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The hemp plant grows stiff and strong, kind of like bamboo. The stalks are canelike, slender and hollow except at the tip and the base. Hemp, also called industrial hemp, has been cultivated for centuries to serve as a renewable source of food, clothing, paper and any application for a strong, durable fiber. Hemp is generally grown in a temperate zone and requires minimal cultivation. It has the ability to grow without a lot of water but grows better in places with a modest amount of rain. Crops that are cultivated for use of the fiber are densely planted. A typical industrial hemp grove will show rows of 7-10 foot plants, with almost no branching. Fibers for commercial use are obtained by a series of drying, retting and crushing. The actual fiber strands are long and strait - about as long as the hemp plant is tall. Hemp fiber is yellow/green and is not easily bleached. The irregular surface of the strands makes hemp an ideal material to make ropes for maritime use. With additional processing, hemp fiber is spun into a material with an off white color. Like hemp fiber made into ropes, this material has an surprisingly strong tensile strength. Hemp fiber can also be processed into bioplastics that are recyclable and biodegradable. About the first uses for industrial hemp is the course paper that can be made from it. A pulp was made of the hemp plant and then it was pressed into paperProcesses for making hemp paper improved until in the 15th century, the first copies of the Bible were printed on hemp paper.
Historians will say that hemp fiber has been extensively used throughout human history, with production really taking off after being introduced to the New World. Hemp is still commonly used for a boat's canvas sails. Did you know the word ' canvas' is derived from the word cannabis? Today hemp fiber is used in a variety of consumer goods including hemp t shirts, hemp clothing and customized hemp tote bags.
For use in hemp clothing, since the strands can feel rough to the skin, the hemp fiber is sometimes mixed with lycell. When used in hemp tote bags, the material is linen-like with an attractive luster.
The hemp plant is basically a weed, and for sure grows like one. Hemp is naturally resistant to pests so it doesn't require pesticides. Hemp is one of most eco friendly materials available. In contrast to cotton, hemp fabrics are stronger, more durable and better insulating than cotton. Also, since cotton is not a weed, it needs a lot of help in cultivation. Copious amounts of water and pesticides are needed to grow cotton, while hemp requires a fraction of those resources and minimal cultivation.