Hemp produces a high-quality bast fiber that provides rigidity to its stalk. It comes from the outer layer (skin, or phloem) of the plant’s stalk (like linen, ramie, jute & flax), and has played a large and important role in human history -- rivaling flax as the chief textile fiber of plant origin until the middle of the 19th century. Humans have used hemp for thousands of years, with remains of hemp cloth dating back to the 5th millennium BC in China (1).
Superior Textile Material Qualities
Hemp grows rapidly to full size, and its fiber is three times stronger than traditional cotton. It is also one of the most durable natural fibers on earth. Hemp alone can produce a fabric with wonderful drape that’s comparable to new linen, softening with each wash and wear. Also like linen, hemp moves easily with the body, wrinkles less, and is breathable and easy to wear across different seasons. Hemp clothing can be softer than traditional cotton and offers enhanced comfort while providing fast drying capabilities. It also blends readily with other fibers, and is suitable for processing by modern, cotton-based spinning and processing machinery.
Hemp has a reputation for sustainability. This derives primarily from its land use characteristics versus typical yields for comparable natural fiber crops like cotton.
Hemp requires inputs on par with cultivation of corn or other grain crops; but its yields are far greater than those for cotton.
Cultivation time for fiber is short, limiting the need for excessive preventative or preservative amendments.
A well-set stand of hemp for fiber is able to use available water efficiently
Hemp’s sustainable limitations derive primarily from the efficiency of processing into usable material. Methods are often energy intensive and require large amounts of suitable water. Effluents must also be controlled to prevent discharge of toxic or damaging material into watersheds – much like a municipal water treatment plant.
Our technology addresses these limitations directly. This includes not only the sustainable use of water for processing, but the use of air as well, though reduction in emissions associated with energy production and use, while simultaneously minimizing cost.
Hemp Has Broad Utility
Hemp is unique amongst cash crops in that every part of the plant has utility and potential market value. In addition to being used for fabric, hemp oil and seeds go into food and beauty products. Hemp can be used for building products, paints, inks, paper, composite boards, clutch pads, plastics, fuels, bio-diesel, and Eco-solid fuel. In fact anything that can be made from a hydrocarbon fossil fuels can be made from a carbohydrate, but for the past century, strong lobbies from the multiple industries that could be impacted by hemp have continued to keep the growth of this useful plant legally banned.
Hemp is Now Federally Legal to Grow
Hemp is a version of the cannabis sativa plant selectively bred to have only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (a.k.a. THC), which distinguishes it from marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill, which contained the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, was signed into law on December 20, 2018, and effectively ended prohibition of domestically grown hemp. This law was removes hemp (defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC) from Schedule I controlled substances and making it an ordinary agricultural commodity.
By redefining hemp to include its “extracts, cannabinoids and derivatives,” Congress explicitly has removed popular hemp products (even including hemp-derived cannabidiol, known as CBD) from the purview of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Accordingly, the Drug Enforcement Administration no longer has any possible claim to interfere with the interstate commerce of hemp products. This should give comfort to federally regulated institutions - banks, merchant services, credit card companies, e-commerce sites and advertising platforms - to conduct commerce with the hemp and hemp product industry. Hemp farmers now may finally access needed crop insurance and can fully participate in USDA programs for certification and competitive grants.