Hemp fabrics are often applauded for being the most sustainable fabric option on the planet, but what are the practical benefits of using hemp fabric for clothing, interior design, upholstery, or any other textile uses? Today we are looking at 10 good reasons to choose hemp fabrics for your next project.
1. It’s Thermodynamic
Hemp has a very special characteristic that helps to keep you warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot! This is a feature boasted about in many hi-tech sports clothing items, and something that manufacturers strive for when creating activewear, but hemp does this completely naturally. Amazing!
This makes hemp fabric great for making clothing that can be worn in all seasons, and it’s why hemp t-shirts are a great choice all year round. They’re perfect as a base layer in the winter, and can also be worn during summer heatwaves.
2. It’s Antibacterial
Hemp fabric is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. Not many fabrics can boast that fact! This makes hemp a great choice for underwear and socks as it helps to keep you fresh all day long and helps to prevent bacterial infections. It’s also a great choice for making towels, flannels and washcloths.
3. It’s Breathable
When you’re looking for natural breathable fabrics, hemp is a great choice. Breathability is important as it helps to prevent you from overheating and producing too much sweat, while allowing airflow through the fabric to keep it fresh and dry. Hemp fabric is a good choice for bedsheets, pillowcases and clothing items thanks to its good levels of breathability.
4. It’s Durable
Hemp fabric is highly durable. It is estimated to have 5x the tensile strength of cotton and 3x the durability. If you want your fabric to last a long time, then hemp is the choice for you. Hemp canvas was used throughout history for all kinds of heavy duty uses including making the sails on ships, making tents for soldiers, and covering the wagons of the original pioneers that forged their way west across the USA. As you can imagine, all of these uses would have sustained heavy wear and tear but hemp was always up to the job!
Just because it is durable, does not mean it cannot also be comfortable. In the modern age, we now have hemp fabrics that are just as soft as cotton and there are lots of blends available such as hemp and organic cotton, hemp and silk, or hemp and bamboo which offer superior softness alongside hemp’s legendary durability
5. It’s Biodegradable
Hemp is a natural fibre, and therefore it is completely biodegradable! Choosing hemp fabric over a synthetic alternative means that once the fabric has reached the end of its usable life span you can rest assured that it will break down naturally and not harm the environment.
There is a huge problem with plastic microfibers from synthetic fabrics such as polyester making their way into the oceans. Each time a synthetic fabric is washed, tiny plastic fibres break away and go down the drain, eventually ending up in our waterways where they pollute the environment. They’re so small that they are ingested by fish and those fish are in turn eaten by other animals, and of course humans. Avoiding synthetics by choosing hemp instead is a surefire way to prevent further plastic pollution entering the oceans and the food chain.
6. It’s UV Resistant
Hemp fabric has natural UV resistance, it does not fade or degrade from exposure to sunlight as fast as other materials and it helps to give you sun protection when used for clothing. Some studies have shown that hemp is 99.9% effective at blocking UVA and UVB rays, giving it a 50+ UPF factor.
This resistance to sunlight makes it a great choice for any upholstery or interior design uses that will be exposed to lots of sunlight. We’re thinking about curtains here especially, the one piece of fabric in your home that is exposed to near constant sunlight. Of course, modern windows block a lot of UV light from entering our home but they still let UV-A light through, which over time can make your curtains or upholstery fade
7. It’s Highly Absorbent
Hemp’s hollow fibres make it highly absorbent, perfect for making towels, flannels, nappies or sanitary products. If you choose a hemp towelling fabric such as French Terry Jersey, then you’ve got the perfect material for making a super absorbent and eco-friendly product.
The high absorbency of hemp fabric also means that it takes dye very well, and we just love to dye it using fibre reactive dyes that bond permanently with the hemp fibres to give a rich and long-lasting colour.
8. It’s Insulating
The hollow fibres of the hemp plant are perfect for adding insulation. Hemp fabric has a high thermal mass and low conductivity. Much like the hollow fur of the polar bear, hemp fibres work to create an insulating barrier between you and the outside world. The air in the hemp fibres is warmed by your body heat and trapped inside the fibres with nowhere to go, it stays warm for longer than other natural fibres such as cotton. Hemp clothing makes a great base layer throughout the colder months of the year, as well as for your bedsheets, duvet covers and curtains.
9. It’s Versatile
Hemp fabric is highly versatile, and when blended with other natural fibres there is almost no end to the possibilities! It can be everything from a hard wearing, rugged and rigid canvas to a lightweight delicate silk material, and everything in between.
Hemp can be used to create t-shirt jersey material, towelling, denim, corduroy or lightweight linen-like fabrics. It can be used to make cloth, muslin, herringbone or luxury silks. The end-uses of these fabrics number in their thousands, from industrial filters to clothing, from upholstery to luggage and so much more! Order a few fabric swatches from our huge range on offer and your mind will soon be filled with ideas.
10. It’s Environmentally Friendly
Last but definitely not least, our absolute favourite thing about hemp is that it has the ability to heal our planet! From the air to the soil, hemp is kind to mother nature at every step of its life and that’s why we love it here at the hemp shop. We’ve talked endlessly about the environmental benefits of the hemp plant in other blogs and all across our website, so we won’t go into too much detail here, but if you’re interested then try reading these articles:
So there you have it, 10 good reasons to choose hemp fabric for your next project. Here at the hemp shop we just happen to be the UK’s oldest and largest supplier of pure hemp fabrics and hemp blends. Head over to the fabrics section of our website to discover our huge range of hemp fabrics.