Hemp plants are a-maz-ing, fact, & our decision to change to using & selling hemp facial cloths was so easy after reading up about this wonderful plant & its fabric. www.rawganique.com has a wealth of research & information about hemp history including the list of things we can make from it: “Hemp is sustainable clothing, footwear, shelter, foods, tree-free paper, cement, gasoline, fuel, nutritious & delicious foods, paint, industrial sealants, industrial composites, & so much more.
“Its beauty, usefulness, and astounding versatility truly boggle the mind! Hemp oil, for example, has the highest percentage of usable essential fatty acids of any plant, period.” Wow! And what makes it such a great plant for these things? According to rawganique.com…
- The fast growing hemp plant is naturally inhospitable to pests and thrives with minimal use of chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
- Hemp has taproots 9 to 14 feet long, bringing subsoil nutrients to the surface and protecting the soil from erosion.
- Hemp fabric has four times the tensile strength and twice the abrasion resistance of cotton.
- Hemp fabric is similar in texture to linen or raw silk and possesses a soft hand, or feel.
- Hemp processing and manufacturing steps are also less environmentally taxing than those of many other fibres (notably cotton), requiring less toxic chemicals and dyes to create finished fabric.
- Why hemp? Because it is, by far, Earth’s premier, renewable natural resource. The hemp plant can single-handedly reverse the Greenhouse Effect, purify our air, water, & soil, and clothe and shelter us in a sustainable fashion.
- Hemp paper lasts 50 to 100 times longer than most preparations of papyrus and is a hundred times easier and cheaper to make. It also does not yellow with age like acidic paper made from tree pulp.
- If the hemp pulp paper process of 1916 were in use today, it could replace 40 to 70% of all pulp paper (from trees), including corrugated boxes, computer printout paper and paper bags. Imagine the effect this conversion to hemp paper alone would have on near-extinct species and all forms of wild life, on old-growth forests that are fast disappearing, on the quality of our water, air, and soil, as well as on our planet’s sensitive ecosystem!
So as you can see, compared to other fibre-making plants hemp has superior environmentally friendly growing and processing processes; and is it new to us as a fibre? No, archaeologists have discovered hemp fabric in China that is more than 10,000 years old. The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, which began to be worked in the eighth millennium (8,000-7,000 BC). Here are more fascinating facts from rawganique.com:
- “From more than 1,000 years before the time of Christ until 1883 AD, cannabis hemp – indeed, marijuana–was our planet’s largest agricultural crop and most important industry, involving thousands of products and enterprises; producing the overall majority of Earth’s fiber, fabric, lighting oil, paper, incense, and medicines. In addition, it was a primary source of essential food oil and protein for humans and animals.
- Ninety percent of all ships’ sails (since before the Phoenicians, from at least the 5th Century BC until long after the invention and commercialization of steam ships–mid- to late-19th century) were made from hemp.
- In addition to canvas sails, until this century virtually all of the rigging, anchor ropes, cargo nets, fishing nets, flags, shrouds, and oakum (the main protection for ships against salt water, used as a sealant between loose or green beams) were made from the stalk of the marijuana plant.
These facts are truly astonishing, huge thanks to the team at www.rawganique.com for compiling such interesting information and allowing us to use it here. We all used to use hemp a lot more than we do now, and it is obvious that using hemp for more things can go some way to solving problems such as deforestation, soil erosion, malnutrition and hunger, resource depletion, the list goes on… surely it’s time for a hemp revolution! We at Blue Labelle have made a start by using hemp for our facial cloths, i’ve also started drinking hemp milk at home (it’s yummy!) and want to try hemp butter next. Do you use any hemp products?