Recognising Hemp Fabrics by Yourself
With the exponential increase in demand for hemp textiles, many sellers are trying to jump on the bandwagon without actually selling real hemp textiles. The demand for hemp textiles has increased drastically not only for its sustainability factor but also the added health benefits. The lack of reliable information regarding sustainable products often leads to more harm than good. The onus to vet the product before buying falls on the consumers, and with hemp textiles, the same applies. So how can one differentiate between hemp made textiles and other synthetic ones in the market?
It is important to consider that modern-day hemp fabrics are not solely made out of hemp and are rather blended with other natural fibers to suit the requirements of the preferred article to be made. There are many tests to identify the fibers but most of them cannot be performed without the help of lab equipment and proper tools. However, there are several other kinds of tests that might help consumers to identify the fabric. Some of them are:
- Hemp fabrics will have great lustre and are usually bright and vibrant like their linen counterparts.
- One popular and easy method is to burn a piece of the fabric over a flame, if it is hemp it will smell like burning leaves and would disintegrate immediately without leaving any residue. While burning the fabric may seem counterproductive, it is one of the easier methods to identify the fabric and only a small cut is required. It is also important to note that modern-day hemp fibers possess little to no differences from their natural counterparts.
- Another way by which keen-eyed consumers can distinguish the fibres from others is by observing the direction in which the fibres are twisted after wetting, that is hemp fibres can be rotated counterclockwise.
It is important to support this growing sustainable industry the best one can and that is why it is important to buy hemp fabrics from legitimate sources. While it is quite natural for consumers to worry about the authenticity of new products, one can always ask their sellers for additional information about their products. Conscious consumers are now becoming more proactive with their purchase decisions making the sellers more accountable for any discrepancies found. But the ultimate goal is to promote sustainability by purchasing more authentic hemp fabrics and support artisans, farmers and local industries to grow.
- Hemp Fiber: Physical And Chemical Properties Of Hemp Fiber, Textile Fashion Study (July 19, 2012) http://textilefashionstudy.com/hemp-fiber-physical-and-chemical-properties-of-hemp-fiber/
- The Difference Between Hemp And Linen Fibers, Hempalaya (Jan 4, 2019) https://hempalaya.com/blogs/news/der-unterschied-zwischen-hanf-und-leinen-fasern
- Two Sister Ecotextiles, Characteristics of Hemp, Ecotextiles (June 2, 2010) https://oecotextiles.blog/2010/06/02/characteristics-of-hemp/
- Himalayan Hemp, How to check your hemp fabric is really made from hemp, Himalayan Hemp (Oct 14, 2020) https://www.himalayanhemp.in/post/how-to-check-your-hemp-fabric-is-really-made-from-hemp#:~:text=Hold%20samples%20with%20the%20help,place%20them%20into%20the%20flame.&text=Hemp%20Fiber%3A%20Burns%20instantly%20with,of%20burning%20leaves%20or%20wood.&text=Cotton%3A%20The%20flare%20brightens%20whereas,not%20leaving%20any%20melted%20bead.