26.  The Sustainability of Hemp Silk

26. The Sustainability of Hemp Silk

HEMP SILK - I am so delighted to be stocking this amazing fabric as it is so sustainable - and it’s made right here in Scotland! 

Despite its sheer delicate appearance with a slight shine, it is a very durable material as it is made from 60% hemp 40% silk..  As it it is a natural plant fibre, it’s 100% biodegradable and lasts longer than cotton.  It has three times more tensile and flexible strength than cotton and holds its shape time and time again and becomes softer after each wear and wash.    

Despite its durability, this beautiful light weight Hemp Silk blend is perfect for dresses, wraps and all those items requiring a delicate touch. It is off-white in colour with only minimal eco-sensitive oxygen bleaching.

Impact on the Environment

No pesticides – Less watering – High yield – Fast growing – Sustainable crop

It grows so fast and so tall, that the yield from this crop can be up to 600% greater than a flax grown in the same area of land. It only takes three to four months to reach maturity.  With dense planting it also makes it quite resilient to insects, so there’s no need for extra pesticides and fungicides.

The farmers are very happy with the resulting soil quality too! As the long taproots can reach down 3 feet or more, it leaves the soil aerated and weed free. The growing process produces a build-up of rich organic matter in the topsoil that helps to keep moisture in the soil - and so means less irrigation and water use. This is a great treat for the soil condition and makes it ready for any rotation crop.

It's an ideal crop for farmers and has so many benefits for the environment.

How it is Made

Long strands are taken from the stalk of the plant creating bundles of exceptionally strong fibres. By using a combined steam and pressure process  during manufacture, the tough fibres are broken down into smaller soft pliable fibres that are spun together to make a continuous thread.  This makes it ideal for weaving and fantastic for making a strong and durable fabric.

Why is Hemp so good as a fabric

There are so many positive features associated with weaving hemp into a fabric:

    • The more you wash and wear it, the softer it becomes. The resulting feel offers a superb fluid drape and luxurious finish.
    • It’s breathable. Ideal on hot days or wearing in a stuffy office, but warm enough to keep you cosy in the winter.
    • It has anti-bacterial properties and is quite resistant to moths and insects.  
    • As it’s highly resistant to UV light it isn’t going to fade in the sunlight - and this means it is an excellent natural protector for your skin.
    • As a natural fibre, it’s biodegradable.
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