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The Natural Benefits Of Hemp Clothing
An increasing number of clothing brands, especially in the outdoor adventure industry, are starting to harness the many benefits of hemp. Often misunderstood despite its usefulness being documented as long as 10 centuries ago, hemp is beginning to find its place in the clothing and textiles markets. Here we look at the reasons why wearing hemp is good for you and the planet.
Hemp or industrial hemp is a natural fibre, typically found in the northern hemisphere and cultivated with low impact on the environment. It is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fibre 10,000 years ago.
Hemp fibres are long but fine, making them soft as well as strong when used in clothing and textile production.
Our women's Yalong hemp range offers lightweight, breathable wear that is perfect for warmer weather.
Hemp has many beneficial properties when compared with other fabrics such as cotton, linen or silk. Hemp is:
- Strong. Hemp has approximately three times the tensile strength of cotton, thanks largely to the long length of the hemp fibre and their bundling nature (they bundle together tightly). This makes hemp highly effective as a fabric for outdoor gear as it is hard-wearing and will stand the test of time.
- Breathable. Not many fabrics keep you both cool in summer and warm in winter. Hemp does.
- Lightweight & Soft. As well as being long, the hemp fibres are quite fine, giving hemp-based garments a soft-hand feel that sits light and airy on the skin. Hemp fibres also soften with washing, meaning your clothes will only get more comfortable the more you wear them.
- Versatile. Hemp can be blended with other fabrics to enhance certain properties in the garment. For example, we blend our hemp with organic cotton to create a highly durable, yet soft and breathable garment.
- Weather Resistant. Hemp is highly effective at blocking the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. It is also mould-resistant. These properties make it excellent for wearing in the outdoors in warm weather, where you want high UV protection and will probably be perspiring.
- Absorbent. The nature of hemp fibres makes them more absorbent to dyeing, which coupled with hemp's ability to better screen out ultraviolet rays, means that hemp material is less prone to fading than cotton fabrics.
- Natural & Eco-friendly. Hemp is fast-growing, requires no pesticides and needs very little water. The long roots of hemp plants also prevent erosion and help retain top soil. From a production volume perspective, growing hemp will yield more usable fibre per square metre of farm land than many other fabrics.
Breaking The Hemp Myth
Politics and the stigma attached to the hemp fibre has for many years hampered its development as a commercial textile and lead to common misunderstanding around its true value. The simple fact is that hemp does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the principal psychoactive constituent found in marijuana. Information and resources that explain hemp and help to educate the wider public are improving, which is why hemp is starting to grow in popularity in the textiles and clothing industries where many of its properties are highly useful.