Hemp is an important natural plant which has several uses to humankind. It is a prehistoric plant which means that hemp existed from the times when even the humans had not learnt to read and write and when no recorded history was available. In fact, some of the historians and archaeologists are of the view that hemp predated Stone Age and dates back somewhere to the Neolithic period. This means that hemp was potentially one of the first, if not the first, fibre that human every used to fashion themselves some sort of a dress.
Throughout the history, hemp has been an extremely useful crop for humanity which would fulfil many of his needs in daily life. Hemp has been commonly used in paper industry, bio-fuel making, cordage, making healthy foods and also for fashioning plastic which is biodegradable. However, these were only some of the uses that hemp has or had for humankind through the course of their history and it does not, at all, means that hemp was limited to fulfilling needs in these aforementioned areas. In fact, the first and the most important role of hemp for humankind was for creating dresses for themselves from hemp plant and this is still being done.
Now that we know how historically significant hemp has been right from the beginning or inception of humans, probably, we must move to the more important task which is the theme of this article as well: this means discussing the role of hemp as a fibre for fashioning out clothes and dresses and forming fabric out of it. But first we will have a brief look at the advantages of sustainability that hemp crop offers naturally to its farmers and perhaps you will be able to see why hemp is one of the most important eco-friendly fabrics that are present today.
So starting now with the advantages of sustainability that hemp crop offers to its farmers; we must say that hemp is exactly opposite to cotton, which is the most widely used fabric in the world today. Whereas the plantation of cotton is very exploitative for the soil as it consumes a lot of minerals from the soil and leaves it dead after a few cycles of continuous cultivation, hemp is actually complementing for the soil. Hemp crop takes very few minerals from the soil and more than two third of these minerals are restored back into the soil with each growth cycle of hemp.
Another advantage that hemp crop has is that unlike cotton which attracts all sorts of insects and pests to feed on it, hemp is not prone to such pest attacks and this ability is natural; not achieved through genetic manipulation. Due to this factor hemp does not rely on chemical pesticide sprays to get rid of harmful pests. This, again, makes hemp more eco-friendly and health friendly as well. The roots of hemp plant are really long as well which means that it can hold the soil very well and prevents soil erosion from wind and floods.
Sustainability and eco-friendliness are not exactly the points that everyone is looking up to as a basis of their crop selection. Everyone wants to make good money from their crop and no matter how good or bad it is to human health and environment, if it gives you good money, people will plant it. I mean look at all the poppy cultivation. Therefore, hemp has to be good on this account as well; and it is. Due to no reliance on fertilizers and pesticides the cost is down and due to almost four times greater yield than cotton on a given area, hemp is also considerably more profitable.
It has been noted that almost 80% of human clothing were fashioned from hemp fabrics until 1920s. You might be in for a shock when you come to know that your favourite jeans manufacturer – Levi Strauss – primarily used to make jeans from hemp. Many of the brands in clothing are again catching up with the trend of using hemp in their garment products due to the environment friendly nature of this fabric and also due to the profitability attached with using hemp fibre in fabrics.