Fibre Poet News Spring 2016
Industrial Hemp, an ancient plant rediscovered
I created my first hemp clothing collectionin 1999. It consisted of a women’s dress cut on the bias, and a girl’s dress, both made of 55% hemp, 45% cotton muslin. It was very exciting because at that time industrial hemp fabric had only recently become available for sale in the United States.
Today hemp fabric is combined with organic cotton, to create a soft jersey knit used for t shirts, with lycra for performance fabrics, and even recycled fabrics for durable and sustainable woven fabrics. As it has become more mainstream more of the benefits of industrial hemp are being discovered. It takes less water to grow than cotton, and less water to process. It can be grown without the use of pesticides, is antimicrobial, breathable, durable, machine washable and softens over time with each washing. Despite all these great qualities, a lot of negativity and misinformation persists.
Do some people (still) really believe that you can get high smoking a hemp t shirt?
Until the early 1900’s industrial hemp was a valuable crop used all over the world for its strong fiber and seeds. Today industrial hemp is being grown with federal approval in over 20 states in the US.
AGRICULTURAL ACT OF 2014 - President Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 on February 7, 2014 including Section 7606 known as "Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research." Section 7606 defines industrial hemp (.3% or less THC) & authorizes institutions of higher education or state department's of agriculture in states that legalized hemp cultivation to conduct research and pilot programs.
In the 25 years I have been tie dying the best performing fabric for me is Hemp. I am proud to use it in all the garments for my 2016 Collection.
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