Hemp fabric is not vulnerable to shrinkage but highly resistant to pilling. Hemp fabric is very soft, but it is also highly durable; while a typical cotton T-shirt lasts 10 years at the most, a hemp T-shirt may last double or triple that time. Some estimates suggest that hemp fabric is three times stronger than cotton fabric. In addition, hemp is a lightweight fabric, which means that it is highly breathable, and it also effectively facilitates the passage of moisture from the skin to the atmosphere, so it is ideal for hot climates. It is easy to dye this type of fabric, and it is highly resistant to mold, mildew, and potentially harmful microbes.
The Hemp fiber or industrial hemp is obtained from the outer layer or the bast of the Cannabis sativa plant, more popularly known as that meant for producing marijuana or hashish. The narcotic content is because of tetra-hydro-cannabinol content (THC) that is much as 20 % and causes the high when smoked. Industrial hemp contains 1 per cent THC only.
This fiber has some very incredible properties. It conducts heat, dyes well, resists mildew, blocks ultraviolet light and has natural anti-bacterial properties. It is used in many industries including paper, biodegradable plastic, construction, health food, chemical clean-ups and fuel. Automobile companies like BMW use hemp fiber to reinforce their door panels for better safety standards.
Cannabis sativa has been bred for two distinct purposes. On the one hand, many generations of cultivators of this plant have selectively bred it to be high in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other psychoactive chemical constituents called cannabinoids. On the other hand, other cultivators have consistently bred Cannabis sativa to produce stronger and better fibers and have purposefully reduced the levels of psychoactive cannabinoids produced by their crops. However, female Cannabis sativa plants that have been bred for textile purposes are very low in THC, and they do not generally have pronounced, sticky buds.
Retting (To moisten or soak in order to soften and separate the fibers by partial rotting)
Scutching (a step in the processing or dressing that separates the impurities from the raw material of a fiber in preparation for spinning)
Hackling (Passing a comb through fibers to clean and straighten the fibers)
Roving (Natural fiber yarns that have been drawn out and slightly twisted in preparation for spinning)