Sustainable Fibres: What is Hemp?

Natural Fibres: What Is Hemp?

This time we will be exploring a favourite among Canadians: hemp. The hemp fibre will be discussed, but first, of course, we can lay out the framework for the basis of natural fibres for those that have not been following this particular series.

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To begin, the major set of fibres within the classification of fibres are synthetic/man-made fibres and natural fibres. Synthetic and man-made fibres cannot decompose; natural fibres can decompose. The means of decomposition can be slow or fast. Slow decomposition is through cold composting. This means throwing things along with the bits of natural fibre waste into a drum roll, compost. The items decompose slower over time in this application compared to fast composting, which is simply enclosing the material in a hotter area, or to allow more heat to stay in from which the decomposition of the waste can be rapid, which can also be facilitated by worms called red wiggler worms. (There are many variations to composting, this is just an example.)

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If you look at the basic classifications given, synthetic or man-made fibres separated from natural fibres, the synthetic or man-made fibres have about three major forms known as aramid, polyester, and nylon. Natural fibres itself divides into four classifications of animal fibres and plant fibres. Animal fibres are alpaca, mohair, wool, etc. Plant fibres are abaca, coir, hemp, etc. With each of these classifications in mind, we can now move forward with the today’s fibre, which falls under the classification of a natural plant fibre known as hemp. Hemp is classified as a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant that is grown specifically for its industrial uses of its subsidiary products.

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Processing The Hemp Fibre:

Hemp fibre is taken from the bast of the plant. Bast fibre is the inner bark or the skin of the plant. Hemp grows quickly and easily, up to 4 meters or more, and can do so without agrochemicals and, it also collects quite large amounts of carbon. Some production of hemp is restricted in particular countries, it can be confused with marijuana. It is not marijuana. It is a plant which is used for its fibre. It can yield up to a total of 2 tonnes per hectare while averaging a yield of 650 kilograms per annum. The fibre itself is durable, long, and strong. About 70% of the fibre is cellulose, which is a defining characteristic of a plant fibre. If something has cellulose, it is a plant fibre. The hemp fibre itself can even block ultraviolet rays in addition to having antibacterial properties within itself. The main or core producer of hemp in the world is China with marginal production in Chile, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and Europe. From the period of 2000 to 2006, hemp fibre increased almost 80% from 50,000 tonnes to 90,000 tonnes and more than, or about half of it being produced in China, and another quarter produced in the European Union. The largest exporter of the textiles is China, which come from the fibre, the production is based on the consumer demands from Europe and North America.

In terms of its uses, hemp is used for canvas, paper, and rope in addition to being a woven for fabrics in clothing, textiles for home furnishing, and even for floor coverings. To close this particular article, we should know that it is one of most ancient fibres is in use. It has been used for probably around ten thousand years in terms of its being spun for textiles, and so on.

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As with everything written, I could be wrong, incredibly wrong – think for yourself and come to your own conclusions. I have biases, fallibilities, and quirks – even some funny ones. My words aren’t gold, nor are they a calf. And no bull! Although, I will milk it, if it’s prize goat (or alpaca, or camel). And if gold, I might fleece it, if a winged ram (more the same, more the same).

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  1. Pingback: Plant fibers for sustainability - Trusted Clothes

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