It seems like the eco-friendly fibre beloved of the environmental movement for its vigorous growing ability which make it suitable for cultivation without really needing any chemical inputs at all, is likely to take a step towards the mainstream. Hemp is a great fibre, really strong, easy to grow organically, and suited to a variety of uses, but so far two things have got in its way.
Firstly there is the common misconception that it is all about dope, yes its the same kind of plant, but its a bit like thinking all mushrooms are hallucinogenic. This is not a plant you can smoke to get high.
Secondly, and all importantly, it is not very soft. There are lots of hemp tees and other items out there, but if they are soft its probably because they’ve been blended with cotton. Hemp has a reputation for being scratchy, which is a big shame.
The only hemp item I own are a pair of hemp sneakers, which are really good, I think the soles will go before the canvas does. The hemp canvas is very durable and I would recommend it highly.
But hemp as a mainstream fabric such as jersey is problematic… or perhaps I should say ‘was’ problematic. It seems that an enzyme based treatment is set to be applied to Hemp on a large scale which could lead to a number of leading companies taking hemp on board, which is great because it will be another way of reducing reliance on conventional cotton.
Hemp is not even as thirsty as cotton, which is another advantage, and can be grown in a variety of climates. It just needs a few more places to get to grips with the legalities of protecting hemp crops from sabotage by dope growers who sometime take advantage of the cover offered by the non drug plants to get up to no good.