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- How Hemp is Turned Into Fabric
Turning hemp into fabric involves a series of steps, beginning with the plant’s stalk fibers. These fibers are extracted through “retting,” a process that loosens them from the bark. After retting, the fibers are spun into threads, which can then be woven into fabric. This method of producing hemp fabric has its roots in the early 1900s and is being refined today to keep up with increasing demand.
Organic or Chemical Process
There are two main ways to process hemp into fabric: organically and chemically. Unlike the process of creating cannabidiol hemp topical cream which uses CO2 extraction. The organic method is mechanical and doesn’t use chemicals, making it less harmful to the environment. On the other hand, the chemical process, often used to make “hemp viscose,” involves toxic chemicals and is more environmentally damaging. Some companies opt for the lyocell process, which is less harmful, so it’s worth checking the production method when buying hemp products.
Transporting Hemp in Bulk
Transporting hemp, due to its bulkiness, can be costly and not very eco-friendly, according to Textile Exchange. Creating shorter, local supply chains could be a solution to reduce transportation costs and environmental impact.
The environmental footprint of hemp fabric doesn’t end with its creation. Dyeing the fabric is another step that can vary in its environmental impact, depending on the methods used.
Even though hemp is an eco-friendly crop to grow, the overall process from plant to fabric needs to be environmentally conscious. It’s important for producers to balance environmental considerations with the needs of workers and consumers, as well as profitability, to truly make hemp fabric a sustainable option.