05 Nov Using Hemp to Make Clothing
Hemp has rightfully grown in popularity because of its seeds’ natural benefits, but the plant continues to be unfairly overlooked as a true player in the clothing industry. The cellulose fibers within hemp stems have been used as a base for textiles since 8,000 BC, but have yet to really catch on. Check the tags on your clothing and you’ll likely find your garments are made with cotton, polyester, silk or nylon. But you might make extra effort to track down clothes made from hemp after you hear about their advantages.
Hemp’s cellulose fibers are used to produce a variety of types of clothes, like tees, jackets, sweatshirts, dresses, hats and jeans. The fiber can be used alone or combined with cotton or silk to offer up different qualities of garments. Clothes made with hemp are absorbent, so they’re highly breathable and resistant to odor. Plus, the material is lightweight so it won’t weigh you down. At the same time, clothes made with hemp are UV resistant and about three times the strength of cotton.
You might be hesitant to wear clothing made from hemp because historically, the material was uncomfortable and scratchy. If you’ve ever worn a hemp bracelet, you’ll know the sensation. But, producers of hemp clothes use enzymes to create a chemical reaction with the hemp’s cellulose fibers that create a smooth fabric.
As of right now, it’s likely you’ll find that most hemp clothes are less expensive than clothes made with cotton, polyester, silk or nylon. Hemp is cheaper to grow than the other crops because it grows quickly and is ready for harvest in just a few months. The plants grow tightly together, meaning a farmer can fit in more plants on a plot of land. Plus, hemp crops require very little water and absolutely no pesticides or fertilizers, which is not only great for the environment, but saves farmers money that in turn mean lower costs for you, the shopper.
Next time you’re on the lookout for a new shirt, dress or a pair of jeans, you might make the extra effort to track down clothes made from hemp. You’ll be doing your skin, your wallet and the environment big favors.