Hemp to Fiber
How do you feel about what you are wearing?
Who cares about what you're wearing, its 2019 - the greater question is; how do you feel about what you are wearing?
Being consciously aware of our planet is one thing, but tying it in with who we are and what we wear creates an entire new clean-green identity that we can get behind. We are Hempt. An environmentally positive 'look'.
Don't think of us as apparel, think of us as a movement, powered by Mother Nature herself.
God's loudest creation has been a hot topic for centuries but thanks to the boys down in forensics, the world has since changed its view on the plant and rightly so, because it only has benefits! Besides the strides it has made in the medical sphere, Hemp is now considered an environmental “super fiber”. In case you were living under a stone, fabric/textiles are made up of the fiber found in the cannabis sativa plant species. To put it more simply, it’s like one of Mary Jane's cousin's, but not Mary Jane.
Here's an interesting fact for you to take home: the hemp plant is a high-yield crop that produces significantly more fiber per square meter than cotton or flax - think about that for a second.
Let's talk environmental benefits, hemp has virtually no impact on mother nature. As a crop, hemp requires no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or GMO seeds - yes, you read that correctly.
This means there are no pesticides, insecticides or synthetic fertilizer pollution of ground water, soil or air in the areas where hemp is grown. Hemp has been identified as a fast-growing crop that requires very little water. In fact, hemp plants produce 250% more fiber than cotton - I swear, we aren't making this stuff up.
Hemp also enriches the soil it is grown in, making it an excellent rotating crop - a true team player.
Hemp is known as “carbon negative” crop which essentially means that it absorbs carbon dioxide while it grows through natural photosynthesis - amazing, right?
I know it might seem like we're making all this up, but we can assure you, it's real and it exists.
For all the gardeners out there, cultivation is simple...enough...hemp is considered an annual plant that grows from seed, the crop is ready to harvest high-quality fiber as soon as it begins to shed pollen. Fiber hemp is generally ready to harvest anywhere between 70-90 days after seeding.
In order to harvest hemp for textiles, specialized cutting equipment is required which separates the flower crop, this process, ultimately, cuts the usable stalks.
Once the plants have been cut, the outer part of the stalk needs to be extracted as it is the primary aspect of the hemp fiber. “Retting” is considered a designed rotting process, where the break-down of tissue helps to separate the fiber from the stalk – without letting mold take over.
Photo by Remedy Pics on Unsplash
After all the nitty-gritty, breakdown and scutching is where hemp stalks are made into bales, similar to hay. From there, hammermills are used to separate the fibrous outer section of the plant from its woody core. Think of this as beating and scraping the dried stems to separate the fibers. Combing is next on the agenda, and it is exactly how it sounds - this is a similar process to brushing through tangled hair. ‘Combing’ out the woody particles left in the hemp fibers results in in that Vaseline like silky smooth finish.
This final process consists of taking textile fibers and making them into a yarn. Yarns are those knitting balls that have somehow become Granny's cat's best friend. It's important to note that hemp is generally spun into a desired fineness and quality by a wet or dry spinning process - you better write that down.
Finished hemp has a similar texture to cotton once it has been processed into fabric, but unequivocally resembles a canvas. Hemp fabric is not susceptible to shrinkage and it is highly resistant to pilling. Since fibers from this plant are long and sturdy, it is highly durable. While a typical cotton T-shirt generally lasts up to 10 years, a hemp T-shirt may last twice-to-three times as long - that's almost 50 years.
In addition, hemp is a lightweight fabric, which means that it is highly breathable, and it effectively facilitates the passage of moisture from the skin - it is essentially ideal for hot climates. Get behind a clean-green substance that is making waves on a global scale. Its time to start putting our planet first; why not start by wearing something that exudes consciousness and progression?
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