Why is Hemp better than Cotton?
Conscious consumers are making producers rethink their production practices, including the materials they use. And even though Hemp has been around for millennia, cotton raced ahead in the last few decades. But with growing sustainability concerns Hemp textiles are having a resurgence in the textile industry again. But how do we know which fibre is better?
Hemp and cotton are both commonly used in the textile industry, but they have distinct differences in their environmental impact, durability, and other characteristics. In this article, we will compare hemp and cotton to understand their pros and cons, and which one may be the better choice for different uses.
Starting with environmental impact, hemp is considered to be a more sustainable crop than cotton. Hemp requires less water and pesticides to grow, and it also has a higher yield per acre than cotton. Additionally, hemp is also a natural pest repellent, which means that it requires less pesticide than other crops. On the other hand, cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive crops in the world, which can lead to environmental damage.
In terms of durability, hemp is considered to be stronger and more durable than cotton. The fibres from the hemp plant are naturally strong and durable, making them ideal for use in clothing, rope, and other textiles. Cotton fibres, on the other hand, are softer and less durable, which means that they are more likely to wear out and require replacement.
Hemp is also more resistant to mildew and mold than cotton, which makes it a better choice for outdoor gear and other products that may be exposed to moisture. Additionally, hemp is less likely to shrink or wrinkle than cotton, which makes it a better choice for clothing and other products that need to maintain their shape.
Cotton, however, has its advantages. It is a soft, breathable fabric that is comfortable to wear and easy to care for. It also dyes well, which allows for a wide range of colour options. Additionally, cotton is widely available and less expensive than hemp, making it more accessible to consumers.
In terms of versatility, hemp has a wide range of uses, including textiles, paper, food, biofuel, and medicine. Cotton, on the other hand, is primarily used for textiles and clothing. Hemp is also becoming increasingly popular as a crop, and recently India became one of the few countries that voted in favour of hemp’s removal from the 'strictest control' Schedule at the World Health Organization Commission for narcotic drugs, noting its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. And as a result on 15th November 2021 Hemp seeds and hemp seed products were given recognition under the Indian legal regime.
Hemp is here to stay and depending on the choice of consumers it can provide the necessary impetus to boost an entire industry. Ultimately, the choice between hemp and cotton will depend on the specific use and the priority of the consumer whether it is sustainability, durability or cost.
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