Toffee Hemp (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)Description : Hemp is a bast fibre similar to linen but even more moisture absorbent. It is stronger, more durable and more resistent to mildew than linen, but also somewhat coarser. It is cool and comfortable to wear. It dries quickly. It is frequently blended with other fibres, such as cotton, silk, rayon or wool.
Fabrication : Hemp fabric is made by twisting the woody fibres extracted from the jute plant together (these fibres are called "bast" fibres).
Subtypes :
Dyes, color treatment and washing characteristics : Hemp dyes well. However, when dyed with dark colors, the colors will fade over time, or the edges will become white, if the garment washed - the garment should instead by dry cleaned. Lighly colored fabrics may, in general, be machine washed and dried. It also shrinks and softens with washing, so it should be pre-shrunk before sewing.
Hemp fibres (Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons)Draping properties : Like for linen or cotton, hemp has medium to low drape.
Cutting properties : Hemp is easily damaged by temporary marking pens, colored or waxed chalks, or colored tracing paper.
Sewing challenges : Presents similar sewing challenges as linen, however, hemp is not quite so stiff and wiry as linen.
Example creations : Cocktail dress, Bridalwear, Natural fibre dress, Macrame belt, Organic hoodie,
Uses worldwide : Hemp is often used for tailored designs, unlined or reversible garments, casual jackets, coats, skirts, pants, vests, summer garments, children's wear and curtains.
Cool green hemp (Courtesy of fashionfabricsclub.com)Origins and history : The term "hemp" applies to the family of plants called cannabis. It has many uses, of which as a textile fibre is only one. Historical evidence suggests that hemp, along with flax, was one of the earlier fibres used by humankind. Hemp was widely used not just for clothing, but also for ropes and nautical equipment because it is resistant to salt water. Up until the Industrial Revolution, hemp was frequently used in clothes and textiles, as it is both strong and grows quickly. For the same area of land, hemp grows two-and-a-half times more fibre than cotton, and six times more fibre than flax (the fibre used to make linen). Hemp was used to make canvas among other textiles - indeed, the word canvas is etymologically derived from cannabis, the latin name for hemp.
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