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Textiles made from hemp fiber consist of fibers derived from the stalks of the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabis sativa has been known for centuries as a source of fibers with exceptional tensile and durability, but its psychoactive properties have recently limited its use as a source of fiber. There are two separate purposes for which Cannabis sativa has been bred over thousands of years. Despite the long tradition of cultivating this plant, many generations of plant breeders have selected for it to contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other psychoactive chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
Conversely, some growers have bred Cannabis sativa to produce stronger and better fibers while deliberately reducing the level of cannabinoids that produce psychoactive effects.
Consequently, Cannabis sativa has taken on two distinct strains. According to a common myth, hemp is made from the male Cannabis sativa plant, unlike psychoactive marijuana. Typically, it is cultivated from female plants. In general, female cannabis Sativa plants selected for textile purposes tend to produce buds that are much lower in THC.
A hemp stalk typically has two layers: the outer layer is covered in rope-like bast fibers, and the inner layer is a woody pith. Textiles are only made from the outer layer of cannabis Sativa stalks. The inner, woody portion is used for fuel, construction materials, and animal bedding.
You can make rope or yarn from the outermost layer of bast fibers on hemp plants. The strength of hemp rope made it the first choice for rigging and sails on ships. It's renowned today as a better fabric for clothing than cotton or synthetic fibers by a lot of metrics.
The global economy doesn't take advantage of hemp's benefits to the extent it could because most legislation doesn't distinguish between THC-rich marijuana and hemp, which has practically no THC. Rather than understanding what hemp is, people stigmatize it as a drug. With more countries embracing industrial hemp cultivation, it appears that the modern renaissance of hemp fabric is nearing its apogee.
In fabric form, hemp has a similar feel to cotton, but it's also a bit like canvas. Hemp fabric isn't prone to shrinking or pilling. Hemp fabric is tough and durable because the fibers are long and sturdy; a typical cotton bag lasts 10 years at most, a hemp bag might last twice as long. The strength of hemp fabric is estimated to be three times that of cotton fabric.
Additionally, hemp is a fabric that is lightweight and highly breathable, facilitating the movement of moisture from the body to the atmosphere, making it an excellent choice for hot climates. It is easy to dye fabrics made from this type of material, and they are highly resistant to mildew, mold, and other potentially harmful microbes.
Even after being washed numerous times, its fibers do not degrade. With each wash, hemp fabric becomes softer. Moreover, organic hemp fabric is relatively easy to produce sustainably, which makes it an excellent fabric for clothing.
Plants of Cannabis sativa are ready for harvest in North America usually in mid-August. Mild, humid climates are ideal for hemp cultivation. The majority of plants used for hemp fabric are harvested by a special machine, after which the plants are allowed to rest in the field for up to 4-6 weeks, allowing the pectin in the plant to dissolve naturally.
The hemp stalks are next cut into bales like hay, and then the woody core of the plant is separated from the fibrous outer section using breakers or hammers. In the next step, the separated bast fibers are carded into strands, and the impurities are removed. In the past, manufacturers have used pulping to produce paper products, matting to produce mats and fleeces, or steam explosion to convert raw hemp into a wearable fiber.
The resulting hemp fiber is ready to be spun into yarn or woven into textiles after the steam explosion process. Currently, hemp fabric is made using the same processes used to make other fabrics. A variety of consumer goods are made from tight fabrics made from this yarn.
Hemp fabric meaning is an inherently sustainable product, as people have produced it for thousands of years without experiencing major ecological catastrophes. In light of the rapid expansion of hemp fabric production, it is unclear whether hemp fabric is produced according to the same environmentally sound farming and manufacturing practices.
A landmark 1998 study is often cited as an authoritative source regarding hemp fabric's environmental sustainability. Moreover, it releases less toxic substances into the soil and wider ecosystem, requiring less land than cotton.
Hemp is also classified as a carbon-negative raw material. This crop does not require pesticides or herbicides. In contrast, hemp production requires more nitrogen than cotton.
Hemp fabric is mainly used for clothing. Historically, this type of fabric was mostly prized among people who were passionate about cannabis in general. Although hemp fabric is still extremely popular in the cannabis subculture, there are now plenty of people who like it just for its health benefits, not for its association with marijuana.
Hemp material is commonly used to make dresses, skirts, pants, jackets, bags, hoodies, and children's clothes. Bags are especially popular with this fabric since it's so resistant to wear and tear. Hemp bags hold their shape and integrity for years and years, hence My little Panda pouchs are 80% hemp. Cotton bags warp, shrink, and fall apart after a few washes.
Hemp textiles may also be made with this type of fabric. Cannabis enthusiasts are more likely to use hemp textiles for home textiles. However, hemp fabric is also becoming more common for upholstery, and towels. The high absorbency and durability of hemp fabric make it a favorite for towels. The hemp bed sheets are popular with some consumers, but detractors maintain they are not as soft as cotton sheets with a high thread count. As a result, it may not be as comfortable to sleep with this fabric against your skin. Meanwhile, hemp fabric can be used with blankets and duvets due to its remarkable durability.
Some hemp fabric purists choose to use hemp fabrics that are made from 100 percent hemp, but hemp fabrics are also often mixed with other textiles. It is not uncommon to find cotton and hemp fabrics blended with silk, and cotton and hemp textiles are also popular. Hemp can be made softer by blending it with other fabrics.
My Little Panda Pouch is 80% hemp and 20% cotton.
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