Thursday, October 15, 2009

All about.......Hemp

A large part of this blog is about what I do, how I do it and with what.  With what is a big deal to me.  There has been so much awareness raised about "eco-fashion"  and "eco-textiles", but what does this mean really?  So this is where I am prepared to explore the textiles I am using such as hemp(both raw and mercerized), soy, bamboo, recycled sari silk, and banana silk.
Now, not everyone out there is gonna agree with me on what is "eco-fiber" and what isn't, so I am prepared to take some flack for this.  My purpose of writing this information in my blog is not convince any persons, or change anyone's beliefs, but just to inform those whom are interested about available "eco-fiber".

So, thanks to all those folks who are following me, and supporting my "with what".

Hemp:  Now, hemp is really becoming one of my favorite fibers to work with.  The colors are amazing, rich and saturated.  Amazing Drape!  Now believe it or not it stands up with silk when it comes to drape.  Hemp keeps me cool when it is warm and yes, it keeps me warm when it is cold.  Hemp is comfortable to wear, and softens more and more with use and washing.  No dry cleaning!  :)  Now, I do still hand wash my hand crocheted items, but I don't want to stretch or misshape them, especially when they are wet as this can result in a misshapen finished product.   Hemp combines beautifully with other textiles such as cashmere cotton, silk, soy, tencel (wood fiber) and wool.
Hemp will not stretch, (do not be confused with stretch from your crocheted or knitted fabric), pill, or fade.  Hemp is naturally moth proof, antimicrobial, and UV resistant.  
Hemp plants grow extremely fast, and do well in almost any climate. The same components that make hemp fabrics anti-bacterial and mildew-resistant also make the crop naturally resistant to pests. Hemp requires no or very little use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or even fertilizer.  It's also resistant to weeds because it grows so fast and tall, blocking out sunlight to smaller plants.  Hemp can be grown in the same field year after year with no negative impact on the land. Its long root system aerates the soil and helps control topsoil erosion.  Hemp fiber is very long and that is part of what makes hemp a great textile.  Short fibers such as cotton, ( I am not hacking cotton here), are weaker and more prone to breakage, which shows hemp is incredibly durable.  Hemp is grown in over 31 countries including: Russia, China, Canada, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia and South Africa.
Hemp is incredibly versatile, it is used as food; hemp hearts (hulled seeds), and oil, textile fiber to make clothing, YARN, rope, canvas, and paper, just to name a few.
The process which is used to convert hemp from a plant into usable fiber is done mostly by machine and requires no chemical process.  So, even the process itself, is earth friendly.
Most hemp yarns are dyed using fiber reactive dyes.  Many consumers also appreciate the eco-friendliness of fiber reactive dyes. Some companies process the dyes with natural ingredients and materials, focusing on creating a product with a minimum of harmful waste. Since the dyes are colorfast, they will not bleed into wash water, leading to a reduction in dye-laden water runoff, which can be harmful for the environment.

So, here's to hemp! 


I hope you found my little blurb informative.  :)

Please note some of the information has been reproduced with permission from Lanaknits.


For more information on Hemp for Knitting and Crocheting Please visit www.lanaknits.com and www.darngoodyarn.com

3 comments:

  1. I love this! This was very interesting to read and to get the understanding of hemp. I don't make anything other than jewelry out of hemp- but it's so neat to know that you take it to a whole new level. I also appreciate the information about how it grows and is taken care of and that it is really a naturally amazing material to use in many ways!

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  2. Very interesting! I never realized hemp was so supple. The balls of it I've seen in jewelry-making catalogues look very course. Are there different grades of it?

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  3. Oh Thank you! Yes, the stuff I use is more like cotton in feel, it has been mercerized but it gets softer and softer with washes and use. The drape is excellent. Hemp is so durable! Check out www.lanaknits.com for more info on hemp and hemp for knitting and crocheting. There is a luxury blend available but it costs more. It has a lovely sheen to it when you wash your item. The thing I love is it doesn't pill.

    Chriss

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