Hemp is the most beneficial crop on the earth, providing the basic needs of clothing, shelter, food and medicine. One of the most important parts of this plant is its fiber, commonly called ‘bast’ (a plant that grows on a stalk). As the principal plant fiber, hemp has been used for thousands of years.
Today, China is the prime manufacturer of hemp textile and has had a hemp trade for 6,000 years. Other countries are now manufacturing help textiles but to a much less extent; this textile industry has almost disappeared from the entire Western world. Industrial hemp has gained a lot of worldwide respect for it environmental benefits as well as its health benefits. Companies are using hemp to make products with more sustainability and eco-friendliness.
Most of the demand for textiles is now being met by synthetics and cotton, both having environmental issues that are associated with them. Environmental benefits are not only gained through the cultivation of hemp, there are always advantages to us with hemp fabrics themselves. Fabrics and clothing that is organic do not contain residual chemicals that impact our health. A fabric that has a minimum of 50 percent hemp is able to block the sun’s UV rays better than other fabrics are able to. Hemp fibers are more durable, absorbent and more resistant to mildew.
Hemp textiles are very versatile; used in the manufacturing of shoes, clothing, rugs, canvas and upholstery. Any item that can be produced from cotton can also be made from hemp. Its long fibers give it strength to create a product that is stronger than a product that is made from cotton. Not only can hemp be cultivated in place of trees, it can be grown taking the place of cotton, with the environmental benefits.
Environment benefits in growing hemp
~Fast and vigorous growth. Hemp grows very fast in any climate or agronomic system.
~Pesticides/herbicides are not required. Hemp can grow with little or no pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or any other biocide.
~Hemp uses the same amount of land as cotton and flax, but produces a lot more fiber.
~Stops the growth of weeds. Hemp naturally suppresses weeds because of its fast canopy growth. It is able to block out sunlight to keep weeds from growing.
~Improves the structure of the soil. Because it has long roots, hemp replenishes the soil with nitrogen and nutrients and helps in controlling erosion of the topsoil.
~Cleans pollution from the surrounding area. Hemp clean out toxins found in the ground, a process called phytoremediation.
~Naturally resistant to ultraviolet light and mold.
~Holds its shape; therefore, stretching less over time
~Most products made from hemp are biodegradable, nontoxic and renewable.
~ Hemp requires very little resources or effort to grow.