent power and antibacterial properties prevent unpleasant odors. It is a thermogenic fabric, so during the cold months, it will help you conserve body heat.
Hemp clothing can mold to your shape with wear. It can be as soft as cotton and tends to get softer with each wash cycle, which is not the case with other clothing.
Protect your skin
It filters ultraviolet light naturally, preventing the sun’s rays from penetrating your skin, reducing the risk of injury. As an excellent breathable garment, sweat evaporates. Hemp fiber is hypoallergenic and very soft on the skin.
Rugged and durable
Hemp clothing is usually up to four times more resistant than cotton clothing, which gives it greater longevity. It is also highly resistant to pests, moths, mildew and ultraviolet rays, so it wears slowly, lasting for years.
In addition, thanks to its absorbent power, it retains color better, retaining pigments better than other fabrics, keeping them for years.
The versatility and properties of hemp, have made it possible that today you can find high fashion garments, based on hemp fiber. Awakening the interest of sectors such as sports.
With the latest technological advances, it has been possible to expand the use of hemp fiber by modifying the thickness of the fiber, which would determine how soft or thick the fabric would be. Allowing it to be used for clothing, backpacks, hats and other accessories.
Hemp fiber can be blended with other fibers to obtain more complex fabrics and make more resistant clothing.
The future of hemp
Hemp clothing has a great future ahead of it, as an alternative to fast fashion, which has a great environmental impact. Hemp fiber is a versatile fabric and over time the methods for processing it have been perfected.
The result is fibers of different thickness and quality, obtaining fabrics as delicate as linen or silk, soft as cotton or thicker fabrics for industrial use.
The properties of hemp clothing make it an ethical and environmentally responsible garment, besides the fact that it is comfortable for the skin, does not irritate it, protects it and is very durable, when its cycle is over it can be composted, avoiding being part of the hundreds of plastics that pollute the environment.
Beyond a fashion of the moment, the use of sustainable clothing will mark a before and after in the way we look at clothing, where we are concerned about the environmental impact of its production, increasing more and more interest in sustainable alternatives.
This has led governments to relax laws to favor and promote the cultivation of hemp, so its history is just beginning.