Hemp derived from the cannabis plant has been cultivated and used for 1000's of years by humankind. The earliest known woven fabric was of Hemp, which began to be used in approximately 8,000 - 7,000 BC;
Modern techniques have refined the processes used in the manufacture of these garments. Hemp is still collected by local village people in the higher mountainous areas where it grows in the wild; no deforestation is required for any of our products.The hemp industry is a major employer of seasonal agricultural workers in Nepal and it has developed into being a huge export industry with products being shipped to every part of the world.
Production begins with the soaking of the plant, it is boiled with ash to naturally bleach it and make it soft. After drying on the rocks in the Nepali sun, the hemp is spun into thread by hand and delivered to the looms to be spun into fabric. Hemp is very strong and durable; 10 to 15 times stronger than cotton.
Hemp cloth is softer and warmer than cotton and has 3 times the tensile strength. It is many times more durable and does not harbour bacteria. Hemp fabric screens out around 95% of harmful UV-rays. Unlike most crops, hemp can flourish and grow at very high rates without using harmful pesticides and herbicides. It is an environmentally-friendly product, it is comfortable to wear and it has qualities that allow it to breathe.
Until recent times more than 75% of the world's paper was made from Hemp fibre and about 80% of all rope and twine was made of hemp until replaced by synthetic petro-chemicals. 90% of all sails were made from hemp. In Britain in the 17th and 18th Centuries it was law that all farmers sow 10% of all arable land to hemp.
In 1916, USDA Bulletin No. 404, reported that one acre of cannabis hemp, in annual rotation over a 20-year period, would produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees being cut down over the same 20-year period.
Hemp is now produced in China, Russia, India, Nepal, Hungary, Bulgaria, Iataly, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Syria, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia, France, Switzerland, Holland, Britain, Canada, throughout South-East Asia and South America, Tasmania, Victoria and other states of Australia.
Over 25,000 different products can be made from hemp in oil, seed or fibre form such as fabric, food, bio-diesel fuel, paper, plastics, rope, building material, moulded panels, car components, wallpaper, acoustic baffling and barn bedding for farm animals. It is exceptionally strong and grows very quickly; it produces 250% more fibre than cotton and 600% more fiber than flax when grown on the same land.
The word ”canvas” derives from a Greek word for Cannabis. Rembrants, Gainsboroughs, Van Goghs as well as most early canvas paintings were principally painted on hemp linen.
"Anything that can be made from hydrocarbons,
can be made from carbohydrates."
Henry Ford with his hemp car.
Hemp requires minimal pesticides and no herbicides and has been described as a "carbon-negative" raw material.
Harvesting hemp in the USSR in 1956.