It is known to all that Hemp fabric is one of the most sustainable fabrics, period. The hemp plant has undoubtedly contributed to the sustainable environment so far. But sometimes, many of us also wonder that what makes hemp fabric better than other plant-based fabrics such as cotton? Aren’t all plant-based fabrics environment-friendly and sustainable? Then what makes hemp so special? And lastly, how hemp has contributed to the sustainable environment? To answer all these questions, firstly let’s take an insight into the deep and rich history of Hemp plants and fabric through this blog.
History of Hemp
It’s really not surprising that Hemp has a deep and rich history with us humans because of so many ways in which we use this incredible plant. It is arguably the most useful plant on the planet, so it’s no wonder that we have tens of thousands of years of history with it. We can trace back to the cultivation of Hemp to know that it’s been going on for at least twelve thousand years and it’s understood that the Hemp plant originated in central Asia.
The earliest cultural evidence of Hemp goes all the way back to ancient China from 5000 to 3000 BC. They had a very cannabis-focused culture. They grew Hemp, used it for clothing and they even started using it for paper. The Japanese also have a history of Hemp that goes back to around this time. Right around 2000 BC it started spreading out of eastern Asia west all the way into the Middle East, India and Egypt. All of those cultures also have their own rich history of using the cannabis plant for medicinal purposes, textiles, and more.
History of Hemp Fabric
Hemp fiber and Hemp fabric have been used by humans to make ropes, clothes, paper, etc. since the Stone Age. Pieces of Hemp fabric have been discovered which is used back around 8000 BC. This shows that hemp is one of the first materials which was used by humans for clothing. In China, the cultivation of hemp started around 2700 BC and they started making fabric and clothing out of it. China has the longest history of hemp cultivation and producing products from it. In the history of fabric, Hemp has been used for numerous products such as:
Why Hemp fabric is sustainable? How Hemp fabric has contributed to the Sustainable Environment?
There are numerous reasons why hemp fabric is sustainable and has contributed to the sustainable environment so far. From crop to its final production it helps the sustainable environment. Below are some important facts:
Sustainability of Crop
- It can be used to make almost anything and not a single part of this plant is wasted. More than 25000 products can be made out of this incredible plant such as bio-plastics, bio-fuel, textiles, ropes, medicinal products, wellness products, etc.
- Unlike cotton, Hemp is naturally resistant to pests, meaning it does not require pesticides and chemicals to grow. Hence, the cultivation of hemp doesn’t harm soil or river, instead, it enriches the soil with nutrients. Also, it has been observed that if the hemp crop is grown in rotation, it can help in reducing pests for future crops too.
- The crop of the hemp develops fully within four months and it grows 3 times more in the same area than cotton and flax.
- Hemp is cost-effective too because it grows effortlessly and it has very minimum requirements for growth.
- Cultivation of hemp requires much less water than cotton or flax thus it helps in saving water.
- Hemp fabric is 62% more durable than cotton and can be recycled 8 times compared to cotton which can be recycled only 3 times. It makes it one of the most sustainable fabrics of all time.
- The Hemp fabric is bio-degradable thus it doesn’t add a burden to the mountain of garbage which is already a huge problem for us to get rid of. The fibers, which are naturally light in color, require little or no bleach.
- 80% (approximately) of eco-friendly garments were made from Hemp fiber until the 1920s before the ban.
- Hemp fabric can be used un-dyed in its natural color which has varying shaded of beige. Eco-friendly methods of both dyeing and finishing have been developed too. So, it can be dyed without harming the environment.
- The mechanical process of creating hemp fabric from the fiber is also eco-friendly. Though there is a chemical process too which is not much environmentally friendly it is not being used by many manufacturers. They prefer mechanical processes over chemical processes to make it fully eco-friendly.
- The organic methods of softening and cleaning of fiber are being researched and developed by manufacturers.
By acknowledging the above blog, it can be said that hemp is a world-saving plant and it will be revolutionary if hemp clothing gains popularity among people as it will directly support hemp products and their manufacturing. By supporting the use of hemp clothing we will be creating a more sustainable environment for us. It’s in our hands only whether we choose a better and sustainable environment over hazardous or not.
It’s a well-known fact that polyester and other synthetic fabrics are destroying the environment and if we shall continue its use it will surely get us nowhere. On the other hand, hemp fabric is the most sustainable fabric available out there and it has surely contributed to the sustainable environment. So, why not choose hemp fabric over any other less eco-friendly fabrics? It’s your turn to choose hemp clothing for your wardrobe and set an example to others.