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Hemp Facts - The truth about hemp, its uses and eco friendly qualities
Hemp is the world's most sustainable plant as it is easily cultivated and grown in a variety of areas.
Growing hemp does not deplete the soil its grown in, and requires less water than other crops,
and even converts carbon dioxide (a damaging greenhouse gas) to oxygen faster and more efficiently than trees.
Cultivated for thousands of years throughout the world, hemp is an extremely versatile and hardy plant.
Various parts of the plant can be utilized in the making of clothing, textiles, paper, foodstuffs, animal feed
cosmetics, paints, plastics, insulation and other products
Hemp requires no chemicals to process it into fabric for clothing.
Hemp stalks are chopped into 12 to 18 inch lengths, and allowed to dry in field.
The stalks are then turned every several days for 14 to 21 days.
This process is called "retting", which causes the fibers to separate from the woody stems.
The stalks are formed into bales and transported to spinning locations.
Specialized spinning machines are used to spin long hemp fibers together into a continuous strand of yarn.
The hemp yarn is then ready to be woven into fabric, and the process is complete.
Hemp produces a much higher yield per acre than do common substitutes such as cotton
and requires no herbicides or pesticides to produce.
In addition, hemp has an average growing cycle of only 100 days and leaves the soil virtually weed-free for the next planting.
This make it an excellent plant to include in every farmers crop rotation.
Hemp's fiber molecule has a shaft-like structure that allows it to wick moisture off the body and dry quickly,
allowing you to feel warmer when wet, in cold conditions,
while keeping you cooler, more comfortable and fresher, in hot and/or humid conditions.
Hemp has natural anti-bacterial properties, which makes it cleaner for your skin.
Its stronger, longer lasting and better for the environment as well as your health than other fabrics,
and also provides about four times greater UV Protection for your skin than cotton.
Hemp clothing is great for individuals with allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities
due its hypoallergenic and non-irritating qualities.
The majority of cotton plants are grown using genetically designed bio-toxin genes within the plants DNA,
hemp has no bio-toxins, nor does the organically grown cotton we use for our hemp/cotton blends.
HEMP IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH MARIJUANA.
Although the two plants are related, hemp does not contain THC (the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).
Much like the difference between the carrots we enjoy at our dinner table, and apiaceae (a poisonous member of the carrot family).
Is Bamboo Clothing Really Eco Friendly?
There is an eco friendly manufacturing process that crushes the plant and uses natural enzymes,
it is very labor intensive and very rarely used.
Far more common is chemically manufactured fiber, which cooks the bamboo in strong chemical solvents
such as sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide, which have been linked to serious health problems.
The harsh chemical process turns the bamboo into a viscous solution
that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into fabric.
The chemical-intensive viscose processing it takes to refine bamboo stalks into super-soft fabrics
compelled Canada's Competition Bureau a couple of years back to tell all bamboo clothing vendors
to change their terminology from 'bamboo' to 'viscose'.
'Rayon' or 'viscose' is made from a woody pulp dissolved in a caustic soda
and then spun in a chemical solution of carbon disulfide (a reproductive toxin).
Is Soy Clothing Really Eco Friendly?
One outstanding issue is that the vast majority of soybeans are genetically modified (GMO),
to allow them to survive being sprayed with more pesticides and herbacides than a natural plant could live through.
The process for making soy fabrics is also very chemical-heavy, similar to bamboo.
Soy protein is liquefied and then extruded into long, continuous fibers that are then cut and processed.
Like bamboo it means that workers are exposed to these toxins on a daily basis.
It also makes you wonder how much of the chemicals from the extruding process remain as residue in the finished soy fabric.
When all the facts are considered, it is clear that hemp is the most natural, eco friendly fabric for all of us to choose.
Just for the record...
U.S. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were lifelong hemp farmers.
Thomas Jefferson drafted both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution on hemp paper.
Betsy Ross made the first flag of the United States of America
out of the finest, strongest fiber available, hemp fabric.
Hemp was legal tender (money) in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s.
You could pay your taxes with hemp throughout America for over 200 years.
In fact, Ben Franklin printed the currency for many of the original 13 colonies on hemp paper.
Hemp was used for the sails and rigging for the ships that brought settlers and merchendise to America
for centuries, as well as our military ships through WWII,
In 1942 The United States Government encouraged American farmers to "Grow Hemp For Victory",
and produced booklets, and a film with that title to spread the word about the vital importance of hemp
in ensuring our victory (You can view this film yourself on many internet sites) .
"New Billion Dollar Crop
It is hemp, a crop that will not compete with other American products.
Instead, it will displace imports of raw material and manufactured products produced by underpaid 'foreign'
peasant labor and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers throughout the land."
- February 1938 issue of Popular Mechanics Magazine
Many well respected people have made statements advocating hemp.
Here are a few quotes...
"Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
- George Washington, 1st U.S. President.
"Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country."
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President.
"Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value,
marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could."
- William F. Buckley Jr., Renowned Intellectual and Jounalist.
The illegality of cannabis is outrageous,
an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight,
sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world."
- Carl Sagan, Scientist.
"Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down,
if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?"
- Henry Ford, Automotive Pioneer.
"That is not a drug. It’s a leaf,"
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Governer Of California.
"Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease and herb to cure it,
and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence."
- Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket).
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