It’s kind of amazing to think that people were using hemp fabric as far back as 8000 B.C. Hemp has an incredible array of uses because it’s so cheap and easy to grow.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about this wonderful plant, however. And I wanted to take just a few minutes today to clear some of that up!
Hemp Through History…
Throughout history, hemp has been used for sails, twine, paper, parachute webbing, clothing, and ship rigging. In fact, Christopher Columbus’s ship was completely outfitted with hemp products. And early American settlers considered hemp so valuable that they used hemp fabric as money.
Hemp as a fabric got a bit lost when DuPont patented nylon in 1937. And, that became the Next Big Thing.
Thankfully, however, hemp has been experiencing a resurgence in recent years as we remember, again, how valuable and strong this plant really is.
The Benefits of Hemp…
Here at Earth Divas we sell many, many products which are made from hemp. The reason is because it’s so easy, and cheap, for our artisans to grow. And, that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of this little plant. Let’s take a look:
- Hemp Grows Fast- Unlike cotton, which takes an entire season to grow and mature, hemp matures extremely quickly. This means that farmers can get harvests faster, making more of a profit each year.
- Hemp Doesn’t Need Pesticides- Hemp naturally resists insects and fungus. Cotton, on the other hand, is an extremely delicate plant which requires tons of pesticides and insecticides in order to grow. It also naturally supresses weed growth. This means that farmers make more money growing hemp because they don’t have to spend a fortune on dangerous chemicals.
- Hemp Can Grow Almost Anywhere- Hemp is like the travelling hobo that will find a home wherever it ends up. Its hardiness ensures that you can plant it on a prairie, or a mountainside, and it will thrive.
- Hemp Decreases Pollution- This wonder plant actually cleans up toxins in the surrounding soil. This is called phytoremediation. Want a good example? Hemp was planted around the Chernobyl disaster site to clean up the radiation. Amazing!
- Hemp Blocks UV Rays- Another super cool thing about hemp is that when it’s used in fabrics, it blocks more than 50% more UV rays than regular cotton fabrics. And, this is true even if the hemp content is only 50%.
As you can see, hemp is a miracle plant. Which is why we love to use it in our products!
The awareness of hemp fabric, and the incredible benefits it offers, is slowly starting to grow. I encourage all of you to give hemp fabric, whether it’s in a purse, a shirt, or even a pair of pants, a try this spring. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much you love it! I know I sure was.
Filed under: Eco Fashion on March 11th, 2010